ublic health staff set up shop in the basement of the Cariboo Bethel Church Tuesday and Wednesday to offer free flu vaccines to the public. Anyone who still wants to get a flu shot can do so at local pharmacies

ublic health staff set up shop in the basement of the Cariboo Bethel Church Tuesday and Wednesday to offer free flu vaccines to the public. Anyone who still wants to get a flu shot can do so at local pharmacies

Flu vaccine available

A two-day influenza vaccination clinic in Williams Lake finished up Wednesday with almost 800 vaccines administered by local health nurses.

A two-day influenza vaccination clinic held at Cariboo Bethel Church in Williams Lake finished up Wednesday with almost 800 vaccines administered by local health nurses.

Williams Lake public health nurse Lyn Temple said the number of vaccines given during the two-day blitz might be down from 2012, but the flu vaccine clinics started later this year.  And, she added, they will continue at the Williams Lake public health clinic, local pharmacies and doctor’s offices by appointment.

“This year we introduced the flu vaccine in nasal mist form for children and it was really popular,” Temple said.

“It is available for children ages two to 17 who are eligible for the publicly-funded flu vaccine.”

It’s administered through the nose with no needle, just two little puffs, she explained.

Eligibility criteria for the free vaccine has been expanded this year to include anyone who visits residential care homes or acute care.

“If you live with someone who has diabetes or has a baby, or are  in contact with high-risk people, you are eligible for the free flu shots.”

The criteria isn’t universal, but it’s pretty broad, she added.

Temple is still encouraging more people to get the vaccine.

“The highest incidence of death for a vaccine-preventable disease is the flu and hundreds of people die from flu influenza every single year.”

As a health worker she gets the vaccine even though she’s healthy because she’s always around vulnerable people whose immune systems may not be as robust, she said.

“We’re protecting ourselves and the people around us — seniors, children and people with chronic health conditions.”

Vaccine clinics will take place at Williams Lake Health Unit on Borland Street from 8:45 a.m. to noon on Nov. 22, Nov. 29, Dec. 6, Dec. 13, Dec.20, by appointment only.

The cost for the vaccine the non publicly-funded vaccine is $22.

 

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