Health Minister Terry Lake gets his annual flu shot

Flu season may be early this year

Cases already showing up for seasonal illness that kills thousands of people in Canada every year, influenza vaccine available

It’s a good year to get a shot of influenza vaccine early, says Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall.

“We’re already starting to see some influenza activity around the province, which suggests that this flu season may be coming earlier than past flu seasons,” Kendall said this week.

Kendall joined Health Minister Terry Lake and other MLAs who rolled up their sleeves to receive their annual flu shots at the B.C. legislature.

Lake said flu vaccination is on the upswing in B.C., with last year setting a record for doses of vaccine administered. That includes 76 per cent of health care workers, who are now required to get vaccinated or wear a mask in patient care areas during the winter flu season.

Contrary to popular misconceptions about “stomach flu” or “24-hour flu,” influenza is a severe respiratory disorder caused by a group of viruses that circulate globally.

The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that 3,500 people per year die of complications from influenza, particularly seniors and people with underlying conditions such as asthma. There are more flu-related fatalities than from all other vaccine-prevented diseases combined.

Flu shots can be obtained from doctors’ offices, pharmacies and public health facilities. To find the nearest flu shot clinic, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 or visit the influenza clinic finder at the ImmunizeBC website.

Flu shots are free in B.C. for all children between six months and five years of age, seniors 65 and over, pregnant women, aboriginal people, anyone with a chronic health condition or compromised immune system and those who live with or plan to visit a person with high risk of complications.

 

Just Posted

Police find shoes, backpack of the man found dead in Saanich

Officers credit public’s help, continue to seek information

Head of Greater Victoria builders says Saanich’s new climate goals require meaningful action

VRBA’s Casey Edge says Saanich must launch a retrofit program for local building stock.

Saanich resident leads crusade against cigarettes in B.C. drugstores

Province allows drugstores to sell cigarettes and some feel policy should change, retailers disagree

Saanich councillor fears weed could crowd out food as greenhouses convert

Head of provincial association representing greenhouse vegetable farmers not worried about issue

PHOTOS: Check out the bells and whistles added to Westhills Stadium

Rick Stiebel/News Staff Clusters of tradespeople buzzing around busy with last-minute preparations… Continue reading

VIDEO: Come along for the ride on Tour de Victoria

Reporter captures video footage of his Tour de Victoria ride

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience the ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Vancouver Island senior found safe with help from six search and rescue teams

Wayne Strilesky found safe in thick brush in north Nanaimo

Most Read