Flu season is just around the corner as the weather gets colder and people stay indoors longer, enabling the spread of germs.
The threat of COVID has not been eradicated and the Northern Health Authority has launched its immunization program, which will allow people to get their flu vaccines and COVID boosters at the same time, if they so desire.
The province has approved the Pfizer and Moderna updated COVID-19 vaccines, which target the XBB 1.5 subvariant.
Vaccines are now readily available to people aged six months and older at many participating pharmacies, health-authority clinics, and some primary-care doctors’ offices.
"We are starting to see increasing respiratory virus infections in B.C., including COVID-19, and now is the time to remember the healthy habits we can all do to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
“That includes covering your cough, cleaning your hands regularly, staying away from others if you have a cough or a fever, wearing masks if you have lingering symptoms or need extra protection and getting the updated COVID-19 and influenza vaccines. By getting immunized for both COVID-19 and influenza, we are not only protecting ourselves, but also those around us.”
Northern Health advises residents to make appointments to receive their flu and COVID vaccines at participating pharmacies, using the Get Vaccinated system or by calling 1-833-838-2323.
This past weekend, Northern Health opened its youth vaccination clinic at the Northern Interior Health Unit across from the hospital at 1444 Edmonton St.
It’s focusing on young people aged six months-11 years and is administering COVID and flu shots Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. for pre-booked appointments only. Register and book online through the Get Vaccinated system or call 1-833-838-2323.
The youth clinics at the health unit switch to weekend afternoons on Oct-25-27 and Nov. 1-3, 7-9, when the clinic will be open from 4:30-7:30 p.m.
For COVID shots only, the health unit is offering Thursday afternoon clinics for people aged six months-11 years from 1-3:30 p.m.
To increase protections in health-care facilities in the province, medical mask have been required for all health-care workers, volunteers, contractors and visitors in patient care areas since Oct. 3.
Long-term care visitors are now required to wear a mask when they are in common areas of the care home and when participating in indoor events, gatherings, activities in communal areas.