FREDERICTON (GNB) – Beginning Oct. 12, New Brunswickers will be able to get their free flu shot from primary health-care providers. Residents can be immunized at a variety of clinics offered at pharmacies and community health centres or through other primary-care providers such as physicians, public health nurses, midwives and paramedics.

“Anyone six months of age or older should get their flu shot,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “And anyone 65 and older can get an enhanced high-dose influenza vaccine, which gives older people a stronger immune response and extra protection.”

Older adults have a higher risk of serious complications from influenza, including pneumonia, heart failure, hospitalization or even death. The high-dose vaccines contain four times the antigens of regular vaccines to boost the immune system.

The Department of Health will be including the high-dose flu vaccine as part of its immunization program for all elderly residents, including those in long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and adult residential facilities. The flu shot can be safely administered at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine.

Russell said keeping New Brunswickers healthy this flu season is more important than ever.

“We need everyone to help reduce the strain that COVID-19 has put on our health-care system,” said Russell. “By getting this year’s flu shot, we are helping to reduce hospital visits from influenza-related illnesses and freeing up those resources for areas where they are needed most.”

Out-of-province students can get their flu shots through student health services at their respective post-secondary institutions. New residents and non-residents without a Medicare card can get flu shots free of charge from a pharmacist.

More information is available online.