The flu shot is now available at the Pharmasave in Keremeos.
“People should definitely get vaccinated, the sooner the better. If not at a pharmacy, there are public health clinics as well,” said Aamir Zafar, pharmacy manager at Pharmasave. “They are readily available and I haven’t heard of any shortages.”
According to Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization, everyone six months of age or older should get a yearly vaccine, with vaccines becoming available in October when the flu season begins. There are many different influenza vaccine products, but everyone nine years of age and older only need one dose of seasonal influenza vaccine each year, the website reads.
In B.C., influenza vaccines are provided free to people who are at high risk of serious illness from influenzas such as young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with certain medical conditions, those able to transmit or spread influenza to those at high risk, and people who provide essential community services.
Zafar explained that when deciding what is in a flu shot, experts look to Australia which has its winter while North America has summer. One strain in the 2019 to 2020 flu shot is H1N1 because it has been strong in Australia, he explained. However, this flu season may not be as bad as in previous years because people in Australia have not been getting seriously sick.
Influenza A is still the most common influenza virus circulating in Canada, according to Public Health Services Canada.
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