Sept. 15, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government will invest $17.1 million to purchase and deliver the pandemic (H1N1) 2009 flu vaccine to New Brunswickers, Health Minister Mary Schryer announced today.
"This funding will cover the administrative costs of operating mass vaccination clinics throughout the province as well as the province's share of the vaccine cost," said Schryer.
The vaccine will be free to all New Brunswickers who need and want to be immunized. Vaccine production is underway, and the first doses are expected in November.
"Our government is committed to being responsive throughout all stages of the pandemic," Schryer said. "Significant planning is on-going to ensure New Brunswickers have accurate health protection information and are cared for should they fall ill with the virus. Clearly, vaccination is a very important stage in the pandemic response."
Under a federal-provincial-territorial agreement, New Brunswick and other Canadian jurisdictions are sharing the cost of the vaccine serum with the federal government. A sequencing recommendation for immunization is expected soon by the Public Health Agency of Canada. Groups most at risk of developing severe illness from the virus will be immunized first.
New Brunswickers should continue to follow the advice of the province's chief medical officer of health by washing hands thoroughly and often, coughing or sneezing into sleeves, staying home if sick, and keeping common surfaces clean.
Persons at high risk of complications from influenza-like illness should seek medical attention promptly. Those at risk include pregnant women, people with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, or those with compromised immune systems.
Persons with influenza-like symptoms should stay home and minimize contact with family members as much as possible. If symptoms worsen, they should visit their physician or nurse-practitioner, a walk-in clinic, or the nearest hospital emergency department. It is recommended that such persons limit contact with other people, including other household members, until they are free of symptoms, and are feeling well.
It is important for New Brunswickers to understand that if they do not have influenza-like symptoms, it is safe to go to work and school, to participate in activities and to socialize.
MEDIA CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org; Danielle Phillips, media relations, H1N1 Pandemic, Department of Health, 506-444-3821.