Everyone now eligible for H1N1 vaccine
All British Columbians are now eligible for the H1N1 flu vaccine, health officials announced Thursday.
"I want to encourage every British Columbian who has not yet been vaccinated to now go out and get their shot as soon as possible," Dr. Perry Kendall, B.C.'s provincial health officer, said in a statement.
"Becoming complacent would be a mistake and, unless we get more people immunized, there is still potential for B.C. to see as many hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks as we have seen to date."
The province expects to receive an additional 640,000 doses late next week.
Kendall said the decision to expand vaccine eligibility to everyone was made because clinics have been operating at less than full capacity this week.
"It is only fair to open it up to the rest of the population so that any and all British Columbians who want to be vaccinated can now do so," Kendall said.
Kendall, however, cautioned that there is not enough vaccine for everyone and clinics may run out and close until additional supplies come in.
An estimated one million British Columbians have been immunized.