Hundreds line up for Kelowna flu clinic

KELOWNA — Did you get hit hard with the flu last year? Questions swirled about the effectiveness of last year’s flu vaccine, but on the opening day of Interior Health’s clinic in Kelowna, hundreds lined up at Trinity Baptist Church to roll up their sleeves for this year’s shot.

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While those in line seemed surprised by the mass turnout, the Interior Health Authority (IHA) saw it coming.

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IHA says because of last year’s shortage, people are wanting to get vaccinated early. Interior Health expects more than 1,600 people to get vaccinated in Kelowna on opening day alone.

The health authority says for the first time in Canada the injection form of the vaccine includes four strains of the flu virus (every previous year the shot has contained three strains):

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  • an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • an A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus
  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus
  • a B strain – a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus

The B.C. Centre for Disease control cautions it’s hard to predict how well the vaccine will protect you, but its projected effectiveness is between 40 – 60 per cent.

For a full list of clinic locations and hours of operation, click here.

– with files from Neetu Garcha

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