Influenza, also known as the flu, can result in serious illness or even death for older adults. Therefore, it is important to receive the flu shot when it is available each year. Vaccination must be done each year because the virus mutates year-to-year.
Eligibility for a Free Flu Shot
Flu shots are free for those ages 65 and over, or for those who fall into the below categories.
- People at high risk of serious illness from influenza, such as:
- Residents of any age living in residential care, assisted living or other group facilities
- Indigenous people
- Individuals with certain medical conditions, including:
- Heart or lung disorders that require regular medical care, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cystic fibrosis
- Kidney disease, chronic liver disease such as hepatitis, diabetes, cancer, anemia or weakened immune system
- Those with health conditions causing difficulty breathing, swallowing or a risk of choking on food or fluids, such as people with severe brain damage, spinal cord injury, seizures or neuromuscular disorders
- Individuals who are very obese
- People able to transmit or spread influenza to those at high risk of serious illness from influenza including:
- Household contacts (including children) of people at high risk
- Household contacts, caregivers and daycare staff of children under 5 years of age
- Doctors, nurses and others working in health care settings, including long-term care facilities, who have contact with patients
- Visitors to health care facilities and other patient care locations
- Those who provide care or service to people at high risk in potential outbreak settings
- People who provide essential community services
WESN Flu Shot Clinics
There are 2 upcoming flu shot clinics scheduled at Barclay Manor that are for WESN members, clients, volunteers, and staff. They are tentatively scheduled for:
- Friday, October 29, 1:30-3:30pm in the Main Floor Kitchen (Shoppers Drug Mart)
- Monday, November 8, 1-3:30pm in the Main Floor Kitchen (The Pharmacy West End)
To book your 5-minute flu shot appointment, call 604-669-5051 or email [email protected].
If you are attending the October 29 clinic, you can fill out the consent form ahead of time and print it to bring it with you.
Information about preparing for your flu shot can be found here.
How does influenza spread?
Influenza spreads easily through coughing, sneezing or face-to-face contact. The virus can spread when a person touches tiny droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person or object and then touches their own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands.
Symptoms can begin 1 to 4 days after a person is exposed to the virus. Fever and other symptoms usually last 7 to 10 days, but cough and weakness may last 1 to 2 weeks longer.
An infected person can spread the virus before feeling sick.
How can influenza be prevented?
- Wash your hands regularly
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that people touch
- Promptly dispose of used tissues in the garbage
- Cough and sneeze into your shirt sleeve rather than your hands
- Stay home when you are ill
- Get an influenza vaccine
More information about inactivated flu shots can be found here.
Last Updated: 21-Oct-2021