Health is reminding people to get their flu shot that is now
available at doctors' offices, pharmacies, walk-in clinics and
public health flu clinics.
In a typical flu season, thousands of people in Canada develop
serious illness or even die from the flu or its complications,
such as pneumonia. The influenza vaccine is the best protection
against influenza illness and its complications and is a safe
and effective way to help people stay healthy, prevent illness,
and even save lives.
"Flu in pregnancy
is particularly dangerous not only for mom, but baby as well,"
says Fraser Health medical health officer, Dr. Michelle Murti.
"Flu shots in pregnancy are safe and recommended at any time
during pregnancy. In fact, getting a flu shot, especially in
late pregnancy, provides protection for babies during the flu
season when they are most at risk of serious disease, because
they can't get a shot until six months of age."
Flu shots are recommended for everyone and are free in BC for
all children from six months to five years of age, people
65-years and older, pregnant women, Aboriginal people, people
with chronic health conditions, and those with compromised
immune systems. The vaccine is also important for anyone who
lives or works with a person who is at higher risk of health
complications from the flu. Children also have the option of
getting the Flumist nasal spray instead of the shot.
To protect patients in health care facilities, British
Columbia's health authorities adopted a policy requiring all
doctors, staff, students, visitors and volunteers to get
immunized or to wear a mask while at work, or visiting the
hospital during influenza season which typically runs from
November to the end of March. Masks will be available at nursing
stations and/or outpatient reception desks. People planning to
visit loved ones in a health care facility or who will take
family members to outpatient appointments are also eligible for
a free flu shot.
For a complete list of flu clinics near you, visit our website
www.fraserhealth.ca/flushot. Bring your CareCard or other
government I.D. (valid driver's license) to the clinic, and
please wear a short sleeved shirt.
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