Get your flu shot early to protect yourself and your loved ones.
“I encourage all Nova Scotians to get the flu shot,” said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. “Vaccination is a simple, safe and effective way to prevent getting or spreading the flu.”
Seasonal flu vaccine is now available from most pharmacies, family doctors, family practice nurses and nurse practitioners. Many workplaces also offer flu vaccination clinics for employees. Families with children under the age of five who do not have a health-care provider can arrange their vaccination through the local Public Health office.
“We know that there are many Nova Scotians who, because of age or underlying health conditions, are at highest risk from severe influenza,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief public health officer of Nova Scotia.
“It’s important that Nova Scotians get immunized to help protect the most vulnerable citizens.”
It can take several weeks to build up full immunity against the flu virus. Nova Scotians are encouraged to get their flu shots early, so they can be protected sooner.
High-risk groups strongly encouraged to get a flu shot include:
— children six months to five years of age
— pregnant women
— anyone with a chronic medical condition
— persons with neurological conditions; and
— anyone who lives with, or cares for, a person at high risk.
The province will provide the quadrivalent vaccine as per the recommendation from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. The vaccine contains two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains.
Proper hygiene such as hand washing and covering noses and mouths when coughing or sneezing is also important to prevent the spread of influenza and many other infections. People with flu symptoms should stay home and minimize close contact with others.
Flu symptoms often include a sudden high fever, headache, general aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, a runny, stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat. It can lead to more severe illness such as pneumonia or even death.
For more information on the flu, visit http://novascotia.ca/flu