It's that time of year again when we start getting ready for winter. As the scent of pumpkin spice fills the air, why not take a moment and get yourself ready by getting your flu shot?
SURREY - The crisp air and falling leaves remind us to start getting ready for winter. It’s time to put the patio furniture away and change the tires on the car. Why not also winterize yourself and get your flu shot?
“Get a flu shot so you can protect yourself, your loved ones, your friends, and colleagues,” said Fraser Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Aamir Bharmal. “By getting a flu shot, you are helping in the fight against influenza. You are less likely to transmit the flu, which means you can help protect those most vulnerable to complications of influenza, like young children, seniors, pregnant women, and people who don’t have strong immune systems.”
Flu shots are now available at your doctor’s office, walk-in clinics and pharmacies. Use the Immunize BC Flu Locator to find a flu clinic near you.
Based on what our neighbours down under in Australia and New Zealand experienced earlier this year where the influenza A H1N1 strain predominated, we expect to see the same strain dominate here. This particular strain of the virus tends to hit young adults and children harder. The influenza vaccine available this year provides protection against the H1N1 strain as well as a B strain. The vaccine is safe, widely available and the best way to protect ourselves from influenza.
Flu shots are recommended for everyone six months of age and older and are available free of charge in B.C. for many people including all children between six months and five years old, seniors 65 years old and older, people of any age in long-term care facilities, pregnant women, Aboriginal people and individuals with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems. People who work or live with people who have a higher risk of complications from the flu and visitors to health care facilities are also eligible for a free vaccine. For more information and a full list of who is eligible for a free influenza vaccine, visit Fraserhealth.ca/flu.
Influenza is a respiratory virus which causes infection of the upper airway, and can lead to symptoms of fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and cough. Complications from influenza, such as pneumonia, are more common in the elderly and those with heart, lung or other health conditions. Influenza is easily spread from person to person, and an infected person can spread the virus about a day before they are even sick with symptoms.
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