B.C. rolls out 2017 flu shots

Provincial health officer urges people to get their vaccine early

The flu vaccine is now available at clinics and pharmacies across B.C., and the province is urging people to get theirs early.

“The flu is a highly contagious disease from which people can take actions to protect themselves,” said provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall in a release issued Wednesday.

“Getting your flu shot early and washing your hands frequently can help protect yourself, and others, from contracting and spreading the flu.”

While most people will have to pay to get their flu shot, it’s free for the following people:

  • children between six months and five years old;
  • seniors 65 and older
  • pregnant women
  • Indigenous people
  • people with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems
  • anyone who lives with any of these people
  • visitors to long-term care facilities and hospitals

In 2014, a particularly virulent strain of the H1N1 flu virus caused shortages in the flu vaccine.

The health ministry said it did not anticipate any such shortages this year.

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, 1.53 million doses of the vaccine have been purchased so far for the 2017/18 season.

The purchase amounts are based on the orders submitted by each health authority in the province.

That’s up slightly from the 1.47 million doses purchased last winter. During the H1N1 flu season in 2014, a record 1.4 million flu shots were dispensed.

The CDC said there have been slightly more flu-like illnesses reported in the past two weeks than is normal for this time of year.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Second lawsuit this week filed against jail

Inmate claims he was stabbed by another inmate while in protective custody

Penticton in top 20 for crime

According to a Maclean’s study of the crime severity index, Penticton ranks 16 in Canada

Children’s Showcase features West African culture and drumming

Kikeyambay, a four person drumming and dance group from Victoria, is performing in Penticton

Extra South Okanagan bus trip in December

The one hour 15 minute trip will run from Osoyoos to Penticton on Fridays

Osoyoos to tackle homelessness with committee

The town has ruled out offering a space for any homeless person to camp permanently

What’s happening

Find out what is going on this weekend in the Okanagan and Shuswap

Fuel spill follows train derailment near Hell’s Gate

Empty grain train jumped the track after a landslide

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

False killer whale ‘Chester’ dies at Vancouver Aquarium

He was found stranded near Tofino in July 2014 and only had a 10 per cent chance of making it at the time

Elves in search of their clothes

Eight costumes missing from Summerland Legion

Cougar confronts man in Clearwater

Clearwater resident Barry Joneson had a close encounter of the cougar kind

Panda picks Argonauts for the win

Giant panda at the Toronto Zoo picks Argos to win Grey Cup on Sunday

Most Read