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H1N1 protection in seasonal flu vaccine

Canadians who chose not to be immunized against H1N1 during the pandemic will have another shot at getting protected with this year’s seasonal flu vaccination.

Canadians who chose not to be immunized against H1N1 during the pandemic will have another shot at getting protected with this year’s seasonal flu vaccination.

Next week, provinces and territories across the country will begin rolling out the 2010-11 vaccine, which includes H1N1 A and two other strains — H3N2 influenza A Perth and influenza B Brisbane.

All children over six months old and adults of all ages are encouraged to get a flu shot, said Dr. Patricia Huston, senior medical adviser for the Public Health Agency of Canada.

“It will protect you against the pandemic H1N1 strain, for example,” said Huston. “But we anticipate it will be a new H3N2 strain that will be circulating this year, so previous flu vaccines will not cover you for that.

“There is no harm in having a repeat vaccine ... and it will protect you for the new strains.”

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health, said the province’s theme for this flu season is “getting back to business” after the pandemic.

Ontario has purchased five million doses of vaccine and all residents are eligible for a free flu shot under the province’s universal influenza immunization program.

 
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