Joseph Nelson receives flu vaccine from nurse Kristiina Smith during a clinic held in Port Hardy in November

Joseph Nelson receives flu vaccine from nurse Kristiina Smith during a clinic held in Port Hardy in November

Flu vaccine still available

Vaccine remains available on the North Island, Island Health reported last week.

The Mount Waddington region has escaped the flu vaccine shortage that struck parts of British Columbia and Vancouver Island following the H1N1 flu scare earlier this month, and vaccine remains available on the North Island, Island Health reported last week.

“There have been some communities where (supplies) had gotten thin, but we encouraged people to call around, because we were not entirely out of the vaccine,” said Charmaine Enns, medical health officer for the North Island.”

Island Health also received additional doses of vaccine last Thursday, easing the need across the Island.

Most residents will receive the nasal spray form of the vaccine, but infants, pregnant women and seniors 60-over will require the injectable vaccine.

Those eligible for the funded flu vaccine should call their local Public Health unit, their doctor’s office or their pharmacist to determine availability and type of vaccine and to set up an appointment.

Island Health originally held a series of flu clinics across the North Island last October and November, and Enns noted most residents should already have gotten vaccinated as the flu season is now in its third month.

She added preventative strategies remain a key to limiting the spread of flu and other seasonal viruses, including regular hand-washing.

“And if you’re suffering from fever, sneezing or coughing, please stay home,” Enns said. “Don’t share the joy.”