Health Minister Terry Lake gets his annual flu shot

Flu season may be early this year

Cases already showing up for seasonal illness that kills thousands of people in Canada every year, influenza vaccine available

It’s a good year to get a shot of influenza vaccine early, says Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall.

“We’re already starting to see some influenza activity around the province, which suggests that this flu season may be coming earlier than past flu seasons,” Kendall said this week.

Kendall joined Health Minister Terry Lake and other MLAs who rolled up their sleeves to receive their annual flu shots at the B.C. legislature.

Lake said flu vaccination is on the upswing in B.C., with last year setting a record for doses of vaccine administered. That includes 76 per cent of health care workers, who are now required to get vaccinated or wear a mask in patient care areas during the winter flu season.

Contrary to popular misconceptions about “stomach flu” or “24-hour flu,” influenza is a severe respiratory disorder caused by a group of viruses that circulate globally.

The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that 3,500 people per year die of complications from influenza, particularly seniors and people with underlying conditions such as asthma. There are more flu-related fatalities than from all other vaccine-prevented diseases combined.

Flu shots can be obtained from doctors’ offices, pharmacies and public health facilities. To find the nearest flu shot clinic, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 or visit the influenza clinic finder at the ImmunizeBC website.

Flu shots are free in B.C. for all children between six months and five years of age, seniors 65 and over, pregnant women, aboriginal people, anyone with a chronic health condition or compromised immune system and those who live with or plan to visit a person with high risk of complications.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Historical society working to preserve cabin and rename roundabouts in Summerland

Summerland branch of society has taken on duties for former Heritage Advisory Commission

Purchase of Francophone school brings with it “sense of belonging” say parents

École Entre-lacs now has a permanent home in Penticton thanks to the provincial government

Abandoned boats left to freeze on Okanagan Lake cause chaos

Over the last week weather conditions have caused three separate incidents

UPDATE: Jack-knifed semi closes Coquihalla northbound

A red liquid is reportedly spilled down the side of Highway 5

COLUMN: Pre-clearance changes at Canadian airports

Some believe these expanded powers may be contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

VIDEO: WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

Big White warns skiers to avoid tree wells after two fatalities at other resorts

Tree wells form when low branches at the base of coniferous trees stop snow from settling at trunk

Here’s what Canada is doing to stop the coronavirus from getting in

Health officials are monitoring multiple possible cases in Canada

RCMP investigating sexual allegation against Lower Mainland police officer

Delta officer suspended while the alleged off-duty incident involving a co-worker is investigated

VIDEO: Rare ‘ice circle’ spotted on Kamloops river

An ice circle or ice pan, has formed in the chilly waters just east of the Yellowhead Bridge

Interior Health issues drug alert in Kamloops

Testing of two samples of drugs sold as crystal meth was positive for fentanyl

Investigators in wildfire-torn Australia head to site of B.C. airtanker crash

The B.C. government sends condolences to Port Alberni-owned Coulson Aviation

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

Most Read