Island Health offers flu shots to people at high risk of becoming ill.

Island Health offers flu shots to people at high risk of becoming ill.

Island Health provides flu shot

NANAIMO – Free vaccines offered to people at high risk of contracting illness.

Doctors, pharmacies and Island Health Public Health Units will be providing free flu shots to people at high risk of complications from influenza, their close contacts, and many other eligible groups.

Free immunization clinics offered by Island Health’s Public Health Units will begin the first week of November.

“Planning ahead and getting your flu shot early is an important way to protect yourself and the people in your life who are vulnerable to complications of influenza,” said Dr. Dee Hoyano, medical health officer for Island Health.

Most clinics are offered on a drop-in basis with no appointment necessary. Eligible individuals may also get their free vaccine from their doctor or pharmacy.

Telephone hotlines have been established for free Island Health Public Health clinic dates and times in the following Island communities for people who wish to access information via telephone, including Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Gabriola at 250-740-6947.

Residents are encouraged to check ahead at www.islandfluclinics.ca for further details. Please bring your CareCard or other government ID, such as a valid driver’s licence, to the clinic, and remember to wear a short-sleeved shirt. For more information, please visit http://immunizebc.ca or call 811 to speak to a health professional at HealthLink B.C.

The following groups are eligible for free flu shots:

People 65 and older and their caregivers;

Children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts;

Health-care workers and emergency responders;

Healthy children from six months of age to less than five years old and their caregivers;

Pregnant women;

Residents of nursing homes;

Owners and operators of poultry farms;

Aboriginal peoples;

People who are very obese;

Corrections officers and inmates;

Those who provide care or service in potential outbreak settings housing high-risk persons;

Visitors to health-care facilities.