In a typical influenza season, thousands of Canadians develop serious illness or even die from influenza or its complications.
The flu shot is a safe and effective way to help people stay healthy, prevent illness and save lives.
Getting a flu shot and washing your hands frequently are the two most effective ways to protect yourself and others from influenza and its complications.
The flu shot provides protection from the influenza virus strains expected to be circulating this season based on trends worldwide. This year’s flu shot offers protection against two influenza A viruses (an H1N1 and an H3N2 virus) and one influenza B virus.
For those under 18 years, the preferred vaccine also protects against an additional B influenza virus.
The flu shot is free for those at risk of complications from influenza and those in contact with people at risk:
• People 65 years and older and their caregivers/household contacts;
• People of any age in residential-care facilities;
• Children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts;
• Children and adolescents (six months to 18 years) with conditions treated for long periods of time with Aspirin (ASA) and their household contacts;
• Children and adults who are morbidly obese;
• Aboriginal people;
• All children 6-59 months of age;
• Household contacts and caregivers of infants and children up to 59 months old;
• Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy during the influenza season and their household contacts;
• Visitors to hospitals, health centres and residential-care facilities;
• People who work with live poultry;
• Health-care and other care providers in facilities and community settings who are capable of transmitting influenza disease to those at high risk of influenza complications;
• People who provide care or service in potential outbreak settings housing high-risk persons; and
• People who provide essential community services (first responders, corrections workers).
IH holds public clinics for those who are eligible for the free flu shot, but remember to bring your Care Card.
Clinics in the Free Press readership area include:
100 Mile House
• By appointment only, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Nov. 20, 27 and Dec. 4
Interlakes Community Centre, 7592 Highway 24
• No appointment necessary, 10 a.m.-noon, today (Nov. 12)
Many doctor’s offices, pharmacies and walk-in clinics also provide flu shots. Those who are not eligible for the free vaccine will be required to pay a fee.
For flu information, call 250-395-7637.