The temperatures have yet to drop significantly, but the sniffles are making their rounds, and Northern Health, as well as private clinics, are offering options for influenza vaccination in Quesnel.
Eligible seniors can get their free vaccine on Thursday Nov. 1 between 8:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Quesnel Seniors’ Centre, 461 Carson Avenue.
There will be a children’s flu clinic at Community Health Services at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital at 543 Front Street on Monday Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday Nov. 13 from 9-11:30 a.m. The vaccine is free for eligible children and parents must call for an appointment: 250-991-7571.
Drug stores in the city are also offering drop-in and scheduled flu vaccines. The vaccine is available free for those eligible, or privately for those paying at these locations. Patients must be five years of age and older.
Shopper’s Drug Mart’s flu clinic will be open Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. throughout the season, at 225 St. Laurent Avenue.
Save-On Foods’ pharmacy at 155 Malcolm Drive is offering the vaccine, and is asking people to call ahead to ensure availability. The pharmacy is also offering adult booster vaccines for shingles, TD, Hepatitis A and B, and HPV.
And Extra Foods’ pharmacy at 2335 Maple Drive is offering the vaccine on a drop-in basis, Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
According to the website Immunize BC, influenza spreads easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing, or having face-to-face contact. The virus can also spread when a person touches tiny droplets from a cough or sneeze, and then touches their eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.
Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with certain medical conditions are at high risk of serious illness from influenza.
There are two main types of influenza vaccines:
Inactivated Influenza (Flu) Vaccine, given as an injection
Live Attenuated Influenza (Flu) Vaccine, given as a nasal spray
Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends that everyone six months of age and older gets a yearly influenza vaccination, with rare exception.
In B.C., influenza vaccines are provided free to people who are at high risk of serious illness from influenza (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.
Find out if you are eligible for a free Inactivated Influenza vaccine here.