- Influenza (the flu) is among the top ten leading causes of death in Canada, causing over 12,000 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths annually.
Island Health is reminding people to get their flu shot early to protect themselves and their loved ones this flu season.
Vaccines are available from a pharmacist or physician at many convenient locations. Families with children can also get their flu shot at a public health clinic.
Free flu vaccines are provided to children aged six months to five years of age, seniors 65 years of age and older, pregnant women and Aboriginal people, people at high risk of complications from influenza and their close contacts, and many other eligible groups.
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“Planning ahead and getting your flu shot early is an important way to protect yourself and your loved ones, especially those who are vulnerable to complications of influenza,” said Dr. Dee Hoyano, Medical Health Officer for Island Health. “Many people are finding pharmacists and pharmacy flu clinics a convenient choice for getting their flu shot.”
Find a pharmacy or community vaccine provider in your community
- Visit Immunize BC’s Influenza Clinic Locator
- Call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1
- Contact your family doctor
In addition to visiting a pharmacist or physician, children, youth and their caregivers are invited to get vaccinated at a public health clinic. Public health clinics will focus on providing the flu vaccine to families with children as current regulations prevent pharmacists from immunizing children under age 5.
“Families with children and youth have the additional option of getting immunized at a public health clinic,” Dr. Hoyano said. “Influenza spreads easily, often before you feel any symptoms. The earlier you can get the vaccine, the better your family will be protected.”
Visit islandfluclinics.ca to find a public health flu clinic near you.