Fraser Health is promoting that everyone get a flu shot, which are now available.

Fraser Health is promoting that everyone get a flu shot, which are now available.

Flu shots more important during pandemic

Symptoms of flu and COVID-19 overlap, and so do precautions

The cold and flu season is arriving in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and health care officials want the public to get their flu shots.

Flu vaccinations are now available. Fraser Health is anticipating they will be more popular this year than ever, the health authority has ordered more than 600,000 doses, and the first shipments have arrived.

People will more often be wondering whether to send their kids to school, or whether to take a day off work, if they are coughing or have a fever.

“It is difficult to distinguish the symptoms of flu and COVID-19, because often they can look the same,” said medical health officer Dr. Ariella Zbar.

She said there will be a number of factors to be considered, such as travel history, contact with a confirmed COVID patient and severity of symptoms, to determine whether or not to get tested for COVID-19.

The Fraser Health website has a link to the self assessment tool that will be helpful at bc.thrive.health/covid19/en, and she advises people also call 8-1-1 to help determine whether they should get tested.

Zbar said the prevention measures already in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19 can also be expected to help stop people from catching the flu. Wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, maintain a two metre physical distance from other, wear a mask in public and stay home when you get sick, she said.

“COVID sense makes flu sense,” she said. “In general, if you are feeling sick, as with the flu season, it’s a good idea to stay home.”

She noted much of the population can receive publicly funded flu shots:

• Seniors 65 and over

• Children under 5

• Pregnant women

• People with pre-existing medical conditions or compromised immune systems

• Indigenous people

• Those at live or work with those at risk of complications from the flu

The vaccination is available from family doctors, at walk-in clinics or pharmacies. See the BC Flu Clinic Locator online.

She suggests people who are not eligible for a free vaccine to call their pharmacist or travel clinic to book a flu shot. Many immunizers are asking that people book an appointment to get a flu shot in order to ensure physical distancing is maintained.

READ ALSO: Flu vaccine orders up in Canada as simultaneous COVID and flu infections feared

Zbar said the flu season in the southern hemisphere has been a reliable predictor of the flu season Canadians will experience, and there was much lower incidence of flu than in previous seasons. Health officials say the low rates in countries such as Australia are likely due to COVID-19 precautions.


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusFraser HealthMaple RidgePitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Peninsula Community Foundation is set to host an online poker fundraiser on Dec. 11. (Unsplash photo)
Peninsula Community Foundation plans online poker tournament for charity

December fundraiser to feature pair of Surrey/White Rock poker pros

Lacey, a palomino paint, is in “amazing” shape now, compared to when she was rescued in August 2015. (Leanne Peniuk photo)
BC SPCA’s horse-rescue program offers equine intervention

Book Rescue Me raises funds, awareness for animal-welfare agency

Hugh Dobbie’s South Surrey-based tech business Yare Media was recently acquired by California’s Visaic Inc. (SFU photo)
South Surrey tech company acquired by California business

Hugh Dobbie founded Yare Media in 2016, and ‘will remain involved’

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Newton Elementary School in Surrey, according to an information bulletin Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Image: Google Street View)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at second Surrey elementary school

Newton Elementary closed for two weeks, set to reopen Dec. 14

Joy Johnson, seen here during an installation ceremony on Oct. 22, is Simon Fraser University’s 10th president and vice-chancellor. (Submitted photo)
SFU’s Surrey campus tackling COVID-19-related research

‘We can learn now,’ SFU president Joy Johnson said, ‘so should something like this happen again we’ll be prepared. We have to learn from this current pandemic’

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read