Influenza, or what is more commonly known as the flu, is a very common and potentially serious disease, but it is also an illness that is easily prevented.

Influenza vaccines are safe and everyone is eligible to receive them. A health care professional will choose between five different vaccines (based on the patient’s age, allergies etc). With today’s vaccination technology, the flu vaccine (as well as many other types of vaccines and immunizations) can be administered by a health care professional via several different ways. The most common way of administering a flu vaccine is using a syringe to inject a small amount of liquid containing de-activated strains of influenza (chosen on a yearly basis) into the upper arm. Adolescents under the age of 17 are also eligible to receive the flu vaccine in the form of a nasal spray (fluMist™).


For relatively young and healthy individuals, Influenza does not pose a large threat, but due to its very contagious nature, young children, seniors and those who are immune comprised can become seriously ill. “Catching the flu can be particularly challenging to treat and potentially life-threatening; many do not understand the severity of the illness,” said Vancouver Coastal Health, Public Health Nurse, Anne Marie Chapman. This is the reason for which organizations such as Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health and Immunize BC ask that everyone be vaccinated against influenza, not only for themselves but to protect those around them.

The struggle, for many, is not whether or not to get a flu vaccine, but finding someone to vaccinate you. There are many free public immunization clinics as well as pharmacies, family doctors, and walk-in clinics throughout the Tri-cities that offer the flu vaccine. Immunize BC also has an influenza clinic locator that can be utilized by the public to find a convenient place to receive their immunization.

Photographs provided by Washington University and Cascade Medical Center