'Now is the time': Interior Health advises public to get the flu shot

By Jill Sperling
November 14, 2017 - 4:08pm Updated: November 14, 2017 - 6:38pm

KAMLOOPS — According to Statistics Canada, only 34 per cent of adults chose to get immunized against influenza last flu season. 

Health professionals say it's important that everyone is vaccinated. 

"Flu is one of those diseases that people don't tend to worry about when they really should, it's our number one communicable disease that puts people in hospital and kills people every year," said Carrie Vossler, a public health nurse with Interior Health. 

Influenza is especially dangerous for the elderly, frail, infants, and those who have compromised immune systems. 

"Unfortunately some people are too frail to respond to the flu shot, they're very ill, so that's why the rest of us who are healthy need to get our flu shots so we surround these people with healthy people that won't transmit the flu to them," Vossler said. 

Vossler says scientists have done plenty of research to ensure this year's flu vaccine protects against the strains that are most likely to circulate this season. 

"There are three strains that adults are provided with, that's the Michigan, the Hong Kong, and the Brisbane strains for this year. Children get an extra strain because they're vulnerable. Adults are not vulnerable to that extra one. There's a fourth strain for children only called the Phuket. So there are different vaccines for different age groups, depending on what they're at risk for."

Vossler says anyone who missed the major flu shot clinics held in Kamloops earlier this month should waste no time in getting their shot as the vaccine takes two weeks to become effective.

"You can still pick up a flu vaccine here at the Health Unit, give us a call at 250-851-7300. We have flu clinics running through December you can book into, people can also pick them up through their doctor, or a pharmacist."

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