Do you really have time for the flu? Get immunized early and get protected

Vancouver Island – Island Health is reminding people to get their flu shot early to help protect themselves against influenza.

Where can I get my flu shot?

Adults can get immunized through their local pharmacy or physician beginning October 8.

  • Check in with your primary health-care provider or pharmacist
  • Visit immunizebc.ca/clinics/flu/ or
  • Call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 for locations

Families with eligible children 18 and under are invited to get a free flu shot at a public health clinic beginning October 29. They may also check with their pharmacist or physician about getting immunized.

 

Can I get a free flu shot?

Children (6 months to 5 years), seniors (65+ years), pregnant women, Aboriginal peoples, and people at high risk of complications from influenza, their close contacts and caregivers are among those eligible for a free flu shot.

If you are not eligible, you may receive a flu vaccine for a fee through your family doctor or pharmacist.

Call one of our telephone hotlines for more information:

Nanaimo/Ladysmith/Gabriola: 250-740-6947

Courtenay/Comox Valley: 250-331-8599

Campbell River and area: 250-850-2120

Mt. Waddington/Port Hardy: 250-902-6079

South Island: 250-544-7676 local 27545

 

In all other areas, contact your local public health unit for flu information.

For more information, visit immunizebc.ca or call 8-1-1 to speak to a health professional.

 

Flu facts:

  • Influenza (the flu) is among the top ten leading causes of death in Canada, estimated to cause over 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths annually.
  • The flu is an infection of the upper airway (nose and throat) caused by the influenza virus. The flu virus spreads between people through breathing, coughing and sneezing.
  • Getting vaccinated is the best protection against the flu, and complements other prevention measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick.
  • Flu symptoms include fever, headache, runny nose, sore throat, fatigue and cough.
  • The term "flu" is often used to describe other illnesses, such as a cold or stomach virus. However, flu symptoms are usually prolonged and more severe than a cold and do not usually include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea (see Is it influenza or a cold?)

 

Central/North Island media inquiries
Cheryl Bloxham
250-370-8878
Cheryl.bloxham@viha.ca

Cowichan/South Island media inquiries:
Meribeth Burton
250-519-1815
Meribeth.burton@viha.ca