H1N1 vaccines are here-but not for everyone

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.

Everyday, updates on the H1N1 virus make the headlines. After much talk and waiting, the H1N1 vaccine is here.

The vaccine will be available for free to all Nova Scotians who want it.

People who are at the greatest risk for H1N1 need the vaccine first. The vaccine will be available for the following people at clinics this week:

-Pregnant women.
-Children aged 6 months to 59 months (born between December 1, 2004 and May 1, 2009).

Unfortunately at this time we do not have vaccine for children’s parents, caregivers or older siblings.

People in high-risk groups for seasonal flu can get  flu and H1N1 shots at the same time.

District health authorities are organizing community immunization clinics, which will begin across Nova Scotia next week.

The H1N1 vaccine will be available through community clinics, some doctor offices and workplace clinics.

“I have every confidence that the H1N1 vaccine is safe and effective for Nova Scotians,” said Dr. Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer. “I urge all Nova Scotians to get the H1N1 vaccine. It is the best way to protect yourself and your community.”

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 and the latest updates visit www.gov.ns.ca and www.cdha.nshealth.ca.

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