“Seasonal influenza, commonly called the flu, is a contagious respiratory virus,” says Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison. “With influenza season approaching, it is important to take the necessary steps now and throughout flu season to help protect yourself against influenza. Wash your hands often, cough or sneeze into your sleeve, stay home if you are sick and, most importantly, get immunized against influenza.”
Typically influenza season begins in Prince Edward Island in December. Influenza vaccine will be delivered in various shipments during the month of October and will be distributed to immunizers.
The flu vaccine became available at local pharmacies for the first time last year. During the last flu season, 38,000 flu vaccines were administered by public health nursing staff, physicians and nurse practitioners. An additional 10,000 flu vaccines were administered by pharmacists.
“Islanders really liked the convenience of being able to get the flu vaccine in their community,” said PEI Pharmacists Association Executive Director Erin MacKenzie. “Pharmacists are pleased to provide additional access to the vaccine and are looking forward to participating in the program again this year.”
The vaccine is provided free of charge by the Department of Health and Wellness. People aged 65 and older, children aged 6-59 months, pregnant women and household contacts of pregnant women, and those who identify as Aboriginal will not be charged an administration fee at the Health PEI public influenza immunization clinics, physician’s offices or pharmacies.
Beginning October 5, Islanders can call 1-855-354-4358 (4FLU) to make an appointment at a Health PEI Influenza Immunization Clinic in communities across the province. Clinics will start on October 13. Islanders can also contact local pharmacists, family physicians or nurse practitioners to get their flu shot.
For more information visit www.gov.pe.ca/flu.