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Medical Health Officers saw increased demand for flu shots

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Local Medical Health Officers are weighing in on this year’s flu season. About 70 per cent of health care workers on Vancouver Island got the flu shot this year, compared to 80 per cent province-wide. On the Sunshine Coast, 83 per cent of full time health care workers got the shot.

When it comes to the general public, Dr. Paul Hasselback, MHO for Central Vancouver Island, says about 70,000 people, or a quarter of the population got the vaccine.

Hasselback says that was due in part to concerns about the severity of this year’s flu strain, and the number of people hospitalized early in the season. He says demand actually went up once people heard vaccine supplies in some areas were running out.

Dr. Paul Martiquet, MHO for the Sunshine Coast, says they also saw an increase in vaccination rates. He says 75 per cent of those eligible for a free flu shot took advantage of the opportunity.

About 1.4 million people in BC got the flu shot this year and it was considered to be around 70 per cent effective.

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