Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Northern Health flu shot roll out set for later this month

Fall means Flu preparations, the two seasons seemingly arrive at near similar times, with the end of October the point where Northern Health begins its ramp up towards battling the full onset of the flu of the winter months.

This year, Northern Health is set to begin its annual distribution of the influenza vaccine in the week of October 29th, with clinics to be set up across the region to provide the flu shot, with particular focus for those in three key categories:

People at high risk

People capable of transmitting influenza to those at high risk

People who provide essential community services.

To find out if you qualify for free influenza vaccine shots see this list from North Health which expands on the three elements for recommended flu shots.

The vaccine for 2018/19 is directed to four strains of flu that are anticipated to reach British Columbia this year:

A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus
B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus 
B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (in quadrivalent vaccines only)

Once the flu shot is available in the community at the end of this month, you can access it from the Prince Rupert Health Unit in the Ocean Centre Mall, as well as through Safeway, Shoppers, Save On Foods and Wal Mart Pharmacies. 

Check with each option to learn more of their times for flu shots

As we get closer to the arrival of flu season, Northern Health offers up a few guidelines on how you should approach your illness.

During the influenza season, residents who are at risk are advised to get their free influenza vaccine. Influenza vaccine (available through your local health unit, pharmacist, and your family doctor), along with good personal hygiene, including effective hand washing, provides the best defence against contracting and spreading the influenza virus.

Should you find yourself sick with influenza, you can help protect others from getting ill by observing safe cough etiquette, staying home and resting, drinking plenty of fluids and managing your symptoms.

More information about the flu can be found from Health Link BC here.

Immunize BC has a short video presentation that outlines how the flu vaccine works and answers a number of questions and addresses myths related to the flu shot.

More notes related to the flu shot can be explored here.

Further background on health issues across the Northwest can be found on our archive page here.

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