The seasonal influenza vaccine will be available for free from most pharmacies, family doctors, family practice nurses and nurse practitioners across the province, starting Monday, October 25 .
All Nova Scotians over six months old are highly encouraged to get a flu vaccine this year in order to protect themselves, their loved ones and our communities.
It can take up to two weeks for the vaccination to provide protection. Nova Scotians should get vaccinated in the coming weeks to see the full benefit before flu season arrives, which is usually late December to early January.
Flu symptoms often include a sudden high fever; headache, general aches and pains; fatigue and weakness; cough, nasal congestion and sore throat. People with flu symptoms should stay at home. People cannot catch the flu from receiving the influenza vaccination.
This year, due to COVID-19 precautions, the process for getting the flu vaccine will be different than in previous years. Changes may include pre-screening for illness or exposure to COVID-19, requiring an appointment rather than accepting walk-ins, keeping physical distance whenever possible and wearing your mask indoors.
It is safe for individuals, including those age 12 and older to receive the flu vaccine before, after or even at the same time as receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccinations do not protect against the flu.
Healthier habits help make a healthier province. Although the vaccine is the most important action a person can take to prevent the spread of the flu, it is important to continue practicing the healthy habits developed throughout the pandemic, such as practicing proper coughing and sneezing etiquette, hand hygiene, cleaning surfaces, wearing masks, gathering safely, physical distancing and staying home when sick.
“With flu season coming, and the fourth wave of COVID-19 present, we need to continue the healthy habits we’ve learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. That means first and foremost getting your vaccine to protect yourself and loved ones. But it also means continuing to practice the same public health measures we’ve been using for COVID-19.”
– Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.
— Nova Scotia has ordered 495,200 doses of the flu shot this year
— adults over 65, children six months to five years old, people who are pregnant, those residing in crowded living situations, people of any age who are residents of long-term care facilities and people with chronic illness are at a high risk of developing flu-related complications
— people with flu symptoms should get tested for COVID-19 since the symptoms are similar for both illnesses
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 Phase 5 reopening, visit: Phase 5 reopening – Government of Nova Scotia, Canada
For more information about flu, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/flu-influenza/get-your-flu-shot.html