Flu season is on its way so now's the time to get a flu shot
Some people close their eyes.
Others bite down on their teeth while some, well, some just . . . hit me with your best — flu — shot.
In Nelson, the Prestige Inn was a beehive of activity as close to a 1,000 people attended the first Flu Clinic sponsored by Interior Health.
“We’ll get about 900 people coming though here today,” said Chisty Meldrum of Interior Health.
IHA staff said there are many myths and misconceptions about the flu shot. What is for certain is the shot cannot give peope the flu. The vaccine used in B.C. contains dead influenza viruses that cannot cause infection.
Influenza is a highly contagious infection and can be very serious, especially for those with heart, lung and other health problems.
The IHA said in years when influenza is widespread in B.C., hundreds of people may die from influenza or its complications, such as pneumonia.
In B.C. the flu vaccine is free for:
· People 65 years and older and their caregivers/household contacts
· All children age 6 to 59 months of age
· Household contacts and caregivers of infants age 0 to 59 months of age
· Children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts
· Aboriginal people
· Children & adolescents (6 months to 18 years) with conditions treated for long periods of time with Aspirin® or ASA and their household contacts
· Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities
· Pregnant women who will be in their third trimester during influenza season and their household contacts (pregnant women who are in other high risk groups can be immunized at any time during the pregnancy)
· People who are very obese (BMI > 40)
· 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 essential community services (First Responders, Corrections Workers)
· Inmates of provincial correctional institutions
· People who work with live poultry and/or swine
· Individuals who provide care or service in potential outbreak settings housing high risk persons (e.g., crew on ships)
People not eligible for the free flu vaccine through the publicly-funded program should contact their physician, local pharmacy, walk-in clinic, travel clinic or private provider.
Wednesday’s clinic was the first of the season for the Nelson area.
Other clinics are scheduled for the Nelson Health Unit at 333 Victoria Street October 24 & 31 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m; Slocan Park Hall at 336 Highway 6 Friday (October 19) from 10 a.m. to noon; Slocan Valley Wellness Centre at 710 Harold Tuesday (October 23) from 1-3 p.m.; Salmo Valley Y & C Centre on Thursday, November 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and the Balfour Covenant Church 7741 Upper Balfour Road Monday, November 5 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
To find a flu clinic near you, watch for local announcements on dates and times in your community, visit our website at www.interiorhealth.ca (under Your Health > Immunization > 2012 Seasonal Flu Campaign) for a complete listing or contact your local public health office. Many physician offices and pharmacies also provide vaccines free to those who are eligible.
For more information about influenza, contact your local public health office (look under Interior Health in the blue pages of your phone book) or visit our website at www.interiorhealth.ca. Information is also available on the Immunize BC website at www.immunizebc.ca, or on HealthLink BC at www.healthlinkbc.ca. You can also call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 to speak to a health-care professional.