VA offering free flu shots to vets

Flu season is upon us. Here’s what Vancouverites need to know.

"The vaccine is available across the province to protect you and your family". Most infections can be divided into viruses or bacteria.

For more information on getting the vaccine at Walgreens Pharmacy, visit here.

It's getting to that time of year where the flu and other illnesses begin to creep into our bodies once again.

A high-dose shot is available for seniors aged 65-plus, who are often at higher risk for severe complications from influenza, which in some cases can be fatal.

This flu season, roll up your sleeve and get a flu shot.

However if you have a minor illness with no fever it should be safe to have a flu jab.

Hannah Jones a Physiotherapist at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board chose to have her flu jab when she was 34 weeks pregnant, she said: "I think it's very important to protect me, my fellow patients and also my unborn child from flu and I realise the importance of the protection it gives after my baby is born". You can go to your local pharmacy, doctor's office, or hospital to get the shot, but you should probably know that there are two different types of shots, each of which offers varying coverage.

One clue to what might happen in the U.S.is how the flu season played out in the Southern Hemisphere during fall and winter there, said Grant McFadden, director of the ASU Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy.

"Many people don't know that influenza is the number one disease preventable by a vaccine that causes deaths in Canada", said Newhouse in a phone interview.

Should you contact your doctor at the first sign of flu symptoms?

In addition, your immune system may not develop strong enough antibodies to the strains of influenza in the vaccine, which could result in an increased chance that you could still get the flu.

The agency is encouraging all those over 65 years old to get the vaccine and talk to their health care providers about which may be best for them. The reason being that the vaccine either has a killed (inactivated) form of the virus that is not infectious or it is made with proteins from a flu vaccine virus that is attenuated "weakened" and therefore can not cause the flu. The average young, healthy athlete may not have to, but if you are somebody who is particularly vulnerable to the flu, yes. Now, you could have an immune response - so by giving this to you, you could have a low-grade fever. There are two antiviral medications. the FDA just approved a new one last week called Baloxavir Marboxil. The other is the old standby Tamiflu.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said, "Each year the national expert immunisation group assesses worldwide evidence to determine the most effective flu vaccines available". We might use it in a nursing home outbreak, in a confined area.

The flu season has not yet hit hard.

Besides getting a flu shot, is there anything else we can do to help protect ourselves and others?

"The question is what kind of a season are we going to see this year?" Good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. You should cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing. Throw them out and wash your hands. Nasty germs that can be deadly.

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