All Nova Scotians over six months old are encouraged to get a flu shot. “Getting a flu shot is the safest and most effective way to protect yourself and those around you from influenza,” said Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey. “The flu vaccine is available free of charge to all Nova Scotians and we encourage everyone to get one.” The seasonal flu vaccine is now available. For more information please check with your family physician, family practice nurse, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or local public health office. It can take up to two weeks for the vaccination to provide protection. Nova Scotians are encouraged to get vaccinated in the coming weeks to see the full benefit before flu season arrives, usually around December. “Every year influenza causes serious complications for many people,” said Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed, deputy chief medical officer of health. “It’s important for everyone to get immunized especially those at high risk of influenza related complications and those who care for them.” Adults over 65 years of age, children six months to five years of age, pregnant women, Indigenous Peoples, and people with chronic medical conditions are encouraged to get a flu shot as soon as possible to reduce risk of developing influenza related complications. In addition to the annual vaccine, practising proper hygiene is important. Hand washing and covering noses and mouths when coughing or sneezing is encouraged to help prevent the spread of influenza. Influenza symptoms often include a sudden high fever, headache, general aches and pains, fatigue and weakness, a runny, stuffy nose, sneezing and sore throat. People experiencing flu symptoms should stay home and minimize close contact with others. For more information, visit http://novascotia.ca/flu .