Free high-dose flu shot for seniors; COVID-19 and standard flu shots for all

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NS Health release:

For the first time, Nova Scotians aged 65 years and older can get the high-dose influenza vaccine for free.

The high-dose vaccine will be available starting this week at local pharmacies and medical clinics. This vaccine contains a bigger dose and is recommended for older Nova Scotians.

Nova Scotia will also be offering updated COVID-19 vaccine to people aged six months and older and regular-dose influenza vaccine for those six months to 64 years old. These vaccines are free, safe and protect against the latest strains of both illnesses.

They will be available later this month.

“This fall, we encourage everyone to roll up their sleeves and get both recommended vaccines to protect their health. It’s the best way to limit the spread of both influenza and COVID-19,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. “By staying up to date on all your vaccinations, staying home when sick if possible, and following other preventive measures, you’re helping to keep your loved ones and our communities healthy.”

It is safe and convenient to receive both the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time, and it is recommended that Nova Scotians book them at the same appointment if their provider is offering this option.

Vaccines will be available following this approximate schedule:
— high-dose influenza (65-plus only) – available now
— Moderna’s updated COVID-19 vaccine – the week of October 16
— standard-dose influenza vaccine – the week of October 23
— Pfizer’s updated COVID-19 vaccine – late October/early November.

Appointments for COVID-19 and influenza vaccines in pharmacies and outreach clinics will be posted online as they become available at:

Nova Scotians who get their vaccine from a family doctor, nurse practitioner or family practice nurse can book an appointment by calling the clinic directly. Most primary care providers will only be offering influenza vaccines this year.

Quick Facts:
— this year, Nova Scota invested $4.7 million in the high-dose influenza vaccine for people 65 years of age and older
— people cannot get influenza or COVID-19 from the respective vaccine
— influenza and COVID-19 symptoms can include a sudden high fever, headache, general aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, a runny, stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat
— people who have already completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccine can receive a dose of the updated COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least six months since their last COVID-19 vaccine or known COVID-19 infection
— children aged six months to nine years who have never had an influenza vaccine should receive two doses four weeks apart this fall

Additional Resources:
More information on influenza and the vaccine is available at:

More information on COVID-19 and Nova Scotia’s response is available at:

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s guidance on COVID-19 vaccines this fall is available at:

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