**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
Flu Shot Now Available
Every year countless people suffer from health complications caused by the flu. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself.
All Nova Scotians are encouraged to get the annual flu shot. It is safe, free of charge and available from most family doctors, family practice nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and walk-in clinics. People can contact their local public health office if they are unsure where to get the flu vaccine.
It is important for everyone six months of age and older to get the influenza vaccine, especially those at high risk and those who care for them.
Along with the standard-dose flu shot, there’s also a high-dose flu shot available to people 65 years of age and older who live in long-term care facilities (nursing homes or residential care facilities).
It can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to provide protection. Nova Scotians are encouraged to get vaccinated anytime between now and mid-December to get the full benefit before flu season arrives.
“The influenza vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from getting and spreading the virus. It’s free, safe and effective. There are specific groups with higher risks but I would encourage everyone to get a flu shot.”
– Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health
— Nova Scotia will receive 447,200 doses of the flu shot this year
— influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses. It affects the nose, throat and lungs
— adults over 65, children six months to five years old, pregnant women, Indigenous Peoples, and people with chronic illness are at a high risk of developing influenza related complications
— people can contact their local public health office if they have a child under five years of age who does not have a health-care provider or if they experience difficulty accessing the vaccine
— in addition to the annual vaccine, practising proper hygiene is important. Frequent hand washing and covering noses and mouths when coughing or sneezing is encouraged to help prevent the spread of influenza
— flu symptoms often include a sudden high fever, headache, general aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, a runny, stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat
— people with flu symptoms should stay at home to avoid spreading the virus
— the flu usually lasts between five to seven days
For more information on the flu and the vaccine, visit: http://novascotia.ca/flu
For hours and location of your local public health office, visit: http://www.nshealth.ca/public-health-offices
For information on the difference between a cold and the flu, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/cold-flu-know-difference-fact-sheet.html