Time for flu shots

Two drop-in flu shot clinics in Kimberley in November

The leaves are turning, we’ve had a few frosts and people are starting to fight the flu. Just in time for the 2013-2014 flu season, Interior Health is beginning to hold its flu shot clinics for those eligible for free shots.

In Kimberley the clinics will be held at Centennial Hall on Tuesday, November 5 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday, November 14 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. These are drop in clinics, no appointment necessary.

The flu vaccine changes year to year based on what medical scientists believe will be the predominant strains in the coming season, so it’s important to get a shot every year.

This year’s vaccine contains three different flu strains:

A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) pdm09-like

A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus

B/Massachusetts /2/2012-like virus

The list of those eligible for a free shot is quite extensive. Those eligible are:

People 65 years and older and their caregivers/household contacts

People of any age in residential care facilities

Children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts

Children & adolescents (6 months to 18 years) with conditions treated for long periods of time with Acetylsalicylic Acid (Aspirin/ ASA) and their household contacts.

Children & adults who are very obese

Aboriginal people

All children 6-59 months of age

Household contacts and caregivers of infants and children 0-59 months of age

Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy during the influenza season and their household contacts

People who work with live poultry

Health care and other care providers in facilities and community settings who are capable of transmitting influenza disease to those at high risk of influenza complications

Individuals who provide care or service in potential outbreak settings housing high risk persons (e.g., crew on ships)

People who provide essential community services (First Responders, Corrections Workers)

Inmates of provincial correctional institutions

For those who don’t meet these criteria, contact your family doctor. Local drug stores also offer flu clinics.