“A flu vaccine offers the best defense available to protect against flu and provides protection for up to 12 months,” said Kelly Ablog-Morrant, VP of Advocacy & Partnerships for the BC Lung Association.
Don’t delay. Get the vaccine instead of the flu, urges the BC Lung Association.
The Lung Association suggests everyone six months and older should get the flu shot, but especially those 65 years or older, residents of care homes, children under five, people with chronic conditions and pregnant women. Caregivers and healthcare givers are also urged to get their shot.
“Anyone can get the flu, but some people are at greater risk for serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia, that can lead to hospitalization and even death,” she said.
“In fact, in keeping with recommendations by Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization, we suggest people over 65 get the high-dose flu shot over the standard flu vaccine when available*. This is because the body’s ability to fight illness drops as you age,” continued Ablog-Morrant. “We also suggest people over 65 years of age get a pneumonia shot in addition to a flu shot,” said Ablog-Morrant.
Over a normal flu season, one in 10 adults and one in 3 children will come down with the flu. Between 2,000 and 8,000 people will die from pneumonia and other flu-related complications each year, with those suffering from underlying lung conditions at a 12x greater risk.
*The high-dose flu vaccine will be available in British Columbia by December 2019.
Five tips to help your stay healthy and prevent the spread of influenza:
- Ensure you and your family gets an annual flu shot.
- Wash your hands properly, and often. Twenty seconds of hand washing with warm water and soaps helps remove bacteria and viruses.
- Cover up when you cough or sneeze. If a tissue is not available, raise your arm up to your face to cough or sneeze into your sleeve. If you use a tissue, dispose of it and wash your hands immediately.
- Keep shared surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, and telephones clean as bacteria can live up to two days on hard surfaces.
- And, if you get sick, please stay at home so that you do not spread your illness to others.
Where to get vaccinated?
See your doctor or pharmacist or visit www.immunizebc.ca for information about BC flu shot clinic locations.