The annual influenza campaign gets underway across Vancouver Island next week and health officials want people to consider how to best protect themselves and their loved ones.
In B.C., flu shots are free for anyone considered at high risk of developing influenza complications, as well as those who care for or live with them.
Those in the high-risk category include: people over 65, people with chronic health conditions, health-care workers, emergency responders, young children, pregnant women in their third trimester, nursing home residents, Aboriginal peoples and those with a body mass index of 40 or greater.
The most common complication, particularly for elderly people, is pneumonia – an infection of the lungs – and it can also lead to complications for those with heart, lung or other health conditions and even death.
Influenza is easily transmitted from person to person and healthy adults who interact with people in the high-risk groups are encouraged to get their shots.
New this year during flu season, health-care workers across B.C. will be either immunized or will wear a mask during patient interactions.
Please visit www.viha.ca/flu to find a public health clinic.