N.L. reports first flu-related death of season

The medical officer for Eastern Health says the Newfoundland and Labrador government is still trying to obtain more flu vaccine.

Clinics to now focus on children under 5 and pregnant women

The province's health department is reporting the first influenza-related death in Newfoundland and Labrador this season.

But officials won't reveal the gender or age of the victim.

Last year at this time, there had already been nine flu-related deaths in the province.

Health Minister Susan Sullivan says 130,000 people in the province have already received the vaccine this flu season.

She said the province expects to secure enough of the vaccine over the next few weeks to accommodate about another 100,000 people.

Sullivan said so far this year health officials are seeing a high incidence of flu in children five years old and younger.

Officially, just over 140 influenza cases have been reported this season. Almost all of them have been identified as the H1N1 strain.

Meanwhile, the medical officer for Eastern Health said officials are still trying to secure more of the flu vaccine.

Dr. David Allison said the current shortage is mainly the result of more people getting the shot. 

He said vaccination clinics will now focus on two specific groups.  

"We are going to switch over to a strategy that tries to target, I guess, the people we feel would benefit the most from the vaccine at this point in time," Allison said.

He said that includes children under the age of five, and pregnant women.


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