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YOUR FAMILY’S HEALTH Get the facts about the flu shot


Flu season is here, and public health nurs- es across Interior Health are busy with this year’s vaccination campaign. “There are many myths and misconcep- tions about the flu shot, so it’s important for people to get accurate information to help them stay healthy,” said Dr. Rob Parker, Medical Health Officer with Interior Health. “For example, the flu shot cannot give you the flu. The vaccine used in B.C. contains dead influenza viruses that cannot cause infection.”


Influenza is a highly contagious infection and can be very serious, especially for those with heart, lung and other health prob- lems.In years when influenza is widespread in B.C., hundreds of people may die from in- fluenza or its complications, such as pneu- monia.


“The two most important ways to protect


yourself from getting the flu are to wash your hands frequently and get your flu shot,” said Dr. Parker. “Flu vaccinations are a proven, safe and effective way to reduce your chances of getting the flu.The flu shot also lessens the severity of symptoms for those who do get the flu.”


In B.C. the flu vaccine is free for: — People 65 years and older and their caregivers/household contacts — All children age 6 to 59 months of age — Household contacts and caregivers of


infants age 0 to 59 months of age — Children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts — Aboriginal people


— Children & adolescents (6 months to 18


years) with conditions treated for long peri- ods of time with Aspirin® or ASA and their household contacts — Residents of nursing homes and oth- er chronic care facilities — Pregnant women who will be in their third trimester during influenza season and their household contacts (pregnant women who are in other high risk groups can be immunized at any time during the preg- nancy) — People who are very obese (BMI > 40) — Health-care and other care providers in


facilities and community settings who are capable of transmitting influenza disease to those at high risk of influenza complica- tions


— People who provide essential com-


munity services (First Responders, Corrections Workers) — Inmates of provincial correctional in- stitutions — People who work with live poultry and/or swine


— Individuals who provide care or ser- vice in potential outbreak settings housing high risk persons (e.g., crew on ships) “Everyone can benefit from a flu shot.


Even if you don’t become severely ill, get- ting the flu can mean several missed days of school or work and you may pass it on to someone who is at greater risk,” said Dr. Parker.“The flu shot is anywhere from 60 to 90 per cent effective in preventing influen- za and if you don’t get it you can’t spread it.” People not eligible for the free flu vaccine through the publicly-funded program should contact their physician, local pharmacy, walk-in clinic, travel clinic or private provider. To find a flu clinic near you, watch for lo- cal announcements on dates and times in your community, visit www.interiorhealth.ca (under Your Health > Immunization > 2012 Seasonal Flu Campaign).


“Where can I go for parenting advice?”


Drop-in and Workshops at our Parent Place: ● Creative Playtime (Ages 0-6) ● Special Deliveries (first time parents) ● Parent Education Workshops


“Where can my family go for counselling?” We have qualified, committed professionals at The Bridge Youth & Family Services to help you and your family. Our fees are based on your individual financial needs.


www.thebridgeservices.ca To make a donation and help a child call:


Call: 250-763-0456


Come by: 1829 Chandler Street, Kelowna Or go to:


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