Provincial Influenza Policy
All Providence Health Care staff, volunteers, students and medical staff in patient care areas are required to receive the influenza vaccination or wear a surgical/procedure mask during flu season.
This year, the Influenza Control Policy has been extended to include visitors in patient care areas. If you don’t get a flu shot, you will be expected to protect hospital patients by wearing a mask while you are in a health care facility from the beginning of December through to the end of March.
Where can I get a flu shot?
There are many places you can get immunized:
- At your doctor’s office
- At a local pharmacy
- At a public health clinic
To find the nearest flu shot public health clinic, visit www.health.gov.bc.ca/flu/ or call HealthLink BC at 811.
Who is eligible for a free flu shot?
- Children 6 months to less than 5 years of age
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy during the influenza season
- Seniors 65 years and older
- Residents of any age living in residential care, assisted living or other group facilities
- Aboriginal people
- Children and teenagers required to take Aspirin® or ASA for long periods of time due to a medical condition
- Children and adults with certain medical conditions, including:
- Heart or lung disorders that require regular medical care, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or cystic fibrosis
- Kidney disease, chronic liver disease such as hepatitis, diabetes, cancer, anemia, or weakened immune system
- Those with health conditions causing difficulty breathing, swallowing, or a risk of choking on food or fluids, such as people with severe brain damage, spinal cord injury, seizures or neuromuscular disorders
- Those who are very obese
- Household contacts of people at high risk
- Household contacts, caregivers and daycare staff of children under 5 years of age
- Doctors, nurses and others working in health care settings who have contact with patients.
- People who live or work in confined settings, such as correctional facilities
- Those who provide care or service to people at high risk in potential outbreak settings such as cruise ships
- People who provide essential community services such as police officers, firefighters and ambulance attendants
- Farmers and other people who work with live poultry
- People planning to visit loved ones in a health care facility or who will take family members to outpatient appointments are also eligible for a free flu shot.
Where can I get a mask?
Masks are provided at the entrance, and at various other locations throughout the facility. If you need help finding a mask, please ask at the reception desk.
Please read this FAQ for Visitors from the Ministry of Health.
For more information about the flu shot, visit www.immunizebc.ca.
Thank you for your commitment to keeping your loved ones and our other hospital patients safe.
Influenza vaccination information for Providence Health Care Health Care Professionals can be found here.
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Angela White, St. Paul's Hospital Volunteer