Get your flu shot: the reasons are all around you
Vancouver, B.C. – If there was ever a time to get a flu shot, this is the year. In advance of flu clinics opening later this month, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is encouraging local residents to book ahead and schedule a time to get their flu vaccination. This year, VCH has increased the number of flu clinics being offered in local community centres and other community spaces to meet expected demand.
Book your flu vaccination appointment today at vch.ca/flu
This year is unique because we are also trying to contain and prevent the spread of not only COVID-19, but other severe respiratory diseases like the flu. Getting vaccinated can reduce your chance of developing symptoms that resemble COVID-19, which would require you to get tested and self-isolate. Getting a flu shot can also protect your loved ones and reduce the impact on the healthcare system.
Flu shots will be available at doctor's offices, pharmacies, walk-in clinics, public health clinics or at a number of temporary clinics throughout the region beginning in late October.
Making an appointment is strongly encouraged this year to help reduce line-ups and maintain safe physical distancing. Contact your doctor, pharmacist or go to vch.ca/flu to book an appointment. You can also phone to book an appointment at a local public health clinic in Vancouver, Richmond, North Shore, Sea-to-Sky, Powell River, Sunshine Coast, Bella Coola and Bella Bella. To book and find the closest location go to vch.ca/flu, use ImmunizeBC's Flu Locator or call 8-1-1 if you don't have access to the Internet.
Once again this year, VCH will be offering the intranasal flu vaccine, FluMist, for children 2-17 years of age in some locations, based on availability.
Flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months of age and older. It is available for free for almost everyone in B.C., including all children between six months and five years old, seniors 65 years old and older, pregnant women, Indigenous people and individuals with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems. People who work or live with people who have a higher risk of complications from the flu, and visitors to health care facilities are also eligible for a free vaccine. For the small group of people who may not be eligible for the publicly funded vaccine, it can be purchased at a pharmacy or a travel clinic.
Influenza is a virus which causes infection of the upper airway, and can lead to symptoms of fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and cough. Complications from influenza, such as pneumonia, are more common in the very young, the elderly and those with heart, lung or other health conditions. Influenza is easily spread from person to person, and an infected person can spread the virus before they are even sick with symptoms.
For more information about the flu or to book an appointment at a local public health clinic, visit vch.ca/flu. To locate a clinic near you, go to ImmunizeBC's Interactive Flu Clinic Locator.
Vancouver Coastal Health
Office: 604 708 5310
Mobile: 604 230 6130