As reported earlier this week in the Bulletin, the supply of flu vaccine in the Interior Health region is tightening.
Due to that tightened supply, IH will no longer be providing pharmacies with the vaccine for publicly-funded shots.
“Interior Health does provide community vaccine providers, like pharmacies, with vaccine for people who meet provincial criteria and are eligible for a publicly-funded (ie. free) flu shot,” IH Communications Officer Karl Hardt told the Bulletin. “However, IH is unable to provide community vaccine providers (e.g. pharmacists) with influenza vaccine at this time.
“We are seeing a significant public demand for influenza vaccine while experiencing a rapidly depleted inventory.
“In order to ensure equity among pharmacists it was determined that remaining vaccine would only be held by health centres during this period of vaccine shortages.”
And there is no guarantee how long those supplies will last.
“Residents should call a local health centre to arrange to be immunized as health unit supply is continually changing due to increased demand. IH will regularly monitor vaccine supplies and the situation will be re-assessed in the following weeks.”
You can call the Kimberley Health Centre at 250-427-2215 to set up an appointment if you have not yet had your flu shot.
There is a wide-spread outbreak of H1N1 in Alberta. The concern with H1N1 is that it can cause otherwise healthy young to middle-aged adults to become very ill, some requiring respirators and intensive care.
There have also been several deaths in Alberta and at least one in the Okanagan attributed to H1N1.