Influenza vaccine supply running low for Rosslanders

Health-care workers across the province have vaccinated a record number of Rosslanders and people across B.C. against this year's flu.

Health-care workers across the province have vaccinated a record number of Rosslanders and people across B.C. against this year’s flu, as nearly 1.4 million British Columbians have rolled up their sleeves to protect themselves.

Despite ordering 1.401 million doses of influenza vaccine, the unprecedented demand for the vaccine means that there is the likelihood that B.C. will experience temporary gaps in influenza supply and availability.

There have been nine laboratory-confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus in the Kootenay region, according to Interior Health.

Supplies of influenza vaccine are still available to B.C. residents, despite high demand as the H1N1 strain of the virus has returned, provincial health officials say.

Cases since the current flu season began in December have shown a shift towards people aged 20 to 69, rather than the very young and the elderly who are typically most vulnerable.

There have been severe cases involving healthy, younger people and two deaths have been confirmed, one in the Okanagan and one on Vancouver Island.

The main strain of influenza to emerge this winter is a descendent of the H1N1 that prompted the largest vaccination in Canadian history in 2009-10, when the illness was declared a global pandemic.

Provinces and territories across the country are experiencing similar challenges with vaccine supply, and B.C. is continuing to work with the federal government to obtain additional supply of the vaccine.

As a result of these efforts, B.C. is expecting about 5,000 more doses to arrive during the week of Jan. 21 and another 3,000 doses during the week of Jan. 28, and the province has requested another 13,000 doses. These vaccines will be available to eligible persons in all regions of the province, based on demand.

In the meantime, Rosslanders and British Columbians who have not been vaccinated this season are encouraged to take the usual preventive measures, such as regular hand washing, staying home when sick and avoiding contact with those who are at high risk to develop complications from influenza.

This year’s influenza season is not more severe than past seasons, and the vast majority of those impacted by influenza make a complete recovery after seven to 10 days of illness. The relatively rare, more serious complications of this year’s strain have affected a younger-than-usual segment of the population.

In addition, B.C.’s PharmaCare program has expanded the coverage criteria for antivirals for the 2013-2014 influenza season to include anyone with lab-confirmed influenza A or B, or with influenza symptoms. Physicians can now write prescriptions for people experiencing these symptoms. Antivirals can help reduce the symptoms of flu and help people recover more quickly.

 

Just Posted

Castlegar teens rescue man from river

Will Watt and Shay LaFayette helped save a fisherman from the Kootenay River.

Gas venting from tanker at Castlegar rail yard posed no danger: officials

Argon gas discharged from a CP tanker car on Friday, April 19.

Carfentanil found for first time in Castlegar

Killer opiod found in local illegal drug market

Rossland’s Seven Summits school gets grant to grow global presence

Centre for Learning hopes to triple the number of international students it has

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Most Read