Flu vaccine shortages in Prince Rupert this year may lessen with new provincial supply system

·2 min read

Flu vaccines will be more readily available in Prince Rupert this influenza season than last due to a new supply chain process, the Ministry of Health stated, on Oct. 27.

Flu shots in the city in 2020 dried up by Nov. 12, leaving many locals on long waitlists for the immunization.

Changes to the province’s new flu campaign supply, which began Oct. 19, will include the vaccine being delivered from the BC Centre of Disease Control (BCCDC) directly to the pharmacy wholesalers and then to pharmacies, the BC Pharmacy Association told The Northern View.

Previously, pharmacists had to visit Northern Health offices in person to collect coolers filled with the vaccine and only administer what they were given.

As of Oct. 18, Prince Rupert pharmacies received a combined total of 1010 vaccine doses to be administered and have provided 329 immunizations between Oct. 1 and Oct.24.

An additional 540 shots are being provided to pharmacies in Prince Rupert between Oct 27 and Nov 3, the Ministry of Health said.

Flu shots are free to everyone in B.C. over the age of six months. They are available at any pharmacy in town. Scheduled appointments are recommended as not all locations have walk-in service available. Staff shortages may also impact on-the-spot service.

Leach Pritchard, Walmart pharmacist said, this year’s flu shot is composed of four inactivated strains of flu viruses, which protects you against two types of influenza A and two types of influenza B virus.

“Generally, the flu shot side effects are milder — if you’re comparing it to a COVID vaccine,” Pritchard said.

You may have a sore arm, feel a little tired, or, least likely scenario, pick up some flu-like symptoms. The symptoms are usually resolved within 24 hours, she said.

Norman Galimski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View

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