Bad flu season predicted
MARK NIELSEN Citizen staff
Northern Health is encouraging people to get their shots in advance of what’s expected to be a tougherthan-usual flu season. Getting immunized continues to be one of the most effective ways to protect yourself and those around you from hospitalization or serious illness, officials say. “We encourage everyone to get their influenza and COVID-19 vaccines this fall especially people at higher risk of harm from influenza and harm from COVID-19,” Northern Health chief medical officer Dr. Jong Kim said in a statement. “This year’s influenza season is expected to be more severe due to less exposure in the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why it’s especially important to get vaccinated.” The influenza vaccine is free and recommended for everyone aged six months and older. Many communities have Northern Health influenza clinics currently running or upcoming in the next few weeks. Influenza vaccines are also available at local pharmacies and some primary-care provider offices. People can book their influenza vaccine through the provincial Get Vaccinated system online at www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca or by calling 1-833-838-2323 (toll free). They may be able to get their influenza and COVID19 vaccine during the same appointment. Drop-in appointments for both influenza and COVID19 vaccine shots may also be available for some communities.