Plan to see your family doctor for your flu shot
Family doctors are asking their patients to roll up their sleeve to receive a flu shot. This year, it’s even more important to be vaccinated against the influenza virus and its complications.
That’s because we worry about Nova Scotians getting sick with flu and with COVID-19. We all must stay well so emergency departments and testing centres are reserved for people who really need care, particularly as we enter the second wave of the pandemic.
Receiving your flu shot is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu. The flu shot is safe and free for all Nova Scotians six months of age and older.
We encourage everyone to get vaccinated, including people at high risk for complications from the flu, such as adults 65 years of age and older, children six months to five years of age, pregnant women, people with conditions like heart disease, asthma and diabetes, and Indigenous peoples (due to the high risk of complications and hospitalizations).
People at high risk of COVID-19-related illness and people who could give the flu to them should also receive the influenza vaccine this fall.
Flu shots will be available after Thanksgiving until mid-December and beyond, if needed. Clinics are being planned across the province, but things will be a little different this year. Clinics will follow public health measures to protect patients from COVID-19. You must be screened for COVID-19, wear a mask, clean your hands, social distance and follow any other instructions your doctor provides.
We expect demand for a flu shot to be high this year. If you haven’t already done so, please contact your family doctor’s office (or walk-in clinic, if you don’t have a family doctor) to book an appointment for your flu shot.
Remember: the flu shot will only protect you from the flu. We must all do our part to help prevent others from getting sick from COVID-19, such as washing our hands, wearing a mask and keeping social distance. If you do get sick with symptoms that feel like the flu or COVID-19, it’s important to get tested for COVID-19.
Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie
President, Doctors Nova Scotia