Seasonal flu vaccine free for all Nova Scotians

Previously, only certain risk groups were publicly funded but now everyone is covered

Seasonal flu vaccine for the 2010-11 influenza season will now be free for all Nova Scotians.

"Because of the potential for H1N1 to be one of the main influenza strains next winter, I feel it is important that Nova Scotians have easy access to seasonal flu vaccine," said Maureen MacDonald, Minister of Health Promotion and Protection. "We are making life better for Nova Scotians in every region by making an investment that will help keep families healthy during the upcoming flu season."

In previous years, the province's seasonal flu program was publicly funded for certain risk groups, including people 65 and older; children six to 23 months old; pregnant women, health-care workers; and first responders. This year, the program will cover anyone who wants to get immunized.

"The flu shot is a simple, safe and effective way to protect yourself and your family against the influenza virus," said Robert Strang, Chief Public Health Officer for Nova Scotia. "I encourage all Nova Scotians to receive the vaccine when it becomes available this fall."

More detail on the flu season and the vaccine will be made available as soon as it is known. Nova Scotia's vaccination program usually begins in October. Influenza season in Nova Scotia typically runs from November to April.

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