It’s not too late to prevent the flu

Vancouver Island – Island Health is reminding people to get their flu shot and take additional steps to prevent the flu.

Seniors and eligible adults can get the flu shot from their local pharmacist or physician

Families with eligible children can get the flu shot at a public health clinic

  • Visit to find a public health flu clinic near you
  • Pharmacists and physicians may also be able to provide the flu vaccine

In addition to getting the flu shot, take these steps to protect yourself and others:

  • Clean your hands regularly (with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs)
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or cough into your sleeve
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Reschedule visits to loved ones at Island Health facilities when you are sick

Visitors at Island Health facilities who are not vaccinated must wear a mask

Immunization is the best form of protection, but not everyone is able to get vaccinated. From December to March, visitors to hospitals and health care facilities who are not vaccinated must protect their loved ones and other patients by wearing a mask in patient care areas. Look for masks near main entrances, hand washing stations or at reception and admitting.

More information

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?).

Island Health provides health care and support services to more than 767,000 people on Vancouver Island, the islands in the Salish Sea and the Johnstone Strait, and mainland communities north of Powell River.

With more than 20,000 staff and over 2,000 medical staff, 6,000 volunteers, and the dedicated support of foundations and auxiliaries, Island Health delivers a broad range of health services, including: public health services, primary health care, home and community care, mental health and addictions services, acute care in hospitals, and much more across a huge, geographically diverse region.

Central/North Island media inquiries
Cheryl Bloxham

Cowichan/South Island media inquiries:
Meribeth Burton