It’s that time of year again, where the sniffles of co-workers can be heard throughout the office, while others stay home nestled in their beds with sweaty foreheads.
Flu season has arrived in the Okanagan, and Kelowna MLA Steven Thomson along with Lakeside Medicine Centre are encouraging those who over the age of 65 to come in for a free shot.
Owner of the clinic Chris Waller said the pharmacy will give out around 9,000 shots this season.
“Last year, pharmacists gave residents of BC. 630,000 vaccinations and I expect us to exceed that this year,” Waller said. “It’s the accessibility of us… now they can drop it and get it done while you’re filling a perception.”
“It’s sort of like advanced voting, you don’t have to wait for one big day to do it,” Thomson said. “This is the season to do it, and having it easily available…. we’re encouraging everyone to get out there and get one for the upcoming season.
The flu shot introduces the patient to viruses that may be coming through the Okanagan Valley, so they are able to build up a resistance, Waller said.
“As you age, your immune system isn’t able to cope with stresses, infections and viruses, in particular seniors and those with health issues.
Thomson said he’s had them regularly since they’ve been available since 2009.
Patients receive a free vaccination is available for those over the age of 65, adults and children with long-term health problems, children over the age of five, all First Nations and people who work with people who are at a high risk.
A flu mist is available for free for children, which is inserted in the nose, Waller said. “It’s a different form that we’re giving.”
Last year, the pharmacy about 3,000 flu shots were administered in Kelowna.