Island Health and Vancouver Coastal Health are hoping people will get their flu shots early this season.

Flu cases have already shown up in the area.

Mid-Island Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Hasselback says it’s a little too early to make a definite prediction on whether this is going to be a bad flu season.  He also says despite a slight mutation showing up in one of the flu strains doctors are expecting the vaccine to be effective.

Clinics for people who qualify to get the shots free start next week.

They are:

  • People 65 and older and their caregivers
  • Children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts
  • Health care workers
  • Emergency responders
  • Healthy children from 6 months of age to less than 5 years old
  • Household contacts and caregivers of children from birth to less than 5 years of age
  • Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
  • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities
  • Owners and operators of poultry farms
  • Aboriginal peoples
  • People who are very obese (those with a body mass index of 40 or greater)
  • Corrections officers and inmates in provincial correctional institutions.
  • Those who provide care or service in potential outbreak settings housing high risk persons (e.g. crew on ships)
  • Visitors to healthcare facilities

You can find details of times and locations for clinics at islandfluclinics.ca for details.

For those who pay for the vaccine, it’s available now at many pharmacies.