Flu Season 2015-16 - Public Health
The seasonal influenza (flu) vaccine is free of charge for all Nova Scotians six months of age and older. The flu vaccine is strongly recommended for people at high risk of flu-related complications and the people who care for them. The vaccines that will be publically funded this year are: Fluzone Quad and Flu Laval Tetra. Both products are Quadrivalent Inactivated Vaccines (QIV).
At the greatest risk: Children under five years of age, pregnant women, and adults over age 65 and people with chronic illnesses. Influenza can cause severe illness, hospitalization and death. As of 2015-2016, The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has advised that children and adolescents with neurologic or neurodevelopment conditions (including seizure disorders, febrile seizures and isolated developmental delay) have been included as people at high risk of influenza-related complications or hospitalizations.
The vaccine protects against four strains of the flu predicted to circulate this season, including H1N1. This season get the facts about flu and flu vaccine and for more information, visit the Department of Health and Wellness website.
Where to get your flu shot
In Halifax area and West Hants, the flu vaccine is available in family practices, pharmacies, walk-in clinics, long-term care facilities and through many large employers. If your workplace does not have a flu clinic planned, please contact your family doctor, walk-in clinic or pharmacy to book an appointment.
Information for Health Professionals
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has concluded that egg-allergic individuals may be vaccinated using Quadrivalent Inactivated Vaccine (QIV). This may be done without prior flu vaccine skin test and with the full does, irrespective of a past severe reaction to egg. The vaccine can be given in any settings where vaccines are routinely administered. Immunizers must be prepared for and have the necessary equipment to respond to a vaccine emergency at all times.
Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) should not be given to egg-allergic individuals.
Dosages for Children
The recommendations regarding dosages for children remain the same as last season. For intramuscular flu vaccine, the dose is 0.5 ml for all age groups. This information may differ from the product monograph. Nova Scotia has based its recommendations on the current National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) statement.
|Age Group||Dose||No. of Doses|
|9 years and older||0.5 ml||1|
|6 months to 8 years*||0.5 ml||1 or 2*|
*Children who are six months old and younger than nine years old receiving seasonal flu vaccine for the first time should be given two doses, with a minimum interval of four weeks between doses. Children under nine who have been previously immunized (with one or more doses of seasonal influenza vaccine) receive one dose of flu vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine is not licensed or recommended for infants younger than six months.
Health care providers: Need to order flu vaccine?
For details on ordering flu vaccine from Public Health in the Central Zone, see our Flu immunization update: 2015-16.