VANCOUVER - The British Columbia government will be using its provincial health registry to contact parents in an attempt to increase flu vaccine rates for children.
Join Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, and Dr. Penny Ballem, Executive Lead, Immunize BC Vaccine Operations, for an update on protecting children through the influenza season. https://t.co/kBznnTAtoA— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) December 5, 2022
While the province is on track for a record number of people getting their flu shot this year, Dr. Penny Ballem, with BC Vaccine Operations, says only 20 per cent of children under five have been vaccinated.
Ballem says they'll be sending texts and emails to families of about 150,000 children under five inviting them to make appointments to get vaccinated.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says after two years of low rates of flu, mostly due to travel restrictions, the province is seeing a "dramatic increase" in illness and it arrived sooner than normal.
Henry says there is still time for people to get a flu vaccine to protect themselves and their children, especially as the holiday season approaches.
Health Minister Adrian Dix says visits to provincial emergency rooms had been averaging 6,700 per day, but that is now peaking up to 6,900 patients daily, with extra pressure on B.C. Children's and Fraser Health hospitals.