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Starting this week Nova Scotians aged 65 years and older can get a free high-dose influenza vaccine that is recommended for older Nova Scotians. The vaccine will be available at local pharmacies and medical clinics.

Starting the week of October 23, the standard-dose influenza vaccine will be available to those aged six months to 64 years old. Children aged six months to nine years who have never had an influenza vaccine should receive two doses four weeks apart this fall.

The province will also begin offering Moderna's updated COVID-19 vaccine the week of October 16 and Pfizer’s updated vaccine is due to arrive by early November. When the vaccines arrive, they will be available to people aged six months and older.

People who have already completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccine can receive a dose of the updated COVID-19 vaccine if it has been at least six months since their last COVID-19 vaccine or known COVID-19 infection.

Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health reminded Nova Scotians during a media conference last Tuesday (Oct 3), that the vaccines remain the best way to defend themselves and those around them against both viruses. "This fall, we encourage everyone to roll up their sleeves and get both recommended vaccines to protect their health. It's the best way to limit the spread of both influenza and COVID-19," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Officer of Health. "By staying up to date on all your vaccinations, staying home when sick if possible, and following other preventive measures, you're helping to keep your loved ones and our communities healthy." The province says it is safe and convenient to receive both the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time, and it is recommended that Nova Scotians book them at the same appointment if their provider is offering this option. Nova Scotians who get their vaccine from a family doctor, nurse practitioner, or family practice nurse can book an appointment by calling the clinic directly. However, the province said that most primary care providers will only be offering influenza vaccines this year.

Appointments for COVID-19 and influenza vaccines in pharmacies and outreach clinics will be posted online as they become available at: Children aged six months to nine years who have never had an influenza vaccine should receive two doses four weeks apart this fall

Photo by Mohammad Shahhosseini on Unsplash

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