Woman getting flu shot

Flu vaccine available soon at public health clinics

Northern Health advising everyone over the age of 6 months to roll up their sleeves

It’s that time of the year again. Flu shot clinics are starting to be offered in the Bulkley Valley. Avoiding the flu is especially top of mind for most people as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is still being passed around.

Northwest Medical Health Officer and Acting Northeast Medical Health Officer Dr. Raina Fumerton said this year it is more important than ever to get the flu shot, not only to protect yourself but others around you and healthcare workers.

“There is no COVID vaccine yet,” she said. “But we do have a safe and effective flu vaccine and that will help to take influenza out of the mix of the respiratory season. In the midst of a global pandemic, it is important to get vaccinated against the flu.”

She is expecting more people than normal to roll up their sleeves this fall.

“People are anxious about having multiple circulating viruses around and knowing that there isn’t a vaccine for COVID-19, at least knowing that they can do something to reduce their risk of influenza and help reduce the potential for a co-infection of influenza and Covid at the same time.”

Dr. Fumerton hasn’t heard any predictions about the upcoming flu season and if it will be a banner year or not but also has not been made aware to anticipate anything unusual.

She added there are some ways to stay healthy this season.

“Aside from getting the flu shot, which I recommended anyone who is six months or older do — unless there is some sort of medical contraindication, the best way to protect yourself is get that shot, stay home if you are sick, follow all the health precautions including washing your hands.”

Beginning the week of November 2, the seasonal influenza vaccine will be available through Northern Health during flu clinics to be held in the gymnasium of Smithers Christian Reformed Church on Walnut Street. There are different days depending on age and last name. For a full list of details visit immunizebc.ca

Some pharmacies in Smithers have already started giving out the vaccine.

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