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Flu shots now available in Colchester East Hants

Public Health Services has begun rolling out the seasonal influenza vaccine to family doctors in Colchester East Hants and public clinics will also begin in the district later this month.
The flu shot is available at family doctors offices, Public Health clinics and other public clinics in Tatamagouche.
More than 44 per cent of Colchester East Hants residents received the flu shot last year – the highest rate in the province – and 90 per cent of these individuals got the flu shot through their family doctor’s office.
According to the Colchester East Hants Health Authority, immunization is the most important thing one can do to protect themself and their loved ones from seasonal influenza (flu) risks. The authority encourages all Nova Scotians to get the shot, but strongly recommends it for those at high risk of flu-related complications and those live with/care for them. This includes:
• People over 65 years of age;
• Residents of long-term and other chronic care facilities;
• Adults and children with chronic health conditions;
• Children and adolescents (age 6 months to 18 years) with conditions treated for long periods with acetylsalicylic acid (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis patients);
• Those with any condition that can compromise respiratory function or increase the risk of aspiration;
• Children 6 months to 5 years old;
• Pregnant women;
• People who live with/care for those listed above;
• Health Care Workers and Health Care Worker students;
• First responders (fire fighters, police);
• People living in a home where a newborn is expected during the regular influenza season (usually November to April)
CEHHA reports that most people will have no side effects from the flu shot but the most common side effect is a sore arm lasting a day or two. A slight fever, chills or a headache are uncommon. The flu shot does not contain live viruses and cannot cause the recipient to get sick with the flu.
Everyone getting a flu shot is reminded to bring their Health Card when attending a clinic and do not visit if you have a cough and fever or common flu symptoms (fatigue, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, decreased appetite, runny nose).
CEHHA says following precautions are also important to prevent illness:
• Wash hands with soap/water, or use 60-90 per cent alcohol-based hand sanitizer if they are not available;
• Cough/sneeze into arm or sleeve. Tissues can be used to cover coughs/sneezes, but be sure to wash hands after throwing out the tissue;
• Don’t share drinking glasses, water bottles, mouth guards, cosmetics or utensils;.
• Limit touching eyes, nose and mouth;
• Frequently clean/disinfect common surfaces with regular household cleaner;
• Stay home when sick.
Visit www.cehha.nshealth.ca to view the clinic schedule or go to www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/flu for more information on influenza, including high risk groups.

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