‘Tis the season for flu shots.
New flu vaccines are released every year to keep up with new strains.
Vancouver Coastal Health’s Medical Officer Dr. Meena Dawar says this year’s flu strain has changed.
“We have two new strains in the vaccine, the A H3N2 strain is different, it’s a Hong Kong strain and the B strain has changed as well.”
And just how effective is the shot going to be this year?
“There was only one season two years ago where there was a complete mismatch with the vaccine. In all other seasons the flu shot worked fairly well in preventing influenza, anywhere from 40 to 50 per cent and that’s pretty darn good when you’re trying to save lives.”
Two years ago there was a complete mismatch with the vaccine but Dawar says the odds of fighting the nasty virus are normal this time around.
And she says some people are at more risk than others.
“Particularly young children are at risk of severe illness including hospitalization but also seniors in particular.”
She says pregnant women are also at risk.
To prevent from spreading the flu, Dawar says it’s best to keep away from others even family members and just stay at home.
According Fraser Health every year an estimated 4,000 to 8,000 Canadians die every year from complications of influenza infection.