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Time to fight the flu

10/26/2015
While colder weather and shorter days go hand in hand with wintertime, catching the flu doesn’t have to.

Fight the flu

For healthy people, getting sick with the flu means a few days of feeling miserable, but for young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, it can lead to hospitalization and ICU admissions, and even death. It’s important that everyone get a flu shot so you’re not only protecting yourself, but also the high-risk people around you.
Those most at risk of complications from the flu are:
  • people 65 and older, or live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities
  • children between 6 months old and 5 years old
  • pregnant women
  • people with health conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, obesity
  • Aboriginal people

Who can get a free flu shot

Flu shots are free in B.C. for:
  • all children from six months to five years of age
  • people 65 years and older
  • pregnant women
  • Aboriginal people
  • those with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems
  • anyone visiting health care facilities such as hospitals, long term care homes and community health care centres. Wearing a mask or having the immunization will be required for all visitors between December 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016.

Where to get a flu shot

Flu vaccinations are available at special public health flu clinics, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, walk-in clinics and at the VCH Travel Clinic.
Information on  all locations where flu shots are available, including outside the VCH region, are on ImmunizeBC’s map.

Does the flu vaccine work?

Most years, influenza vaccine offers significant protection -- about 60%. But last season was highly unusual because while the vaccine offered good protection against A/H1N1 and B viruses, there was an unexpected emergence of a new A/H3N2 strain, which was not included in the vaccine.
Right now, It’s too early to predict how effective this season’s vaccine will be, but it has been changed to protect against the new H3N2 strain which is still circulating. While it is not perfect, it is a much closer match and will offer better protection than last year’s vaccine. 
SOURCE: Time to fight the flu ( )
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