Pharmacies on Vancouver Island have received more flu vaccines this year compared to last year.
Island Health said 236,419 doses of flu vaccine have been distributed to all community providers so far this flu season.
Out of that number, 141,588 vaccines have been distributed to pharmacies, which is almost 4,000 more than last flu season.
At this point, Island Health said most of the flu vaccine has been distributed.
In October, the health authority said some adult flu vaccines were late to arrive on the Island from the BC Centre for Disease Control as a result of a shipping delay with the manufacturer.
Flu season typically begins in late December and lasts until April, but according to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s weekly influenza reports, many regions in Western Canada were reporting influenza activity by the end of September.
Influenza A (H3N2) remains the most common strain of the influenza virus in Canada this year. The 2012-2020 vaccine will protect against that strain and two others.
This season, the majority of hospitalizations reported by participating provinces and territories in Canada have been associated with influenza A. To date this season, 2,494 laboratory detections of influenza were reported and the largest number of cases of influenza A were in adults 65 years of age and older.
At the beginning of December, Island Health’s mask-up policy came into effect to protect patients, staff and the public from getting the fly. Any unvaccinated visitors to Island Health facilities are required to wear masks in patient care areas, while masks can be found near main entrances, handwashing stations or near reception areas.
Anyone who is ill is being asked to not visit loved ones in long-term care homes or health facilities until they are feeling better.
-With files from Devon Bidal