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

Hydro pole fire closes portion of Metchosin Road in Colwood

Motorists are advised to avoid the area of Metchosin Road near Royal Bay

Strong winds expected in Greater Victoria Friday evening

Winds are expected to ease Saturday morning

‘We thought it was an earthquake,’ homeowners okay after tree falls

Mature tree falls on roof of Victoria Avenue house

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

The Coldest Night of the Year comes to Sooke

National event helps those who are hungry and homeless

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

SOOKE HISTORY: Remembering Salvatore (Sam) Pasta

Salvatore (Sam) Pasta lived life to the fullest

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read