Influenza is a highly contagious virus that infects millions of Canadians and leads to approximately 3,500 deaths across the country each year. It can infect anyone — those who are hospitalized, young, elderly, or have a compromised immune system, are at higher risk.
Preventing the spread of influenza is a shared responsibility. To better protect patients and their families from influenza, BC Children’s Hospital offers free vaccine clinics for children, family members, pregnant women and visitors of patients from November 1 – December 9. Both pediatric and adult flu vaccines are available.
As of December 1, 2016, all staff, volunteers and visitors to the hospital or other Provincial Health Services Authority sites must have had a flu shot or are required to wear a mask during flu season (December 1, 2016 until approximately March 2017). Masks will be available at nursing stations, outpatient reception desks and the main entrances of our facilities. This policy applies to all patient care facilities in BC.
As of December 1, 2016 visitors to patient care areas must be immunized or wear a mask
Dates: November 1 – December 9, 2016
Hours: Monday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Children experience the highest rates of seasonal influenza (15-25 per cent) of any age group and are at highest risk of complications of influenza (especially those patients with chronic medical conditions). Since many “high risk” children pass through the ambulatory clinics of BC Children’s each day, this provides them a convenient opportunity to receive influenza vaccine. Providing influenza vaccination to family members and visitors to patients in the hospital also maximizes protection of high risk children.
Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu, and infected people are highly contagious and can spread influenza to others for up to 24 hours before showing symptoms. The flu shot is safe and effective at preventing illness, especially when used with other infection prevention practices such as proper hand hygiene and staying home when sick.
Flu vaccine myths
The flu vaccine can give me the flu.
No - you will not get the flu from having the flu vaccine because it does not contain any live virus. Some people do experience mild side-effects after they get a flu vaccine, but this rarely lasts more than 48 hours.
I don't need the flu shot because I never get sick.
No - while you may not be at serious risk of influenza that doesn’t mean those around you aren’t vulnerable to it. Even carrying mild influenza symptoms increase the chances of passing it on to those around you.
The flu shot doesn’t work.
No – immunization is the best way to protect yourself and others against influenza.
Where else can I get a flu shot?
• Your family doctor
• A walk-in clinic
• Your pharmacist
• A public health clinic
Find a convenient flu clinic location, along with more information about flu vaccination including who’s eligible for a free seasonal flu shot, at Immunize BC