Manitoba

High-dose flu vaccine available to all Manitobans 65 and over this fall

All Manitobans age 65 and older are eligible for a high-dose flu vaccine this fall to protect them from severe illness.

High-dose and standard doses of flu vaccine available at no cost to Manitobans

Previously, Manitobans 65 and older who met specific criteria were allowed to get the high-dose flu shot. Now, there's no criteria for the higher dose vaccine other than age, the province says. (Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty)

All Manitobans age 65 and older are eligible for a high-dose flu vaccine this fall to protect them from severe illness.

The province currently offers the higher dose vaccine to people 65 and older who meet specific eligibility requirements, including those who live in long-term care facilities or assisted living housing, but this fall, the province will drop those requirements.

This change will bring Manitoba in line with recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization to use the high-dose influenza vaccine for adults 65 and older when available, the province said in a news release on Wednesday.

Chief Provincial Public Health Officer Dr. Brent Roussin said in the release there is good evidence to show the high-dose vaccine provides better protection for older adults compared to the standard dose of the flu vaccine.

The higher dose will improve outcomes for people in that age group and reduce illness, hospitalization and post-influenza death, he added.

The province is working with health-care providers, pharmacists and others who administer the vaccine to have it ready for the campaign, which normally starts in October.

Both kinds of flu vaccines, the standard and high-dose, will be available to Manitobans then at no cost. The province will spend about $3.6 million to expand the eligibility.

More information about the launch of the seasonal flu campaign will be available in the coming months.

Last year, about 400,000 doses of flu vaccine were given to people in Manitoba, meaning about 29 per cent of the eligible population got vaccinated.

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