Sept. 17, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswick will be drawing upon federal guidelines to establish H1N1 flu vaccination clinics in the province, Dr. Eilish Cleary, chief medical officer of health, said today.
"These guidelines are intended to be adapted as needed by the province," said Cleary. "In terms of implementation in New Brunswick, our programs are being designed to offer vaccine early to reach all priority groups listed as well as Aboriginal communities, school-age children, and at correctional facilities."
The guidelines, released yesterday by the Public Health Agency of Canada, suggest that the at-risk groups that should be targeted for early vaccination include:
"I am pleased that the Public Health Agency of Canada has developed this guidance for use at a national level," said Health Minister Mary Schryer. "This will ensure some consistency across jurisdictions while providing the provinces and territories with the flexibility to make decisions based on local circumstances."
The provincial government has invested $17.1 million to provide the H1N1 flu vaccine free to all New Brunswickers who choose to be immunized. Preparations are underway to hold mass vaccination clinics throughout the province. A public awareness campaign will be launched to give New Brunswickers the specifics of where, how and when they may obtain the vaccine.
New Brunswickers should continue to protect themselves and those around them 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.
It is recommended that you limit contact with other people, including other household members until: you are free of symptoms; and you are feeling well. If symptoms worsen, they should visit their physician or nurse-practitioner, a walk-in clinic or the nearest hospital emergency department.
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; and more information on the H1N1 flu virus may be found online or by calling the 24-hour H1N1 line, 1-800-580-0038.
MEDIA CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org; Danielle Phillips, communications, H1N1 Pandemic, Department of Health, 506-444-3821.