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Province urging vaccines as we head into flu season

The B.C. government is expecting a surge in both COVID-19 and influenza this fall and is recommending people get their boosters as well as the yearly flu shot.

Provincial officials said influenza is especially expected to rise because of two years of low rates due to travel and socialization restrictions.

The province expects up to an additional 700 patients will need hospitalization over the coming months due to COVID-19.

They expect the peak hospitalizations for patients with the flu to be up to 1,200.

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Invitations for fall booster shots for COVID-19 will be available to those who had their last shot at least six months ago.

People in long-term care and assisted-living facilities will be able to get their flu shot starting the week of Oct. 3.

The rest of the province can get theirs the week of Oct. 11, following the Thanksgiving long weekend.

The flu shot is free for everyone six months or older.

For the first time, provincial officials said seniors older than 65 can get a free enhanced influenza vaccine that gives better protection against the flu.

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