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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Saanich Police ask for help locating missing high-risk youth

Robyn Coker-Steel has not been in contact with anyone from her home since Dec. 27

Warm ‘blob’ could be behind mass starvation of North Pacific seabirds: Study

Unprecedented death toll raises red flag for North American marine ecosystems

Some 500 people attend Sidney vigil for victims of Iran airplane crash

All 176 passengers, including 57 Canadians, died when Flight PS752 crashed

Six boat wrecks wash up on Cadboro Bay beaches over the weekend

Dead Boat Society working with Oak Bay, Saanich to clear derelict boats

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Power lines cut as thieves strike Vancouver Island veterinary hospital

‘Thankfully there weren’t any animals or staff in the clinic when this happened’

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ being used for Stephen King horror shoot

New web series based on King’s The Stand novel

‘It was just so fast’: B.C. teen recalls 150-metre fall down Oregon mountain

Surrey’s Gurbaz Singh broke his leg on Mount Hood on Dec. 30

Vancouver Island Pride weekend returns to Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Building on the success of last year’s family-friendly pride festival on Vancouver… Continue reading

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

B.C. woman crowned the fastest female marathon runner in Canadian history

Malindi Elmore ran an incredible 2:24:50 at the Houston Marathon

Alberta bulldog breeder ordered to refund B.C. buyer over puppy’s behaviour

Tribunal ruled a verbal agreement to send a new dog superseded the written contract

Most Read