Protect yourself and your family at the Flu Vaccine Clinic
‘Tis the season for the aches, fatigue and fever that signal the onset of flu.
BC Children’s Hospital aims to combat the spread of influenza by offering patients, families of patients and all visitors to the hospital a chance to combat illness before it even begins, with the Family Flu Vaccination Clinic.
Vaccines are offered free at the clinic, held in the Ambulatory Care Centre in the basement level by the elevator. Anyone can visit, and no appointment is necessary, from 10 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday. The clinic lasts to Dec. 19.
In the meantime, one of the best ways to protect yourself against the flu is to get informed.
A handy website from the folks at Immunize BC provides the answers parents and families need in a comprehensive, clear question-and-answer format. This includes:
Why get vaccinated against influenza?
Because the flu can become serious and lead to hospitalization and death. Healthy people can get the flu and spread it to others, so getting vaccinated helps protect others by reducing the spread of the influenza virus.
How does the flu vaccine work?
Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. This year’s flu vaccine will protect against three of the most common varieties: A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus; A/Texas/50/2012 (H3N2)-like virus; and B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
It is recommended that everyone six months of age and older gets a flu vaccine, with rare exception. In BC, the flu vaccine is provided free of charge to people who are at high risk of serious illness from the influenza (such as young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with certain medical conditions), and those who may transmit or spread influenza to those at high risk.
Why do I need a flu vaccine every year?
A flu vaccine is needed every year because protection from vaccination declines over time. As well, flu viruses are constantly changing so each year, the flu vaccine is reviewed and updated to protect you against the viruses circulating that year.
What are the symptoms of influenza and how is it spread?
Influenza symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle pain, runny nose, sore throat, extreme tiredness and cough. Children may also experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Symptoms can begin about 1 to 4 days, or an average of 2 days, after a person is first exposed to the influenza virus. Fever and other symptoms can usually last up to 7 to 10 days, but the cough and weakness may last one to two weeks longer.
For even more information, visit HealthLinkBC.