Tuesday, October 13, 2009

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT -- Seasonal Flu Clinics for Seniors Start this Week

Free Seasonal flu vaccine clinics for seniors 65 and older and those living in long-term care facilities ONLY will run from October 13 to November 9.

“We are offering the vaccine to the elderly as they are more susceptible to serious complications and hospitalization from influenza” says Dr. Paul Hasselback, Medical Health Officer with Interior Health. “Seasonal Flu clinics for other at-risk groups will begin in early 2010, following H1N1 vaccine clinics for the general population.

The vaccine offered to seniors in October contains three strains of seasonal flu based on worldwide trends tracked by the World Health Organization. It will not protect you against the H1N1 flu virus. “Getting the seasonal flu vaccine is a safe, effective way for seniors to stay healthy and avoid serious illness” adds Hasselback. “Hand washing and staying home when sick will also help stop spreading disease to others.”

Seniors Flu Clinic Information

To find a seasonal flu clinic, visit the Flu Locator at www.immunizebc.ca, or call your local Public Health Centre, located under Health Authority in the blue pages of the phonebook.

Please note these clinics are for free seasonal flu shots for those 65 years and older and residents of long-term care facilities. Free seasonal flu clinics for those under 65 with chronic health conditions will be held later in the year or early in 2010, once the planned clinics for H1N1 are complete.

A reminder to seniors 65 years and older that they should also consider getting a pneumococcal immunization if they have not received one previously, which is available free of charge. Contact your local health unit to book an appointment.

This vaccine helps protect against pneumonia and offers additional protection from flu complications.

For information on the flu, visit HealthLink BC online at www.healthlinkbc.ca or call HealthLink BC toll-free at 8-1-1, 24-hours a day to speak with a registered nurse or consult with a pharmacist.

Media Information:

Lannea Parfitt
Public Health Communications Officer (250) 870-5898

Dr. Paul Hasselback
Medical Health Officer (250) 868-7818


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