Vancouver Coastal Health says don’t get sick, get the shot!

Where do you stand on the flu shot?


It is that time of year when a bug starts going around the office or your kid comes home from school ill. It’s flu season and with nearly 425,000 doses of the flu vaccine available in Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) this year, the health authority is encouraging members of the public to get their shot—especially babies, young children and seniors.

We caught up with Dr. Paul Martiquet from Vancouver Coastal Health, who explained that the shot can be administered to anyone, but is important for certain demographics, such as: “People who are 65 years and older, that’s because they have immune systems that aren’t quite as effective as they are for younger people. Care givers, who take care of people 65 years or older are also being targeted, as well as residents of nursing homes and chronic care facilities. Children and Adults with chronic health conditions, such as, diabetes, lung conditions and even obesity is considered a chronic health condition”. 


“For healthy people, falling sick with the flu means a few days of feeling miserable, but for young children, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, it can lead to hospitalization and ICU admissions”.


This year’s flu shot for adults protects against three flu strains, the H1N1 and H3N2 strains, as well as a new B strain. New flu vaccines for children will also protect against a second B strain.


Dr. Martiquet says, “All the flu shot does is boost your body’s ability to recognize and have antibodies towards the virus if you’ve been exposed to it. It basically causes the formation of antibodies that can combat the flu strain and can lead to either no illness or a shorter time period of being ill with the virus”. 


This year, VCH is introducing FluMist, which is available for children who are adverse to needles. It is a nasal spray flu vaccine, so there are no needles involved.



Flu vaccinations are available at special public health flu clinics, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, walk-in clinics and at the VCH Travel Clinic.


So, will you be getting the flu shot this season?


More information available here: