Manitoba government: Eligibility for high-dose flu vaccine expanded

When flu season rolls around, the Manitoba government is making sure more people are protected from serious illness.

The government announced on Wednesday that it is extending eligibility for the high-dose flu vaccine to all adults age 65 and older.

“Planning for this fall’s seasonal flu campaign is already well underway and this is an important change that will protect more older adults,” Health Secretary Audrey Gordon said in a press release.

Currently, the vaccine is given to people 65 and older who meet the eligibility requirements, such as people living in long-term facilities or assisted living facilities.

“Older adults are at higher risk of flu complications, so protecting seniors is especially important,” Scott Johnston, secretary of seniors and long-term care, said in a news release.

The government said this change is in line with the recommendations of the National Advisory Commission on Vaccination.

“There is good evidence that the high-dose flu vaccine provides better protection for older adults than the standard-dose flu vaccine,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, the chief provincial public health official, in a press release.

He added that expanding eligibility will help improve outcomes among the age group and reduce illness, hospitalization and death.

The high-dose and standard flu vaccines are available at no cost to eligible Manitobans.

The county said more information about the flu vaccine campaign will be released in the coming months.

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