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Free vaccinations to fight this year’s flu season

21 October 2013 

News Release

For Immediate Release

Free vaccinations to fight this year’s flu season

IQALUIT, Nunavut (October 21, 2013) – The annual campaign to vaccinate Nunavummiut against influenza is underway. The vaccine is free and available at health centres throughout Nunavut, and in Iqaluit at the Public Health office.

Two vaccines are available this year. The FluMist spray-in-the-nose vaccine is for children and youth aged 2 to 17. The needle-in-the-arm vaccine is available for all other age groups. Influenza vaccine is not recommended for babies 6 months and younger.

"People at greatest risk from the effects of influenza are the very young and the elderly, and we can do our part to protect our children and elders by getting our flu shot," says Dr. Maureen Baikie, Chief Medical Officer of Health. "People protect themselves and loved ones from influenza when they are vaccinated."

There is less chance of children bringing the flu home from school to their families when they are vaccinated.

Influenza is spread through coughing, sneezing or nasal fluids. Symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, sore muscles, sore throat and feeling tired. Proper hygiene, like regular hand washing and coughing or sneezing into a sleeve or tissue, can help stop the spread of germs.

The influenza season runs from January to May in Nunavut. Dr. Baikie encourages people to get their vaccinations before Christmas so people will be protected when influenza arrives in Nunavut.

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Media Contact:

Ron Wassink
Communications Specialist
Department of Health
867-975-5710
rwassink@gov.nu.ca