Local doctor questioning why Northern B.C. is still waiting for this year’s flu vaccine to arrive

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A local doctor is asking why other areas of B.C. already have the flu vaccine, and our r…

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A local doctor is asking why other areas of B.C. already have the flu vaccine, and our region will have to wait until late October before vaccinations will be available.

Dr. MacKey says this is a question he’s been asking for years but believes it’s more important than ever with the current pandemic. Vaccinations for the flu are already available at pharmacies in some parts of B.C., including in the B.C. interior. According to Dr. Mackey, the first shipment of vaccines will be arriving in Fort St. John, around October 18.

Northern Health says it’s normal for the flu vaccinations to start near the end of October each year. The Heath authority says they have already received their first shipments, and they will be sending them out shortly to pharmacies and doctors.

When asked why other areas B.C. are already offering vacations, a Northern Health representative couldn’t explain why the vaccine is already available in other regions of B.C.

Dr. MacKey says with COVID-19 and the flu; it would be best if residents could get the flu vaccination early. “If you’ve had the flu vaccine, it’s going to decrease people with flu-like symptoms, we hope. So, therefore, there’ll be less knock-on effects while people are waiting for the potentially negative COVID test.”

Dr. MacKey also expects more demand for the flu vaccine. “So the more time we have to do it, the better. So we need to decrease the barrier as much as possible and people willing to get it. And time is of the essence.”

Northern Health will announce later this month when public health clinics will be offering the flu vaccine, but residents can also visit www.immunizebc.ca for a map of current flu clinics.

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