It’s That Time of the Year
Prince George, B.C.- Flu season is coming fast. In this region of British Columbia , it normally starts to show itself in November, but the time to get your flu shot to protect against influenza is closing in quickly.
“This year the vaccine will cover H1N1, H3N2 as well as the new B strain” says Pat Strim Northern Health Lead for Immunization. Health organizations in the Northern Hemisphere keep an eye on the type of flu that has surfaced in the Southern Hemisphere over that region’s winter season, and Strim says so far there have been no surprises ” So far we haven’t heard of anything that isn’t a match for the vaccine that we will be administering.”
But Strim says even if there was a new strain, the vaccine that will be available here will , at the very least, reduce the impact of any such strain “Getting vaccinated will help you, you may still get a flu, but it would make your illness milder.”
For those who believe getting the vaccine will give you the flu, Strim says that’s just not the case “It cannot give you influenza, it is a killed influenza virus, so it cannot cause infection.”
This year, flu vaccine will be available at Dr.’s offices, pharmacies and special clinics which will be set up by Northern Health.
For those hoping to get a flu shot free of charge, there is a list of those who qualify for a fee free inoculation, however, the list is so broad in nature, it would be nearly impossible not to qualify for a free shot. The list includes, anyone who has contact with small children, anyone who is in contact with seniors, anyone who may be visiting a hospital.
The list of clinic locations and times is still being developed with Northern Health offering immunization clinics as of the 7th of November. You can always check with ImmunizeBC for locations of clinics and pharmacies where the vaccine will be available.