H1N1 vaccination campaign has been expanded

Everyone is encouraged to wash hands frequently to prevent the spread of illness.

Everyone is encouraged to wash hands frequently as it is the best way to reduce the spread of infection.

Nova Scotians are reminded that clinics will NOT be open on November 11, Remembrance Day.

Nova Scotia’s H1N1 vaccination campaign has been expanded to include three new groups, Dr. Robert Strang, the province’s chief public health officer, announced today, Nov. 10.

People in the following groups will now be eligible to receive H1N1 vaccine:

-People younger than 65 with chronic medical conditions.

-People living with, or providing care in the home for, infants less than six months of age, people living with those at high-risk who cannot be immunized (for example, those with anaphylaxis or severe egg allergies), and those who are immunocompromised and may not respond to vaccine.

-People who work in residential-care facilities, community-based option and small-option homes, group homes and developmental residences.

The following groups are still eligible to be immunized:

-Pregnant women, and women up to four weeks postpartum and their partner.

-Women who have just given birth, and their partner.

-Children aged six months to younger than five years old.

-Children 19 or younger with chronic medical conditions for which they receive regular medical attention, including morbid obesity.

-People living on First Nations communities.

-Health-care workers in district health authorities, long-term care facilities and home-care agencies who provide direct care to patients. This includes family physicians, family practice nurses, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

“If you’re in one of these priority groups, I urge you to get vaccinated against H1N1 as soon as possible,” said Dr. Strang. “If you’re not, I again ask for your patience and your understanding.”

The province’s goal continues to be to protect those most vulnerable and decisions are based on nationally agreed upon target groups, epidemiology, the quantity of vaccine available and delivery logistics.

District health authorities will now offer clinics six days a week.

The province will also offer the vaccine to more people, based on risk, as soon as supply allows.

Along with immunization, people are reminded to take the following steps to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus and any other illness:

-Wash hands often with soap and water. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are a good alternative.
-Cough and sneeze into sleeve.
-Dispose of tissue appropriately and wash hands.
-Limit touching eyes, nose and mouth.
-Do not share water bottles, cosmetics, eating utensils, or anything that comes in contact with your mouth or face.

For more information (including clinic locations) and the latest updates visit www.gov.ns.ca and www.cdha.nshealth.ca.

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