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How care providers can help Nova Scotians through a challenging respiratory season

Nova Scotia is in the midst of a challenging respiratory season and our health care system is strained as a result. While COVID-19 cases are declining, we are seeing more children who are presenting with serious illness due influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). 

Recently Dr. Strang, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia, sent a letter home with school children for their parents/guardians, asking for their help in slowing the spread of respiratory illness in Nova Scotia. We are asking you to help share this information with patients, in particular those who are parents/guardians of children.

These key messages were included in Dr. Strang’s letter, and can be amplified through your practice:

  1. It is very important at this time that all family members over 6 months of age get their COVID-19 and influenza vaccines. This will help protect your family members, friends and communities
  2. Ensure your family is up to date on all childhood vaccines, in addition to influenza and COVID-19 vaccines.
  3. If your child is sick, please have them stay home until they are feeling better. Once your child is able to return to school and activities, they should choose to wear a mask when around others for 2 to 3 days.
  4.  If you or a family member is feeling unwell, but have to visit a public indoor space, please wear a mask.
  5.  If at all possible, please don’t let friends and relatives who are sick be around infants, young children and those with other health challenges.

The following resources may be helpful in advancing these messages:

Accessing COVID-19 and Influenza Vaccines:

DHW child-focused handout for families:

  • Slowing the Spread of Respiratory Illness (ENG) (FRE)

Public Health infographics for available COVID-19 vaccines and dose schedules:

African Nova Scotian and First Nations versions will soon be available on the COVID-19 Hub

  • 6 months - 4 years and 5 - 11 years (ENG) (FRE)
  • 12 years and over (ENG) (FRE)

Child-focused influenza vaccine recommendations:

Additional details about COVID-19 and influenza vaccination:

Thank you for helping share these important messages and resources with your patients.

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