- Medication Matters
- About Us
- Information for Patients and the Public
- Information for Health Professionals
- Contact Us
Vaccinations save lives. They allow British Columbians to live free of many vaccine-preventable illnesses and the associated disabilities.
Certain infections can kill or seriously harm you before your body can mount an effective immune response. Vaccination is like a ‘dress rehearsal’ for your immune system so it is prepared for the ‘real show.’ Vaccines trigger your body’s own natural immune response to protect you against future exposure to the disease. Vaccines do this without causing the infection itself!
More information is available:
Vaccinations are available several ways, depending on the type of vaccination you need and the area of the province you live in. Children and eligible adults can get their routine vaccinations through a local public health unit, their family physician and, in some cases, their local community pharmacist.
Ask your physician or pharmacist if they can administer the vaccinations you need too.
People travelling to other countries who need special vaccinations may contact their physician, private travel clinic or their local community pharmacist for information and advice.
In 2009, pharmacists received the authority to administer vaccinations to patients. Expanding the role of pharmacists gives patients more choice for, and increased access to health care, since many communities have pharmacies that are open in the evenings and on weekends, as well as during weekdays.
To be able to give vaccines, pharmacists are required to successfully complete the training program before receiving authorization from the college to administer vaccine injections. The college has also established standards of practice for injection based on the recommendation of an inter-professional committee.
The College of Pharmacists of B.C. maintains a list of pharmacists qualified to administer vaccinations by community.
When fall arrives, flu season is just around the corner. Although you may be fortunate and "never get sick," there are many people in your community - or possibly your family - for whom the flu can be very serious. For elderly and the very young, and people with chronic health conditions of suppressed immune systems, the flu can be devastating and even deadly.
Unlike childhood vaccinations and travel shots, you need a new flu immunization every year.
Those people at greatest risk of serious illness from the flu are eligible to get a free flu shot through the provincial influenza campaign. Find out if you are eligible for a free flu shot.