Oh, the achy muscles, the nasal drip, headache, sore throat, fever, and fatigue. And the children who suffer from earaches, nausea, and vomiting. Most of us are familiar with the flu blues. Despite our best efforts to keep our families healthy, the flu still gets into our schools, workplaces, and homes.
Each year, many flu viruses go around, and they are constantly changing. Lynn Vanderwekken, a pharmacy manager at Pharmasave, commented that the 2016‒2017 flu vaccine has been updated to better match the viruses. Virus strains are predicted based on viruses that circulated in the Southern Hemisphere’s 2016 winter.
The2016‒2017 Northern Hemisphere’s vaccine protects against three different viruses as was recommended by the World Health Organization: Influenza A/California (H1N1); Influenza A/Hong Kong (H3N2); and Influenza B/Brisbane.
Although the statistics are different in Canada due to a less dense population, stats show that in the United States, every year 300,000 people are hospitalized annually from the flu. According to the BC Centre of Disease control, “Influenza can lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure, and more complications in persons with chronic diseases.”
People are infectious during the incubation period, which is 24 to 72 hours. Adults remain infectious for 3 to 5 days after onset of symptoms, and children for up to a week after onset.
Lynn advised that people who are at greatest risk of complications from the flu should receive a shot. They can receive a publicly-funded influenza vaccine. Those who are most vulnerable include
- people who are over 65 years
- people who have heart or asthma issues
- women who are pregnant
- children under 5 years
Most immunocompetent people will be able to fight it off, but for those who still wish to receive their shots, the vaccine costs $26.19.
What to do to if you feel vulnerable and want to avoid the flu? The Uptown and Downtown Pharmasave stores have begun this season’s flu shots; however, they cannot give flu shots to children under 5 years old.
The Pharmasave will continue providing flu shots until the influenza has run its course. That means, if you’re downtown, you can walk into the Pharmasave to get your vaccine.
Pharmacists are available to give shots from 10:30 to 12pm and 3 to 5pm. If you want to get your shot at the Uptown location, call ahead of time to make your appointment at 538-0323 with Lynn Vanderwekken or Peter Parker.
To book with Christine Steffich, the Downtown pharmacy manager, or Barb Hetherington, call Downtown is 537-5534. Sneh Parikh and Dhruti Patel move between both locations. You have choices!