Oct. 1, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The components of a public awareness campaign encouraging New Brunswickers to be vaccinated against the seasonal flu were unveiled today by Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Paul Van Buynder.
"Vaccination is recognized as the single most effective way of reducing the impact of seasonal influenza, especially for those most at risk of complications," said Van Buynder. "This is why I am urging every New Brunswicker who is eligible for the publicly funded program to be vaccinated this fall."
Seasonal influenza poses serious health risks to the elderly, the very young, and those with weakened immune systems or other chronic health conditions. The Department of Health funds flu vaccine for babies between the ages of six and 23 months, those aged 65 and over, pregnant women, and others at high risk of complications from influenza, as well as their household contacts.
The seasonal flu vaccine is adjusted annually to reflect changes in the viruses that are circulating, which is why a new vaccine must be administered every year.
Infants between six and 23 months old, seniors 65 and older, and pregnant women may receive the vaccine from either the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON), their family physician, or nurse practitioner. Individuals between the ages of two and 65 who may be at high risk of flu complications should consult their family clinician.
Those eligible for the publicly funded flu vaccine include:
The influenza vaccine is also recommended for those at risk of spreading the virus to high-risk individuals (that is, health-care workers).
For information about influenza vaccine clinics, call your family physician, nurse practitioner or the VON.
Additional information on the flu may be found online at www.gnb.ca/flu.
MEDIA CONTACT: Danielle Phillips, media relations, H1N1 Pandemic, Department of Health, 506-444-3821.