VICTORIA -- The Vancouver Island health authority ordered 60,000 additional flu vaccines this year compared to last year, as health officials continue to warn about the compounding effects of flu season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Island Health says demand for the flu shot on the island, and across B.C., has been high, and doctors are asking the public to be patient while vaccines are distributed.

To date, the health authority has distributed more than 214,000 doses of the vaccine to community health-care providers, which is 17,000 more doses than at this time last year. Island Health says it has also administered more than 15,600 doses at public flu clinics.

Last month the health authority requested more doses from the BC Centre for Disease Control, which are expected to arrive in late November to early December, according to Island Health.

“We encourage people to check back with their primary care provider or pharmacist in late November and December if they are unable to book an appointment at this time,” an Island Health spokesperson told CTV News on Thursday. “We also ask that people be patient and calm.”

Private flu clinic operators, including London Drugs in Victoria, have been booked solid for flu-shot appointments and are taking names for waitlists.

London Drugs says it will be adding more flu clinic appointments once the company receives more vaccines.