Cold & Flu
Preparations for the 2018 annual flu clinic program are underway.
If you work for the BC Public Service, the flu vaccination is free from the end of October to early December. 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 is 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 the flu season varies each year but can run as late as May. Because the vaccine is most effective for a six-month period, our clinics are scheduled for the best flu protection.
The program is offered through workplace volunteers who help coordinate flu clinics each year. As the flu season approaches, a workplace volunteer will provide you with clinic options. A full list of clinic options will also be posted here in October.
The vaccine components often change from year to year, based on worldwide tracking for changes in the virus and predictions about which strains will circulate each season. The flu vaccine administered at our clinics in 2018 has changed from last year. This year, it is an inactivated vaccine (killed virus) that provides protection against the following three influenza viruses:
- A/Michigan (H1N1)
- A/Singapore (H3N2)
To maximize your protection, get vaccinated each year as the specific viruses included in each vaccine vary. The effectiveness of the vaccine will also lessen over time and may not span two flu seasons.
Cold & Flu Prevention
Eating balanced meals, exercising regularly and keeping a positive frame of mind goes 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