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

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

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

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

SD62 student places third in province-wide French competition

12-year-old Sasha Zandieh won third with a speech on poet Pablo Neruda

Oak Bay researcher’s Canadian English dictionary goes to print

How an unknown American hobbyist sparked a Canadian dictionary

Jesse Roper learns to create fire in the wild, in Sacred Knowledge web series

Ragnarock Studios production shares primitive skills with Islanders

Island athlete goes from hoop dreams to icy track

Cyrus Gray hopes to punch his ticket to Olympics in bobsleigh

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read