Influenza vaccine now available in B.C.

H2N2 influenza cases already showing up around B.C., strains of influenza B expected to show up by February

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall gets his annual flu shot.

This year’s influenza vaccine is available at doctors’ offices, public health clinics and pharmacies across B.C.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall said the main flu season runs from late November through to next April, and cases of H3N2 influenza are already showing up. That strain affects mainly older people, while influenza B is expected to show up by February and spread among children.

The vaccine is is free for children between six months and five years, seniors aged 65 and older, pregnant women, aboriginal people and those with chronic health conditions, as well as caregivers and others who expect to be in close contact with higher-risk groups.

About 3,500 people die in Canada each winter from influenza and its complications, with hospital and residential care patients the most vulnerable. Kendall said influenza causes more deaths than all other vaccine-preventable illnesses combined.

This year’s vaccine is expected to provide 40 to 60 per cent protection against H3N2 and 65 per cent protection against various strains of influenza B.

“The annual flu vaccine is still the best tool we have to protect against getting the flu,” said Dr. Charles Webb, president of the Doctors of B.C. “Combined with regular hand washing, you are also protecting those around you who may be more vulnerable to serious flu complications.”

To find the nearest flu shot clinic, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 or use the online influenza clinic finder.

 

Just Posted

SOWINS receives $1,000 from Wednesday Night Ladies Club

The money will go to support the society’s Transition House and other programs

Okanagan hosts Mexico for soccer

The Okanagan Masters League won both matches against their Mexican counterparts

Ogopogo and Shuswaggi aren’t the only lake monsters to have legendary status

While both have legend status in the Okanagan-Shuswap regions there are said to be more

Penticton students take aim at bullying with Be Kind initiative

The initiative aims to replace Anti-Bullying Day with year-round activities.

Security footage shows grab and go of cash in Penticton business break-in

Marla Black is asking for the public’s help in identifying the man who broke into Winemaster

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Caught on Camera: Boat catches fire at Okanagan marina

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, no injuries were reported as a result of the blaze

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Athlete of the Week: Finn Tolley

Finn Tolley is the Penticton Western News/Canadian Tire athlete of the week

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Epic overtime battle, big turnout for memorial night to late owner of Okanagan hockey team

The KIJHL’s Kelowna Chiefs hounoured Grant Sheridan with a win in the team’s home-opener

Most Read