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

PHOTOS: The King of Rock and Roll runs the 25th Annual King and Queen of the Hill Race

Lambrick Park Secondary students, staff, alumni take on Mount Douglas

Colwood taking steps to improve intersection safety after two motor vehicle incidents in one week

Pedestrian and cyclist struck in two separate incidents at Sooke and Metchosin Roads

Esquimalt café cooks up connections for all abilities

A Kinder Cup focuses on positivity, inclusivity and connection

Free bike exchange program available to Greater Victoria kids

The Re-Buy-Cycle Shop in Langford offers free bikes for young learners

Central Saanich sparks up new opening burning bylaw

New bylaw offers ‘balanced approach’ between status quo and tougher provincial regulations

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

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

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

One-in-five British Columbians think they’ll win big while gambling: study

Roughly 58 per cent of British Columbians bought at least one lottery ticket in past year

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

All parties expected to be back on the campaign trail Sunday

Possible Canadian cases of vaping illnesses being investigated: health officer

‘I think that will be really important to address the overall trend of youth vaping’

Most Read