Cold & Flu
Preparations for the 2019-20 annual flu clinic program are underway. Registration is now closed. If you wish to include your worksite, please email Cold.Flu@gov.bc.ca
If you work for the BC Public Service, the flu vaccination is free during flu season. The program is a convenient way for employees to get vaccinated by offering workplace flu clinics during the work day. Contractors who work with BC Public Service employees are also eligible.
About the Flu
The flu is a common upper respiratory illness that's highly contagious. Symptoms include fever, body aches, headache, fatigue, runny nose, loss of appetite, cough or sore throat. Fever and other symptoms usually last seven to ten days with the cough and weakness lasting up to two more weeks.
The flu spreads rapidly from person to person by airborne droplets carried in a cough or a sneeze. You can also get the flu when touching your own eyes, nose or mouth after touching flu contaminated surfaces, including an infected person's hands.
Flu Clinics and the Vaccine
Flu clinics run from October to December, so the vaccine’s protective antibodies are in place before flu activity peaks (typically in February.) The duration of flu season varies, but can run as late as May. Our clinics are scheduled to optimize flu protection, as the vaccine is most effective for a period of six months. To maximize your protection, get vaccinated each year as the specific viruses included in each vaccine vary. The vaccine becomes less effective over time and may not span two flu seasons.
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.
The flu vaccine to be administered in our clinics in 2019 is an inactivated vaccine (killed virus) that provides protection against the following three influenza viruses:
- A/Brisbane (H1N1)
- A/Kansas (H3N2)
Cold & Flu Prevention
Eating balanced meals, exercising regularly and keeping a positive frame of mind all go a long way toward improving our flu immunity. To create a healthy workplace, use these best practices to prevent cold and flu:
- Use a tissue and discard immediately
- Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly
- Get a flu shot
- Stay home if you get sick