Flu shot clinics are starting in Mission, with the first happening today at the Leisure Centre.
While seniors are particularly vulnerable to the flu, every year otherwise healthy children also become seriously ill or even die because they didn’t get a flu shot, according to Fraser Health Authority (FHA).
Local residents are reminded that the flu shot is provided free of charge to those at highest risk of severe flu illness, as well as those who are close contacts or caregivers.
New this year, healthy children aged six months to less than five years of age, and household contacts and caregivers of children less than five years of age are eligible for the free vaccine.
Influenza is the leading cause of preventable death due to infectious disease in Canada, killing thousands of Canadians every year and hospitalizing thousands more. Influenza spreads easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing, face-to-face contact and by touching surfaces such as door knobs and telephones that have been contaminated with the virus, said FHA.
The flu season usually runs from November to April with an estimated 10-25 per cent of people infected each year. A person can have the flu virus without knowing it, and pass it to someone who may become seriously ill. An estimated 200-300 Fraser Health residents, mainly seniors, die every year from complications of influenza infection.
Local clinics will happen as follows:
• Oct. 25: Mission Leisure Centre (7650 Grand St.), 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Oct. 27: Silverdale Hall (8760 McLean St.), 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
• Nov. 1 and 29: Mission Leisure Centre (7650 Grand St.), 1 to 7 p.m. Nov. 1, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 29.
• Nov. 8: North Fraser Fire Hall one (8840 Rowan Rd.), 3 to 7 p.m.
Bring your CareCard or other government I.D. (valid driver’s license) to the clinic, and please wear a short sleeved shirt.