B.C. implements flu vaccination push after 6 children die

B.C. implements flu vaccination push after 6 children die

B.C. drop-in clinics on Friday, Saturday and Sunday ran across the province.

B.C.clinic doctor giving a vaccine

Days after confirming six children and youth have died after contracting influenza this fall, the B.C. government launched a flu vaccine blitz, opening drop-in clinics across the province.

After confirming six children died after contracting influenza this fall, the B.C. government launched a flu vaccine blitz days after, opening clinics across the province.

The clinics opened Friday and ran through the weekend.

The province will also be providing weekly updates on flu-related deaths, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday.

The six youth who died this fall included a child under the age of five, three between the ages of five and nine, and two teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19.

B.C. health officials have encouraged parents and guardians vaccinate children against the flu, citing a “dramatic increase” in cases of influenza A, a flu strain which causes severe illness in children.

Henry said the vaccines being distributed to children will target influenza A and encouraged others to take advantage of the weekend’s clinics.

This year, the province has made influenza vaccines free for everyone aged six months and older. No appointments are necessary.

Drop-in clinic locations and hours are found through local health authority websites:

Dr. Michael Curry, an emergency room doctor and clinical associate professor with UBC’s department of emergency medicine, said the number of people visiting emergency rooms with respiratory illnesses were “off the chart” compared to previous years — rising to levels higher than he’d ever seen, even pre-pandemic.
“[Respiratory illnesses are] really just coming into the emergency room in unprecedented numbers,” he told CBC Early Edition host Stephen Quinn.

Curry said while it is reasonable to continue going to school, travel and gather over the holidays after so many years apart, he encouraged people to take lessons from COVID-19 on best practices for preventing the spread of disease.

“Our experience during the pandemic has really shown that masking, distancing, definitely had a dramatic impact, almost virtually eliminating the flu in British Columbia until this year.”

No Comments

Post a Comment