Nova Scotians split on getting H1N1 vaccine - Metro US

Nova Scotians split on getting H1N1 vaccine

Despite warnings from Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer that a second wave of swine flu is hitting the province, opinions seem split over getting vaccinated.

Dr. Robert Strang urged all Nova Scotians Wednesday to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves against H1N1.

“I think we are on the beginning of our second wave here in Nova Scotia,” Strang told reporters at a news conference, citing new cases being diagnosed in the province.

“I’m going to get (the vaccination),” said Rachel Sunter, a 22-year-old university student who was working Thursday at a Halifax pub. “I’ve done a lot of research into it and I feel it’s a better option than not.

“It would be a huge shame if I didn’t do that and I had to take a month off school in February.”

The federal government approved the vaccine Wednesday, and vaccinations are expected to begin in Nova Scotia by the middle of next week. High risk groups include young children, people under 65 with chronic conditions, and health care workers. Working age adults are also susceptible.

But some people remain on the fence, or unconvinced.

“I haven’t decided,” said Drew Brazil, 23. “It seems that they sort of rushed to put it out, but I don’t think they’d be pushing it so hard if it wasn’t safe.”

“I’ve never had a flu shot in my life, and I’ve never had the flu either,” added 22-year-old Katie Hagan of Halifax. “I just don’t feel that I need one.”

Health Minister Maureen MacDonald said Thursday the province will be launching a massive PR campaign touting the benefits of the vaccine this weekend.

MacDonald admitted 100 per cent vaccination was unlikely, but she wouldn’t provide a government estimate on vaccination numbers, or say what would be required to prevent an outbreak.

“I’m not going to speculate on what a good threshold is,” she said.” I don’t think there’s any value of giving a number.”
– with files from Paul McLeod

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