Three more people with the H1N1 virus have died in British Columbia — two of whom were middle-aged women in the Fraser Health region — bringing the total this flu season to 12 deaths.

The third death was in the Interior. Provincial health officials say all but one of the victims had
underlying health problems.

Eighty-eight new serious cases of H1N1 have sprung up in B.C. in the past week, 21 of which required hospitalization in intensive care.

Vaccinations began across the country on Monday to inoculate the most vulnerable patients against the second wave of the virus — pregnant women past their 20th week, people with underlying health conditions, aboriginals and those living in remote areas.

Anna-Marie D’Angelo, a spokesperson for Vancouver Coastal Health, said demand remained high yesterday at the roughly 12 Vancouver clinics offering the free vaccination.

“We had a lineup for the (clinic) at Knight Street,” she said.

“We gave more than 20,000 vaccinations to the doctors in private practice in Vancouver, so people are also going to their doctors.”

On Monday, so many people turned up to the clinic at Arbutus Mall that it ran out of the vaccine in the early afternoon.

The vaccination program will be expanded in the next week to children between six months and five years and people in the health-care field.

In mid-November, the shot will be available to anyone who wants it.
With files from The Canadian Press