One of the best methods in contemporary medicine for stopping the spread and effects of contagious diseases continues to be vaccinations. They provide defense not only to those who have had vaccinations but also to those who may be more susceptible, such as small children, senior citizens, and people with compromised immune systems. Additionally, maintaining current immunizations enhances our healthcare system as a whole, assisting in the prevention of epidemics and guaranteeing that vital resources for health continue to be accessible to individuals who may require them.
It’s time to check off an item on your autumn to-do list: updating your immunizations. The back-to-school craziness is behind, and the cold season is drawing near. A flu vaccination used to be the topic of conversation’s beginning and conclusion, but these days it’s a little more complicated.
Here is a quick summary of this autumn’s immunization needs.
Everyone six months of age and older needs to have the most recent COVID-19 shot, which targets the XBB 1.5 subvariant that is now prevalent in Canada, as well as the influenza (flu) shot this autumn. In Nova Scotia, flu shots are accessible at pharmacies and doctors’ offices, whereas COVID-19 vaccinations are provided at neighborhood pharmacies and some medical centers. Both of these vaccinations are free of charge for Nova Scotians with a current health card. This year, seniors in Nova Scotia can now get the high-dose influenza vaccine free of charge. The elderly Nova Scotian population is advised to get this vaccine because it has a higher dose.
Nova Scotians can now sign up for one or both of the advised vaccinations using the CanImmunize portal (it’s safe and effective), separately or simultaneously. A working Nova Scotia health card and a phone number are all you need to register. Call your family practice directly if you’d prefer to have your flu vaccination from your primary care physician, a family practice nurse, or a nurse practitioner.
Children above the age of six months should have a flu shot every year in addition to their regularly scheduled vaccinations for children under the age of five. Your youngster will require two doses of the flu vaccination the first year. Children in this age range are also advised to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Your child’s pediatrician or family doctor will be able to inform you if your child qualifies for the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine. Some kids who were born preterm or who have other health issues may also qualify.
Hepatitis B, the human papillomavirus (HPV), meningitis, and tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis are among the four free vaccinations given to students in Grade 7. These immunizations can protect against dangerous infections. Nova Scotia Public Health oversees the school-based immunization program. Find out more here.
People over 50
Seniors with chronic diseases, in particular, have a lengthier list of recommended vaccines. Consider the following in addition to the COVID-19 and flu vaccinations that are recommended for everyone:
• Shingrix – Anyone over 50 years old can receive the painful shingles vaccine, which can help protect you from it. Consult your provider to see if your private health insurance will cover this vaccination.
• Arexvy is a brand-new RSV vaccine that has just been authorized for use in Canadians over 60.
• There are several pneumococcal vaccines; ask your health care provider which is best for you. Examples include Prevnar 20, Pneumovax 23, and others.
• T-Dap vaccine – Every adult should have this at least once while they are adults to protect them from tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis. Pregnant women should also receive the vaccine.
Learn more about the vaccinations you should get this fall at https://www.yourdoctors.ca/blog/healthy-living/fall-vaccines