Cold and flu (influenza) supports for BC Public Service employees

If you work for the BC Public Service and your worksite is registered, you can receive the annual influenza vaccine at your worksite.

Contractors who work with BC Public Service employees are also eligible to receive the influenza vaccine.

The worksite program is provided for your convenience and there's no cost to you.

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There are steps you can take to help prevent respiratory illness this season, whether a common cold, influenza, COVID-19, or other respiratory infections.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting adequate sleep are good general practices for overall health; however, following these best practices will help keep yourself and our workplaces healthy:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds (or use hand sanitizer) often
  • Stay home if you're sick and make sure you take time to recover
  • Be mindful of close contact with others 
  • Wear a mask (or face covering) when in indoor public spaces
  • Follow Provincial Health Officer orders and guidance
  • Get your influenza vaccine every year and stay current with COVID-19 vaccination recommendations

BC Public Service workplaces have implemented Communicable Disease Prevention Plans following guidance from the PHO, WorkSafeBC and the BC Centre for Disease Control. Vaccination for respiratory and other communicable diseases is the most effective strategy to prevent severe illness. Safe work practices and making health and safety management a priority keeps communicable disease risk low in BC Public Service workplaces.

About influenza

Influenza (often called 'the flu') is an infection that affects the respiratory system. 

It can spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing or from contact transmission from contaminated surfaces. 

A person with influenza is at risk of complications; including getting other infections such as viral or bacterial pneumonia, which is an infection of the lungs.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cough or sore throat

Worksite influenza clinics

The 2023 Worksite Influenza Clinic Program is now underway! Clinics take place through early December.

Book an appointment (for BC Public Service employees only) to get your influenza vaccination today!

Worksite influenza clinics are coordinated in alignment with Public Health safety standards. Clinics are only possible due to the efforts and dedication of employees who have volunteered to be a worksite contact. 

Influenza vaccinations will be administered by appointment only: walk-ins will not be accepted. Find a clinic near you and book your appointment through the appointment booking system (for BC Public Service employees only).

  • Don’t see your workplace listed as a designated clinic site? Book your appointment at an available (open) clinic near you, and consider becoming a worksite contact next year
  • Is your worksite hosting a site-specific (closed) clinic? Your worksite contact will provide you with the unique link to book your appointment
  • Unable to attend your scheduled appointment? Please cancel your appointment online.
  • Does the scheduled date or available times for your worksite clinic conflict with your schedule? Search for another clinic at a neighbouring available (open) clinic location
  • Experiencing difficulties booking an appointment? Contact HealthServ directly by calling 1-800-270-8048 (extension 225) during the work week and regular business hours, or by sending an email

Remember to:

  • Complete a consent form and bring it to your immunization appointment
  • Request a proof of influenza vaccination card from the nurse upon vaccination

Types of clinics

Workplace clinics are categorized in two ways:

Available (open) clinics are:

  • Available to any BC public service employee from any neighbouring ministry or participating eligible organization
  • Searchable in the appointment booking system (for BC Public Service employees only)

Site-specific (closed) clinics are:

  • Only open to employees who work at this specific location or have building access.
  • Not searchable in the appointment booking system
  • Will receive a unique booking link that will be shared by the worksite contact to staff to book their appointment

The influenza vaccine

Some of the vaccine components often change from year to year. These changes are based on worldwide tracking for changes in the virus and predictions about which strains will circulate each season.

To maximize your protection, get vaccinated each year as the specific viruses included in each vaccine vary.

In addition, it's important to know that the protection you got from the vaccine becomes less effective over time (your immunity begins to fade) and may not adequately protect you beyond that particular season.

For more information about the specific vaccine being used this year, please refer to the Influenza vaccine information sheet, available in the Communication materials section below.

Benefits and risks

Influenza vaccines are a safe and effective way to help prevent illness and protect yourself and others. Following immunization, your body's immune system develops protection (antibodies) against the strains of the virus. The antibodies help prevent infection, reduce the severity of illness if you are infected, and reduce spread of the virus. Common reactions to the influenza vaccine may include:

  • Localized swelling at where the vaccine was given
  • Fever and chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint soreness approximately six to twelve hours after vaccination
  • Anaphylaxis is a rare and extreme allergic reaction which can occur if a person is allergic to any of the components of the vaccine.

Who should get vaccinated against influenza?

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends that everyone six months old or older should get the influenza vaccine (except in the rare few with a contra-indication).

Immunization is especially important for people who are at higher risk from influenza illness like severe disease, complications and death, including:

  • Young children (not eligible for immunization at BCPS worksite clinics)
  • Pregnant women
  • The elderly
  • People with certain medical conditions
  • Those able to transmit or spread influenza to those at high risk

For more information on populations considered to be at highest risk, please visit the HealthLink BC website. 

Allergic individuals

If you have a severe allergy or have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the influenza vaccine and are unsure if you can receive the influenza vaccine, speak to your health care provider.

Communication materials

Health, safety and sick leave resources

The BC Public Service is committed to a culture that supports employee safety and health.

Whether you're managing your own health, or looking for information to support your team, we have the resources and supports you're looking for.

For more information