Flu shot season in the Southern Interior | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Flu shot season in the Southern Interior

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THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - With the peak of flu season just a few weeks away, Health Canada has started its yearly vaccination program.

Although last year’s flu vaccine wasn’t particularly effective, Interior Health medical officer Kamran Golmohammadi says, this year’s vaccine cocktail will target the more severe of the two types of viruses – Type A.

Every year roughly 1,000 people are hospitalized with the influenza virus in B.C., which is why Golmohammadi recommends everyone, especially the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, get vaccinated. Children, too, are especially vulnerable.

“It is too early to determine what will be the burden of disease for this year. We have observed some outbreaks in the Lower Mainland that involve older adults in long term care facilities," Golmohammadi says.

This year’s vaccine will be made up of three or four viruses identified by disease prevention researchers studying those early outbreaks.

Golmohammadi says even though the vaccine doesn’t guarantee you won’t get sick — there are also bacterial infections and a host of other, less severe, viruses that can cause flu-like symptoms — it is still a wise step to take.

“The more people that are protected the less people will be infected,” he says.

The vaccines have been delivered to pharmacies, hospitals and doctors’ offices over the last two weeks and earlier this week Interior Health started setting up mobile travel clinics where children under the age of five can be vaccinated. There is no fee for kids, the elderly or those with compromised immune systems.

More information and a complete list of locations where vaccinations are available can be found at Immunize B.C.’s website.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at aproskiw@infonews.ca or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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