Flu season is here and so is the shot.
B.C.'s ministry of health announced Monday that it is offering flu vaccines throughout the province from a variety of health care providers including family doctors, walk-in clinics, pharmacies and dedicated flu clinics.
The vaccine is free of charge for high-risk groups and their regular contacts, according to a news release, and all other British Columbians can purchase the vaccine for a fee.
People eligible for the vaccine include seniors 65 years of age and older; children and adults with chronic health conditions and people with whom they come into contact in a household; healthy children between six months and 23 months of age; aboriginal peoples; and household contacts and caretakers of children who are under two years old.
A fact sheet circulated by the provincial government stated that influenza vaccines are changed every year to match the strains of influenza that are expected to circulate that year. A shot must be given, according to the government, in order that the body is protected against emerging strains of the virus. Protection provided through the vaccine lasts approximately six months to a year.