Public health nurse Erin Hackett

With the fall comes the flu

The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) encourages everyone to protect themselves and their family from the flu

The Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) encourages everyone to protect themselves and their family from the flu.

Flu shots are now available to help prevent three different strains of influenza, including H1N1 which killed thousands of North Americans just two years ago.

“In February of this year, the World Health Organization started working on predicting what will be circulating this flu season and what the components of the vaccine should be,” said Dr. Charmaine Enns, North Island Medical Health Officer. “We don’t know absolutely for sure what will circulate until it circulates but in the last few years they’ve been very good at matching.”

Enns said even if there is not a perfect match, there is still a component of cross protection, meaning the vaccine, which takes six months to create, is still effective.

Enns said although VIHA is not expecting an out of the ordinary flu season, she recommends getting vaccinated before the flu season begins.

“In British Columbia, vaccinations are funded for people most at risk and people who come in contact with or care for, or live with those people who are most at risk,” Enns said. “Even if you do visitations at a long-term care facility, if you visit a hospital – it’s pretty inclusive now. Most people would probably be eligible.”

Enns said those who are not eligible through the publicly-funded program can still get a flu shot by contacting their family doctor, local pharmacy or walk-in clinic.

To find out if you’re eligible for a free flu shot visit http://immunizebc.ca or call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.

Flu shot clinics are being offered in Campbell River until Nov. 30. Bring your Care Card with you.

 

Flu shot clinic schedule

 

Campbell River

Sat., Oct. 15 – 9:30 a.m.-noon

Tues., Oct. 18 – 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Wed., Oct. 19 – 3-6:30 p.m.

Wed., Oct. 26 – 3-6 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 2 – 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Wed., Nov. 9 – 9:30-11 a.m.

Wed., Nov. 16 – 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 23 – 9:30-11 a.m.

Wed., Nov. 30 – 9:30-11 a.m.

*All clinics held at St. Patrick’s church on Alder Street

 

Cortes

Wed., Nov. 2 – 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

*At the Health Centre

 

Quadra

Fri., Oct. 21 – 10a.m.-noon

Wed., Nov. 9 – 1:30-3 p.m.

*Both clinics held at the Community Centre