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Nova Scotia NDP calling for free high-dose flu shots for senior

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s NDP is calling for the province to make a high-dose influenza vaccine free for residents over the age of 65, amid a spike in flu and respiratory illness.

While the standard flu vaccine is free for Nova Scotians, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommends that seniors get the higher-dose version, which costs more than $80 out of pocket.

NDP health spokesperson Susan Leblanc says the health-care system is already pushed to the brink due to circulating respiratory viruses, noting that the Public Health Agency of Canada has declared a flu epidemic.

Leblanc says the province should protect older Nova Scotians and follow the lead of other provinces that have made the high-dose flu shot free for all seniors.

Halifax children’s hospital IWK Health Centre and its QEII Health Sciences Centre have both reported overcrowding.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang is holding a news conference later today to discuss respiratory illnesses in Nova Scotia.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press