Are the flue shots free? I recently arrived from New Zealand...

Question: 

Are the flue shots free? I recently arrived from New Zealand and had taken a shot in May (as it was winter there). Is it okay to have another shot in 6 months?

Answer: 

In BC, influenza (flu) vaccines are provided free to people at high risk of serious illness from influenza, people able to transmit or spread influenza to those at high risk of serious illness from influenza, and people who provide essential community services. You can find a list of people eligible for a free influenza vaccine here. Those not eligible for a free influenza vaccine can purchase it at some pharmacies and travel clinics. 

The virus strains contained in the 2017 influenza vaccines for the Southern Hemisphere are the same as those contained in the 2017-18 influenza vaccines for the Northern Hemisphere. However, protection from the influenza vaccine declines over time. Getting an additional dose of the vaccine within 6 months is safe and helps ensure protection.  We recommend that you discuss getting an additional dose of the vaccine further with your immunizing health care provider.

- Immunization Nurse