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Opinion: Burnaby Covidiots switching their paranoia to the flu shot. It's ridiculous

Fraser Health ramps up influenza campaign
Flu shots are free. (via Dan Toulgoet)

Fraser Health has launched its annual influenza vaccine campaign to raise awareness about the importance of getting the influenza shot.

And yet, despite everything we’ve gone through with the COVID-19 pandemic, I see people on social media platforms still saying they don’t plan on getting the flu shot.

Wait, what?

“I’ve never gotten the flu so I don’t see the need to risk taking another vaccine,” one Burnaby acquaintance wrote on Facebook. “Like the experimental COVID-19 vaccine, we don’t know what’s in this.”

What risk? What’s experimental about the COVID-19 vaccine? It’s a rigorously tested, carefully developed vaccine that has saved billions of lives.

Influenza vaccines are safe, effective and recommended for everyone in B.C. six months of age and older, says Fraser Health.

Of course, health experts saying flu shots are safe doesn’t mean much to people who get their information from “alternative” sources.

It’s more of the tinfoil-hat-wearing mob thinking they’re smarter and possess more freedom than the rest of us, simply because they refuse to listen to health-care professionals and scientists.

“As we continue to see COVID-19 impact our communities and the health care system, it’s even more important to get immunized against influenza and COVID-19 and continue to apply other COVID-19 safety measures such as practicing physical distancing, wearing a mask, washing your hands often, and

staying home when sick,” says Fraser Health. “We know the majority of people have received their COVID-19 vaccine, but as respiratory viruses continue to circulate, we want to ensure that people also get the influenza vaccine to stay protected from influenza.”

As of this year, getting the influenza vaccine is free of charge for everyone in B.C. six months of age and older.

You can get your free influenza vaccine through your family doctor, local pharmacist or one of Fraser Health’s public health influenza clinics. Check the BC Flu Clinic Locator for clinic locations and times. Booked family influenza clinics are available through Public Health for children six months to eight years (inclusive) and their immediate household members.

This year, the intranasal influenza vaccine, FluMist Quadrivalent is available to eligible children age two to seventeen. The nasal spray vaccine will be available at public health units, some pharmacies and some doctors' offices.

Influenza is a virus that causes infection of the respiratory system, and can lead to symptoms of fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, and cough. Everybody is at risk of influenza, and it can be mild, moderate or severe. Severe disease and complications from influenza, such as pneumonia, are more common in the very young, the elderly, those with heart, lung or other chronic health conditions, indigenous people, and pregnant people.

Influenza is easily spread from person to person, and an infected person can spread the virus a day before they are even sick with symptoms.

Those are the facts. Now get your flu shot (and the COVID-19 vaccine if you haven’t already done so).

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.