Burns Lake’s Pharmasave and I.D.A. RX Drug Mart expect the flu vaccines to be available at the end of the month. (Submitted photo)

Updated flu vaccines to be available at the end of October

Influenza A (H3N2) and B strains have been updated this year

Although Northern Health still doesn’t have an exact date, the updated influenza vaccines are expected to be available to the general public at the end of October.

According to Grace Salvo, a resident physician with Northern Health’s Public Health team, this year the influenza A (H3N2) strain, which has been dominant for the past two years, as well as the B strain, have been updated.

“We know in recent years the vaccine has not been very effective for the H3N2 strain,” said Salvo, adding that this contributed to the vaccine’s 40 per cent effectiveness overall last year.

When asked about the effectiveness of this year’s vaccine, Salvo said that’s hard to predict because influenza vaccines are usually produced six months ahead of the flu season.

“This year it will definitely give partial coverage for H3N2 and perhaps better coverage for H1N1 and influenza B,” she said.

“If this year is H1N1 dominant, then we can expect the [vaccine’s] effectiveness to go up,” she continued. “But there’s no way to predict that – if the dominant strain will be H1N1 or H3N2.”

“We’re hoping that as science gets better, over the years, vaccines will get better,” she added.

Despite the flu vaccine not being 100 per cent effective, Northern Health still recommends all individuals over the age of six months to get vaccinated.

“It’s one of the best things people can do to prevent themselves and their loved ones from getting sick this season,” she said. “We’re especially encouraging populations that are more at risk of having severe consequences from the virus.”

Populations at risk include infants between six months and 59 months of age, people over the age of 65, pregnant women, individuals living with chronic diseases, as well as anyone who comes into contact with them.

“Even if you don’t feel sick you could still spread the virus,” said Salvo.

The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that influenza causes approximately 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths each year in Canada.

Houston’s Pharmasave expects the vaccines to be available at the end of the month.


 

@flavio_nienow
flavionienow@gmail.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Three incumbent councillors re-elected in Houston

Houston mayor and director of Electoral Area G re-elected by acclamation

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Six cattle killed on Hungry Hill

After a brief closure Friday the highway is now open to traffic.

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

B.C. sailor surprised by humpback whale playing under her boat

Jodi Klahm-Kozicki said the experience was ‘magical’ near Denman Island

Ovechkin has 4 points as Caps rough up Canucks 5-2

WATCH: Defending champs pick up impressive win in Vancouver

B.C. government moves to tighten resource industry regulations

New superintendent will oversee engineers, biologists, foresters

Election watchdog seeks digitally savvy specialists to zero in on threats

Move follows troublesome evidence of online Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election

More court before Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd case is extradited here

Appeals must be dealt with in Europe, before charges faced in B.C.

Crown says man guilty of B.C. girl’s 1978 murder based on alleged confession

Jury hears details of girl’s 1978 murder while Crown says man should be convicted of girl’s murder based on alleged confession.

BCHL alumni has NHL jersey retired by Anaheim Ducks

Paul Kariya played with the Penticton Vees from 1990-1992

Most Read