Flu vaccination benefits outlined, clinics set

Flu vaccine clinic at the Winfield Seniors’ Centre, 9832 Bottom Wood Lake Rd. on Nov. 8.

  • Nov. 1, 2012 4:00 p.m.

Public flu clinics will begin soon in some Interior Health communities.

This year, IH is trying to counter what they say is misinformation about flu vaccines.

“There are many myths and misconceptions about the flu shot so it’s important for people to get accurate information to help them stay healthy,” said Dr. Rob Parker, medical health officer with Interior Health. “For example, the flu shot cannot give you the flu. The vaccine used in B.C. contains dead influenza viruses that cannot cause infection.”

In B.C. the flu vaccine is free for:

•  people 65 years and older and their caregivers and household contacts

• all children between six-months-old and five-years-old

• household contacts and caregivers of infants up to five-years-old

• children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts

• aboriginal people

• children and adolescents, aged six-months old to 18 yearsold, 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)

• 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)

• people who work with live poultry and/or swine

• individuals who provide care or service in potential outbreak settings housing high risk persons.

“The flu shot is anywhere from 60 to 90 per cent effective in preventing influenza and if you don’t get it you can’t spread it,” Parker said.

A flu vaccine clinic will be held at the Winfield Seniors’ Centre, 9832 Bottom Wood Lake Rd. on Nov. 8 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For other locations and dates in the Central Okanagan, check www.interiorhealth.ca.

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