Nova Scotians have more ways to get the flu shot this year to help protect themselves and others from influenza.
The flu shot is free for all Nova Scotians. Starting this year, it is available from most pharmacists.
It continues to be available from family doctors, family practice nurses, nurse practitioners, and clinics offered by Public Health Services and some workplaces.
“Immunization is a safe, simple, and effective way to protect yourself, your family, and others against the flu,” said Dr. Frank Atherton, Nova Scotia’s deputy chief medical officer of health. “We’re pleased to have pharmacists joining family doctors, nurses and others to make it even easier for Nova Scotians to get the flu shot.”
While the vaccine is recommended for all Nova Scotians, it is especially important for people at high risk of complications including seniors, children age six months to five years, Aboriginal people, pregnant women and anyone with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes. This also includes those who live with, or care for, people in high risk groups.
Flu symptoms often include sudden high fever, headache, general aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, a runny, stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat, but can lead to more severe illness such as pneumonia or even death.
“Getting vaccinated is the single most effective way to prevent the flu,” said Health and Wellness deputy minister Kevin McNamara. “Not only does it keep Nova Scotians healthy, it also reduces the number of people going to doctors and emergency departments.”
Proper hygiene, such as handwashing and covering the nose and mouth 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. If they have questions, they can call 811 and speak to a registered nurse.
For more information on the flu, visit www.gov.ns.ca/flu.