13,400 flu doses for northeast B.C.

Northern Health is boosting its supply of flu vaccines this year.

The health authority has an initial allotment of 77,000 doses, up from 65,000 in 2019. From that, health services are expected to receive 13,400 doses for northeast B.C., 42,700 doses for the northern interior, and 20,800 doses in northwest B.C.

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"There is no COVID-19 vaccine yet, but we do have influenza vaccines. We can take influenza out of the mix," the health authority stated in an Oct. 20 bulletin.

There were 9,200 shots given in northeast B.C. in 2019-20, and more than 9,500 doses in 2018-19, according to data provided by Northern Health. Vaccination rates here over the last five to 10 years weren't immediately available.

Health Canada reported in July that more than 13 million doses of the influenza vaccine were ordered this year, up from 11.2 million ast year, Canada ordered 11.2 million doses.

About 1,400 people in B.C. die each year from influenza and complications such as pneumonia, according to Northern Health.

Vaccines will be available through public health clinics, pharmacies, and doctors’ offices. Visit ImmunizeBC for a list of locations, or call 8-1-1 if you don’t have access to the internet.

Northern Health starts its vaccine clinics Nov. 2, by appointment. Call 250-263-6000 for more.

Email reporter Tom Summer at tsummer@ahnfsj.ca.

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