Oct. 22, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - H1N1 flu vaccination clinics will open in New Brunswick on Monday, Oct. 26, following Health Canada's approval of AREPANRIX, a vaccine against the pandemic H1N1 flu virus. Dr. Eilish Cleary, chief medical officer of health, made the announcement today.
The approval means that the adjuvanted vaccine has been judged safe and effective for use in Canada by the Canadian manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, as well as by the Health Canada regulator.
"Our H1N1 flu immunization campaign will begin with healthcare workers, First Nation communities and school-aged children," Cleary said. "Clinics will then be extended to other higher-risk groups, followed by the public. We ask for the public's patience and co-operation as we move through the vaccinations of these groups."
Clinic listings will be posted online at www.gnb.ca/flu or be available by calling 1-800-580-0038.
Recommendations about the use of H1N1 flu vaccine have been developed based on the latest scientific evidence, including clinical trial results. The recommendations include:
The Government of Canada has ordered 1.8 million doses of unadjuvanted vaccine for pregnant women; they will be available in early November. In communities where the unadjuvanted vaccine is unavailable and H1N1 flu rates are high or increasing, women more than 20 weeks pregnant should be offered one dose of the adjuvanted vaccine.
Earlier this week, the Department of Health delivered antiviral medication to community pharmacists across New Brunswick so the medication would be ready and available if it is needed.
"A portion of the Tamiflu stockpile will be released on Monday," Cleary said. "This means that Tamiflu will be available at pharmacies to treat H1N1 flu for all New Brunswickers with a prescription from a doctor, free of charge. Your physician or nurse practitioner will determine whether antivirals are an appropriate treatment option in your specific case."
For more information on the pandemic H1N1 flu vaccine, visit www.gnb.ca/flu.
MEDIA CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org; Danielle Phillips, media relations, H1N1 Pandemic, Department of Health, 506-444-3821.