Protect yourself and those around you - get your flu shot
The flu is highly contagious and can cause severe complications for the very young, old and those with underlying health conditions. Getting ill with the flu can mean several missed days of school, work and other activities. Learn more about influenza.
It is important to get a flu shot yearly because flu viruses change from year to year. Each year the influenza (flu) vaccine is updated to include the current viruses that are circulating. This year’s vaccine offers protection from the following types of flu strains:
- an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
- an A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus;
- a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus
Two additional vaccines are available for children. In addition to the strains above these vaccines also contain another B strain – a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.
Am I eligible?
Flu shots are safe, effective, and provided free for:
- People 65 years and older and their caregivers/household contacts
- People of any age in residential care facilities
- Children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts
- Children & adolescents (6 months to 18 years) with conditions treated for long periods of time with Acetylsalicylic Acid (Aspirin/ ASA) and their household contacts.
- Children & adults who are very obese
- Aboriginal people
- All children 6-59 months of age
- Household contacts and caregivers of infants and children 0-59 months of age
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy during the influenza season and their household contacts
- Visitors to hospitals, health centres and residential care facilities
- People who work with live poultry
- Health care and other care providers in facilities and community settings who are capable of transmitting influenza disease to those at high risk of influenza complications
- Individuals who provide care or service in potential outbreak settings housing high risk persons (e.g., crew on ships)
- People who provide essential community services (First Responders, Corrections Workers)
- Inmates of provincial correctional institutions
People not eligible for free flu vaccine through the publicly-funded program should contact their physician, local pharmacy, walk-in clinic, travel clinic or private provider.
Visitors to health-care facilities
Visitors are required to have had a flu shot or wear a mask when visiting patients during the flu season (from the beginning of December to the end of March). By following this policy, you will help to protect your loved ones – the people you are visiting – from getting a potentially serious illness. For more information, read our Frequently Asked Questions.
How do I access this service?
To find a flu clinic near you, visit the Flu Locator at www.immunizebc.ca, or contact your local Public Health Centre.
"I got my flu shot!" - web badges
Have a little fun and spread the word about the importance of getting a flu shot with our web badges. Choose from a shield of protection, a nasty (but defeated) flu bug, or an I Boost Immunity badge – it’s up to you! Our web badges can be used in many ways including as a Facebook profile picture, a Twitter avatar or as part of your email signature.