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Most flu shots available for the general public

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Almost all available flu shots have now been rolled out, both at clinics and pharmacies around the Lower Mainland.

High-risk patients have been able to get flu shots for about three weeks but this weekend marks when 95 per cent of the vaccine is available to everyone.

There hasn’t been a shortage of vaccines this year like last, but some clinics around the province have reported long wait lists.

Alternative health expert Bryce Wylde says anyone getting the shot should ask for the unit dose rather than the multi-dose since it doesn’t contain a controversial chemical element.

“So [the] unit dose is a little more expensive for the federal government to you know manufacture and distribute for free. The unit dose doesn’t have mercury in it because it doesn’t require constant perforation by a hypodermic,” he explains. “Mercury serves as a preservative as well as an antibacterial so you ask for the unit dose and the unit dose is intended for pregnant women, you know we know a lot of negative side effects that happen from mercury and there is a lot of controversy out there, the idea is that there are really no safe levels.”

This years flu vaccine contains a type of the H3N2 virus. The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates about 3,500 Canadians die each year from flu-related complications.