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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Great Bear Snowshed on the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) in British Columbia. Truck driver Roy McCormack testified in BC Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Feb. 25, 2021 that his brakes started smoking in about this location, and soon after he lost all braking, which led to a multi-vehicle crash further down the road on Aug. 5, 2016. (GoogleMaps)
Truck driver charged with criminal negligence in Coquihalla crash is accused of ignoring smoking brakes

Just before crashing the smoking truck was seen entering Zopkios brake check and leaving shortly after

Dr. Andy Edelson (front left) and Ken Selvaraja hold the cheque, with (from left to right) Jim Hinds president of Rotary Club of Mission, Judith Ray, chair of MATH and Lloyd Rash, Mission rotarian in the back.
Funds raised for CT scanner feasibility study at Mission Memorial Hospital

Ken Selvaraja and Lanka Jewels raise $39,000 of $70,000 needed through pendant raffle

Kathleen Gros will be helping local creatives explore the intersection of words and pictures through comic books in an upcoming online workshop.
Vancouver graphic novelist to share skills in online workshop with Agassiz Library

Kathleen Gros will be leading the Magical World of Words and Pictures workshop on March 6

The last three wild northern spotted owls live near the Spuzzum Watershed outside of Hope. The province recently ordered a halt to logging for at least a year to give the owls a chance to survive.  (Photo/Jared Hobbs)
Logging halted in northern spotted owl habitat near Hope

Halt will last at least a year, gives time to formulate survival plan for Northern Spotted Owl

The Rocket Science S.T.E.M. camp will run virtually during spring break. (Submitted photo)
Abbotsford Airshow, Gearbots Educational Resources launch Rocket Science camp

Virtual format of camp open to students aged nine and up, will run during spring break

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Shaelene Keeler Bell. (Facebook)
Candlelight vigil planned for Chilliwack mother missing for four weeks

Virtual event to ‘spread some light’ for 23-year-old Shaelene Bell of Chilliwack

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Most Read