Free Flu Shots Now Available

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Many Pictou County pharmacies offer flu shots, and there are few clinics taking place as well:

Wednesday, Oct. 23 at Hector Arena – 6-8 p.m. Must have valid Nova Scotia Health Card available. Open to people ages five and up. Short sleeves are encouraged.

Monday, Oct. 28 at Lismore Hall – 3-6 p.m. Please have a valid NS Health Card and a list of medications available.

Every year countless people suffer from health complications caused by the flu. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself.

All Nova Scotians are encouraged to get the annual flu shot. It is safe, free of charge, and available from most family doctors, family practice nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and walk-in clinics. People can contact their local public health office if they are unsure where to get the flu vaccine.

“The influenza vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from getting and spreading the virus. It’s free, safe, and effective. There are specific groups with higher risks, but I would encourage everyone to get a flu shot,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health.

It is essential for everyone six months of age and older to get the influenza vaccine, especially those at high risk and those who care for them.

Along with the standard-dose flu shot, there’s also a high-dose flu shot available to people 65 years of age and older who live in long-term care facilities (nursing homes or residential care facilities).

It can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to provide protection. Nova Scotians are encouraged to get vaccinated anytime between now and mid-December to get the full benefit before the flu season arrives.

Quick Facts:

Nova Scotia will receive 447,200 doses of the flu shot this year.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses. It affects the nose, throat, and lungs.

Adults over 65, children six months to five years old, pregnant women, Indigenous Peoples, and people with chronic illness are at a high risk of developing influenza-related complications.

People can contact their local public health office if they have a child under five years of age who does not have a health-care provider or if they experience difficulty accessing the vaccine.

In addition to the annual vaccine, practicing proper hygiene is essential. Frequent hand washing and covering noses and mouths when coughing or sneezing is encouraged to help prevent the spread of influenza.

Flu symptoms often include a sudden high fever, headache, general aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, a runny, stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat.

People with flu symptoms should stay at home to avoid spreading the virus.

The flu usually lasts between five to seven days.