Getting vaccinated for the flu is more important this season, not only to protect from influenza, but to stay healthy while COVID-19 is circulating, says Island Health.
While a COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available, people can get immunized for the flu, as the contagious respiratory disease has the potential to cause serious illness, hospitalization and even death, according to an Island Health information bulletin. People aged two years old and older can receive a flu shot from a pharmacist, primary care provider and at public health clinics, the bulletin said.
Seniors, people with chronic health conditions, indigenous people and children between the ages of six months to five years old are eligible for a free flu vaccine. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Island Health says it is safe to receive a flu shot, as clinics follow all provincial recommendations for physical distancing, enhanced cleaning and screening for symptoms.
People going for their shot are asked to bring a mask or face covering, identification (B.C. Services Card, driver’s licence etc.) and wear a short-sleeved shirt. Island Health also recommends planning ahead and booking in advance.
To find a provider with the flu vaccine, visit www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/the-flu-influenza.
To book an appointment for the flu shot, visit www.islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/the-flu-influenza.
For more information, visit www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/inactivated-influenza-vaccine.