A series of free flu-vaccination clinics in White Rock and South Surrey starts Nov. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)

A series of free flu-vaccination clinics in White Rock and South Surrey starts Nov. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)

Free flu-vaccination clinic series begins Nov. 19 in White Rock

Five by-appointment opportunities for qualified recipients planned by doctors, Fraser Health

The White Rock-South Surrey Division of Family Practice, in partnership with Fraser Health, is hosting a series of vaccination clinics for those who qualify for a free flu shot.

Set for 8:30 a.m. till 3:30 p.m., the first of three clinics at the Royal Canadian Legion in Crescent Beach (2643 128 St.) is to take place this Thursday (Nov. 19); while two further dates – Nov. 26 and Dec. 3 – are booked at the same venue.

A pair of clinics is also planned for the White Rock Elks Hall (1469 George St.), on Nov. 24 and Dec. 1.

All five of the clinics are by appointment only – due to COVID-19, walk-ins cannot be accommodated, a poster issued by the division explains – and are open to those aged four years old and up.

READ MORE: Flu season in Canada ‘exceptionally low’ so far, public health says

READ MORE: B.C. to expand COVID-19 testing, winter hospital bed capacity

In B.C., the flu shot is provided free to specific groups of people. According to information on the HealthLink BC website, those groups include:

• people considered at high risk of serious illness from the flu (ie, children aged six months to five years, seniors aged 65 and older, Indigenous people, and those living with medical conditions such as kidney disease);

• people able to transmit or spread influenza to those at high risk of serious illness from the flu (including health care professionals and household contacts of people at high risk); and,

• people who provide essential community services (including police officers, paramedics and corrections workers, as well as people who work with live poultry).

The vaccine is typically a one-dose shot, however, children younger than nine who have never had it before need two doses, with the second shot to be administered four weeks after the first, according to the website.

The site states that the vaccine is the best way to protect from what can be a serious and sometimes fatal infection. As well, it helps protect others by reducing the spread of the virus.

Common reactions include soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site. Headaches and fever that last one or two days are among other symptoms those who get the shot may experience.

Getting the flu is not a reaction from the vaccine, “because it contains killed influenza viruses that cannot cause infection,” the website notes.

A rare condition that can occur after some vaccines is Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). According to the HealthLink BC information, that happens at a rate of about one per one million vaccine recipients, and can result in weakness and paralysis of the body’s muscles.

Those unsure if they are eligible for a free shot should speak to their doctor or call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, the website advises.

To book an appointment, visit wrssdivision.ca and click on the flu vaccination clinic poster.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com
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