Flu Vaccination Campaign Begins
The flu vaccine is free again this year and, with flu season fast approaching, the province is encouraging everyone to be immunized. “Here in Nova Scotia, our Better Care Sooner plan places a priority on disease prevention,” said Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald. “The free flu shot will help keep people well and is part of our overall plan to reduce pressure on our emergency rooms.” “Each year, many Nova Scotians become ill because of influenza,” said chief public health officer Dr. Robert Strang. “This, in turn, has an impact on our workplaces and our health care system. However, getting immunized can help prevent the flu safely and easily.” The flu vaccine has been delivered to doctors’ offices and will also be offered in workplace and public health clinics. The H1N1 strain will be part of this year’s seasonal flu vaccine. Certain risk groups are especially encouraged to receive the influenza vaccine. These include: Flu symptoms often include a sudden high fever, headache, general aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, a runny, stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat. Proper hygiene, such as handwashing and covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, are also important to prevent the spread of influenza and many other infections. People with flu symptoms should stay home and minimize close contact with others. Government expects to invest $1.5 million to $1.7 million on influenza vaccine. During the 2010-11 influenza season, about 38 per cent of Nova Scotians received the flu vaccine. For more information on the flu, visit www.gov.ns.ca/flu . people older than 65 people who are residents of long-term and other chronic care facilities adults and children with chronic health conditions children and adolescents (age 6 months to 18 years) with conditions treated for long periods with acetylsalicylic acid adults and children with any condition that can compromise respiratory function or increase the risk of aspiration children between six months and five years of age pregnant women people who live with, or care for, someone in one of the above groups health care students and workers first responders such are firefighters and police Aboriginal peoples those with morbid obesity people living in a home where a newborn is expected during the regular influenza season.