Oct. 15, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The government is investing $4.2 million to buy and deliver the publicly funded influenza vaccine to eligible New Brunswickers, Health Minister Michael Murphy said today.
The influenza vaccine will soon be available at Victoria Order of Nurses (VON) clinics or family physicians.
Influenza can pose serious health risks to the elderly; the very young; and those with weakened immune systems or certain other health conditions. The Department of Health funds flu vaccine for babies between six and 23 months; seniors aged 65 years and older, pregnant women; and others at high risk of complications from influenza
"Vaccination is recognized as the single most effective way of reducing the impact of influenza, especially for those most at risk of complications,'' said Murphy. "This is why I am urging every New Brunswicker who is eligible for the publicly funded program to be vaccinated this fall."
Dr. Eilish Cleary, New Brunswick's acting chief medical officer of health, said the flu vaccine must be adjusted annually to accommodate changes in the influenza virus.
"A new vaccine must be administered every year to provide protection against circulating strains of the virus,'' she said.
Infants between six and 23 months, seniors aged 65 years and older and pregnant women can receive the flu vaccine from either the VON or their family physician. Individuals between the ages of two and 65 who may be at high risk of flu complications should consult with their family physician.
Those eligible for the publicly funded flu vaccine include:
People with chronic health conditions if significant enough to require regular medical follow-up or hospital care. These high-risk conditions include:
For information about influenza vaccine clinics, please call your family physician or the VON.
Additional information on the flu may be found at www.gnb.ca/health.
MEDIA CONTACT: Johanne Le Blanc, communications, Department of Health, 506-457-3513.