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Flu vaccines in short supply in Nova Scotia

WATCH: As flu season hits its peak, vaccine supply is hitting a low in Nova Scotia. Some pharmacies and clinics across the province have run out of vaccines and there are no more available for distribution. Alicia Draus has more.

As flu season hits its peak, vaccine supply is hitting a low in Nova Scotia.

Some pharmacies and clinics across the province have run out of vaccines and there are no more available for distribution.

The province orders vaccines based on historical usage, which is less than 40 per cent of the population. This year, about 430,000 doses were ordered and they have all been distributed.

READ MORE: This season’s flu shot effective enough to block 7 of 10 cases: BC CDC

With no more available, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang has put out a request to pharmacies and clinics.

“We ask those providers to collaborate and work together with two priority populations,” said Strang.

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Those populations are children who have turned six months since November as they cannot get a shot until they reach that age, and young children getting immunized for the first time as they require two doses.

“We’ve asked providers to make those two groups a priority with the remaining vaccine supplies knowing that everybody else would have had lots of opportunity to get flu vaccine during our immunization campaign in the fall,” he said.

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But Dr. Strang says having a low supply this time of year is not unusual.

“It’s what we want to see. We bring in a lot of vaccine. We really have a push of flu vaccination in the fall up into Christmas, so we actually don’t want a lot of flu vaccines now in the peak of flu season,” he said.

As the flu season goes, on vaccines become less effective because it takes a couple weeks to build up immunity.

READ MORE: When should you get the flu shot in Canada?

This year, four people have died from the flu in Nova Scotia and 57 have been hospitalized.

But so far, the flu season has been less severe than last year, with only 119 confirmed cases compared to 239 cases this time last year.

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WATCH: Flu vaccine effectiveness much higher than previous years

Flu vaccine effectiveness much higher than previous years
Flu vaccine effectiveness much higher than previous years
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