Flu clinics across the region have begun. Health officials say getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to protect yourself from the sniffles, fever, aches and pains that accompany the flu.
“People can spread the influenza virus before they show any symptoms at all,” said Dr. Rob Parker, medical health officer for Interior Health. “That’s why it is very important to wash your hands throughout the day — especially after sneezing or coughing as well as before and after visiting day cares, hospitals or health care facilities. And if you are feeling sick, stay home to avoid exposing others to the virus.”
Seniors, infants under two and people with chronic illness are most at risk from complications that can result from the flu.
This year’s vaccine contains three different flu strains, one of which is the pandemic strain (H1N1) that circulated in 2009-2010.
“The flu shot is a safe, effective way to reduce your chances of getting influenza, and if you do get the flu it will reduce the severity of your symptoms,” said Parker. “If you aren’t eligible for the free clinics, you can still get a flu shot. Check with your pharmacist or doctor to find out about getting vaccinated.”
Free flu clinics for those 65 years or older and those at increased risk are scheduled across the South Okanagan during November.
A clinic is scheduled for Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m at the Penticton Seniors Drop-In Centre, 2965 South Main St.
Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cherry Lane shopping centre.
Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Penticton Health Centre, 740 Carmi Ave.
Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Osoyoos Seniors Centre, 17 Park Pl.
Nov. 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the OK Falls Seniors Centre, 1128 Willow St.
Nov. 10 from noon to 6 p.m. and Nov. 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Oliver Community Centre, 36003 79th St.
Nov. 15 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Keremeos Seniors Centre, 421 7th Ave.
Nov. 22 from noon to 6 p.m. in Summerland at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 15244 N. Victoria Rd.
Nov. 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Naramata Community Church, 3740 3rd St.