With flu season approaching, public health nurses are gearing up for this year’s influenza vaccination campaign.
Last year, more than 145,000 seasonal flu shots were provided free of charge to those at risk of complications from the flu.
“This year’s vaccine contains three different flu strains including the H1N1 strain,” said Dr. Rob Parker, medical health officer with the Interior Health Authority.
To find a flu clinic near you, watch for local announcements on dates and times in your community, visit www.interiorhealth.ca for a complete listing or contact your local public health office. Many physician offices and pharmacies also provide vaccines free to those who are eligible.
The flu shot is free for:
- People 65 years and older and their caregivers/household contacts
- Children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts
- Children and adolescents with conditions treated for long periods of time with Acetylsalicylic acid and their household contacts
- Adults who are very obese
- Aboriginal people
- Healthy children age six to 23 months
- Household contacts and caregivers of infants up to 23 months
- Pregnant women who will be in their third trimester during influenza season and their household contacts (pregnant women who are in other high risk groups can be immunized at any time during the pregnancy)
- Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities
- Health care and other care providers in facilities and community settings who are capable of transmitting influenza to those at high risk of influenza complications
- People who work with live poultry and/or swine
Information is also available at www.immunizebc.ca, or www.healthlinkbc.ca. You can also call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 to speak to a healthcare professional.