Flu Info (Fact or Fiction) *2016 Flu Vaccines Now Available*

We now have the 2016/2017 quadrivalent (four strain, $25) flu vaccine available at our clinic.
The “free” publicly funded three strain flu vaccine will not be released until late October.

Flu Vaccine Myths    

British Columbia Specific Information

Many people choose not to have the influenza vaccine because of myths they believe about the disease or the vaccine.



Myth: Influenza is a minor illness.

Truth: Influenza and its complications have caused from 4000 to 8000 deaths each year in Canada.


Myth: The vaccine causes the flu.

Truth: You can’t get the flu by having the flu shot. The flu shot is made of killed virus and therefore cannot cause the flu.


Myth: The vaccine is ineffective because some people had a flu-like illness after getting a flu vaccine.

Truth: Although getting the vaccine prevents most people from becoming ill with the flu, some people still become infected. This may occur because a person is exposed to the virus before getting a vaccination or before it has taken effect, or because the vaccine does not match the circulating virus closely enough.


Myth: The influenza vaccines protect against the viruses or bacteria that cause colds or stomach illnesses.

Fact: Influenza vaccines do not protect against the viruses or bacteria that cause colds or stomach illnesses, often called the stomach flu. The influenza virus is very different and causes more severe illness than the common cold or the stomach flu. Influenza vaccines only protect against the viruses that cause influenza.


Myth: The influenza vaccines cause severe reactions or side effects.

Fact: The influenza vaccines are safe. Most people who get the flu shot only have redness, soreness or swelling where the vaccine was given. Some people, especially those who get the flu shot for the first time, may have a headache, muscle aches or tiredness.


Myth: I am pregnant and should not get an influenza vaccine.

Fact: The inactivated influenza vaccine or flu shot is considered safe at any stage of pregnancy. Women in the second half of pregnancy are at higher risk of hospitalization due to influenza, especially those in the third trimester. As well, women at any stage of pregnancy who have chronic medical conditions are also at higher risk of serious influenza complications and should be immunized.


Myth: I am a nursing mother and should not get an influenza vaccine.

Fact: It is safe for babies to breastfeed after mothers receive the influenza vaccine.


[HealthLinkBC Files: 2013/2014]

Book an appointment

**Book your appointment today by calling 604.736.9244.

What is the VCH Travel Clinic?

The VCH Travel Clinic is a cost-recovery clinic — meaning any money that does not go towards overhead costs, goes back into Public Health. The clinic has also been designated as the Centre of Excellence in Travel Medicine for B.C. The VCH Travel Clinic is the only true “one-stop shop” that provides prescriptions, health advice, vaccine recommendations, and immunizations tailored to people’s medical history and travel itinerary (all in one place). The clinic also offers travel products including:

  • bed bug spray
  • traveler’s diarrhea capsules
  • mosquito nets/sprays
  • water purification supplies

Clinic locations

The clinic is located in Vancouver and operates a satellite clinic in Richmond.

More information

If you have questions, feel free to call us at 604.736.9244 or email us at travel.clinic@vch.ca.

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