Susan Baird gives Merna Lackhoff a flu shot at the Les Passmore Centre in Saanich.

Flu season, vaccination clinics begin in Greater Victoria

Some years, the influenza virus kills up to 8,000 Canadians, but it doesn’t have to.

Some years, the influenza virus kills up to 8,000 Canadians, but it doesn’t have to.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority has this week begun rolling out free clinics for those at greatest risk of falling victim to the flu.

This year’s flu vaccine includes two new strains of the virus, as well as the infamous H1N1 strain, which has been in the vaccine since 2009,  the year of the H1N1 pandemic.

Last year 160,000 people on Vancouver Island received the vaccine at public clinics, excluding health care workers.

VIHA anticipates the same amount of uptake this year, though more health-care workers are likely to get vaccinated following the province’s decision to require all such workers to either get the vaccine, or wear a face mask during flu season.

VIHA medical health officer Dr. Dee Hoyano said the requirement for health-care workers hasn’t been an issue thus far.

“From early reports people are showing up to get immunized,” Dr. Hoyano said. “We won’t know for a number of weeks what our overall coverage is going to look like.”

Free shots are offered to people at highest risk of complications from the flu, including those 65 years of age and over and their caregivers, children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts, health care workers and emergency responders.

Influenza is transmitted person-to-person, even before symptoms are apparent. Regular hand-washing and staying home when ill are two other ways of helping protect yourself against the virus.

VIHA recommends even healthy adults get immunized via family doctor, local pharmacy, walk-in clinic or travel clinic. Visit viha.ca/flu for more information and to see if you qualify for a free immunization shot.

Click here for a list of drop-in flu clinics in the Greater Victoria area.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of Victoria couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

BC Supreme Court rules in favour of Victoria’s plastic bag ban

Court dismisses a challenge by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association

Officials worry of fire risk at homeless camp

Regina Park camp has grown to 77 tents

Crews search for missing kayaker near Sooke

The person was seen launching their kayak from Beecher Bay on Monday at noon

Forced to flee: public partakes in refugee simulation

Locals go through detailed scenarios in honour of World Refugee Day

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

WEB POLL: Should illegal immigrants be separated from their children?

Should illegal immigrants be separated from their children?… Continue reading

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Five B.C. families stuck in Japan as Canada refuses visas for adopted babies

Lawyer points to change in American policy around adoptions from Japan

Most Read