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Editorial: The flu is hitting us hard. Time to get your shot.

The flu is hitting B.C. hospitals hard. It's not too late to do the right thing.
Susan Kim receives a flu shot from Gurneil Parmar at the Cridge Family Pharmacy on Cook Street in Victoria, Dec. 5, 2022. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says it’s especially important for B.C. residents to get vaccinated against the flu this year, since last year’s low influenza rates means immunity against influenza is lower than usual. | Adian Lam Times Colonist

For the first time in three years, we are headed into the holiday season with virtually no restrictions on who or how many people we can mingle with. Unfortunately, the same goes for viruses like influenza, RSV and COVID-19, which are now slamming our already threadbare hospitals.

Speaking to reporters Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry said this year’s flu is hitting young children particularly hard. We’ve seen the stories about the shortage in children’s fever medicine, the Code Orange at BC Children’s Hospital and the dozen-plus-hour waits for desperate parents and sick tots in the ER.

Henry has rejected calls for the return of mandatory masking to slow the spread of viruses, emphasizing that vaccination against preventable illness is still the sharpest tool at our disposal.

Flu shots are free, safe and effective yet, only 15 per cent of kids in B.C. have had a flu shot this season.

Much like Scrooge after a visit from three ghosts, it’s not too late. We encourage everyone – especially those who are the most vulnerable – to get their jab.

Taking the precaution could very well be the miracle that saves your family’s Christmas or Hanukkah 2022.

If the thought of spending in the night in a hospital waiting room with a child running a fever isn’t enough to persuade you, consider it as a gift to our beleaguered doctors, nurses and hospital staff.

After everything they’ve endured over the last three years, they’ve more than earned their way onto the Nice list.

What are your thoughts? Send us a letter via email by clicking here or post a comment below.

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