Flu shot season arrives

Health officials aren’t expecting a mass H1N1 vaccination like last year, but people should still get their flu shot as soon as possible, says Vancouver Island’s top doctor.

  • Oct. 13, 2011 1:00 p.m.

Health officials aren’t expecting a mass H1N1 vaccination like last year, but people should still get their flu shot as soon as possible, says Vancouver Island’s top doctor.

“The vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself from flu epidemics that happen every year,” said Dr. Murray Fyfe, chief medical health officer with Vancouver Island Health Authority.

While cold and stomach flu viruses made the rounds in past months, Fyfe points out it’s still early for more serious influenza attacks, which usually affect people between November and January.

“It’s best to get vaccinated as soon as you can,” he said. “It takes about two weeks for your system to build up immunity to the flu strains in the vaccine.”

Seniors over 65, toddlers between six and 23 months of age and caregivers, among other at-risk groups can receive a free flu vaccine beginning today (Oct. 14).

This year’s flu shot includes protection from H1N1 and two other strains of the virus.  Fyfe expects a fairly regular flu season this year, given there haven’t been outbreaks of new viruses in other parts of the world.

Still, it’s no guarantee.

“Flu viruses are very unpredictable and can mutate mid-season,” Fyfe said, explaining that is why people who are vaccinated may still get the flu.

For times and locations, as well as eligibility criteria for free flu shots, see www.viha.ca/flu/public.

Seniors, toddlers and other at-risk groups can get a free flu shot on Oct. 14 at West Shore Parks and Recreation, Lookout Lounge, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

reporter@goldstreamgazette.com

 

 

Just Posted

Canadians smoke less according to community health survey

Obesity and heavy drinking rates remain steady

Garden suite applications on the rise, but not without a few hitches: staff report

Victoria city council to hear update on revised garden suite application process

Armoury event highlights Canada’s D-Day efforts in Normandy

Event runs Saturday 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Bay Street Armoury

Canada Day comes early with Oak Bay celebration

Fun continues with first free concert in the park Friday evening

Bed Races on Beacon teams make final preparations

CCM Construction ready to defend their title on July 7

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Most Read