Manitobans are being encouraged to get a flu vaccine as soon as possible, the province’s health and seniors ministers announced Monday.
The province is launching its annual flu shot campaign, which includes expanded eligibility this year for all people 65 and older, who can get the high-dose influenza vaccine — previously only available to people in personal care homes and remote northern communities.
The regular flu vaccine is available to anyone six months of age or older.
“Expanding eligibility for the high-dose influenza vaccine will help people aged 65 and older in Manitoba stay healthy and active in the months ahead,” said seniors and long-term care minister Scott Johnston.
“This is an important improvement in Manitoba’s seasonal flu campaign. Fall is a great time to commit to wellness and a healthy, virus-free winter, so I would encourage all Manitoba seniors to schedule a vaccine appointment as soon as possible.”
The province said it handed out more than 400,000 doses of vaccine last year, representing just under 30 per cent of Manitoba’s population.
Dr. Brent Roussin, the province’s chief provincial public health officer, said Manitobans can also “layer on more protection” — in addition to the vaccine — by hand-washing, covering coughs, and staying home when sick.
“These simple steps will help to keep us all healthier and protect our health-care system for those who need it most,” he said.
To find a location with the flu vaccine, you can use the online vaccine finder or call 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC).