Three weeks into Health Island's annual flu-shot campaign, the number of vaccines distributed to pharmacists and doctors rose during the same period in 2017.
There were 235,984 doses sent to health professionals, more than 10,000 doses from the last three weeks total of 225,621 years ago. It follows the trend of increasing the number of vaccinated people.
"We always order a little more for years," Dr. Dee Hoyano, medical health officer with Pulau Kesehatan.
The total number of doses given in the 2017-18 flu season reaches 275,000.
Pulau Kesehatan also reported a slight increase in the number of adults and children immunized by public health nurses at the three-week mark – up to 10,280 from 10,266 last year.
There is still time to get a shot in the optimal early season window, said Hoyano.
"Ideally, we would like to see all the people who will be vaccinated do so in the next few weeks before you enter December, because that is usually when we start seeing more flu activity happening," he said.
Flu cases in 2017-18 were extended until April, but Hoyano said the season is usually between December and March.
He said health officials were waiting to see how severe the 2018-19 flu season would be and which strains would dominate. This season's vaccine includes two strains A and strain B. As in most seasons, it is expected that 40 to 60 percent is effective.
"At present, the flu results that we have show that the majority of them are influenza A, the H1N1 strain," Hoyano said.
Hoyano said he shot him a few weeks ago. "This reduces the risk of getting the flu and can also spread it to other people," he said.
Taking flu shots is worth $ 25, but it's free for children six months to five years old, people aged 65 years and over, and those at high risk of complications from flu due to heart disease, cancer and other conditions.
Every year in Canada, there are around 3,500 flu-related deaths and 12,200 hospital stays.
Free vaccines are available from public health clinics, several doctor's offices and most pharmacies.
Those who do not qualify for a free vaccine can buy it at most pharmacies and travel clinics.
To find an influenza vaccine clinic near you, visit immunizebc.ca/clinics.
© Copyright Colonist Time