Fraser Health is promoting that everyone get a flu shot, which are now available.

Fraser Health is promoting that everyone get a flu shot, which are now available.

Flu shots more important during pandemic

Symptoms of flu and COVID-19 overlap, and so do precautions

The cold and flu season is arriving in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and health care officials want the public to get their flu shots.

Flu vaccinations are now available. Fraser Health is anticipating they will be more popular this year than ever, the health authority has ordered more than 600,000 doses, and the first shipments have arrived.

People will more often be wondering whether to send their kids to school, or whether to take a day off work, if they are coughing or have a fever.

“It is difficult to distinguish the symptoms of flu and COVID-19, because often they can look the same,” said medical health officer Dr. Ariella Zbar.

She said there will be a number of factors to be considered, such as travel history, contact with a confirmed COVID patient and severity of symptoms, to determine whether or not to get tested for COVID-19.

The Fraser Health website has a link to the self assessment tool that will be helpful at bc.thrive.health/covid19/en, and she advises people also call 8-1-1 to help determine whether they should get tested.

Zbar said the prevention measures already in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19 can also be expected to help stop people from catching the flu. Wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, maintain a two metre physical distance from other, wear a mask in public and stay home when you get sick, she said.

“COVID sense makes flu sense,” she said. “In general, if you are feeling sick, as with the flu season, it’s a good idea to stay home.”

She noted much of the population can receive publicly funded flu shots:

• Seniors 65 and over

• Children under 5

• Pregnant women

• People with pre-existing medical conditions or compromised immune systems

• Indigenous people

• Those at live or work with those at risk of complications from the flu

The vaccination is available from family doctors, at walk-in clinics or pharmacies. See the BC Flu Clinic Locator online.

She suggests people who are not eligible for a free vaccine to call their pharmacist or travel clinic to book a flu shot. Many immunizers are asking that people book an appointment to get a flu shot in order to ensure physical distancing is maintained.

READ ALSO: Flu vaccine orders up in Canada as simultaneous COVID and flu infections feared

Zbar said the flu season in the southern hemisphere has been a reliable predictor of the flu season Canadians will experience, and there was much lower incidence of flu than in previous seasons. Health officials say the low rates in countries such as Australia are likely due to COVID-19 precautions.


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusFraser HealthMaple RidgePitt Meadows

Just Posted

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

A program of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation enables patients to thank their health-care workers.
Fraser Valley program enables patients to say thanks to their health-care workers

Philip Harris Grateful Patient Program offered through health care foundation

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Canada. (ADOBE STOCK IMAGE)
Shining a light on brain injury in Canada

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read