Flu deaths at a decade-high in New Brunswick

New Brunswick has had more deaths this flu season than any other season over the last 10 years.

The flu season isn’t over and the province has already had 59 influenza-related deaths.

Pharmacists and physicians want New Brunswickers to heed the news as a warning that it’s not too late to get your flu shot.

“We are seeing an increased rate of death and infection with influenza this year,” said Dr. Mark MacMillan. “We do know that the vaccine is the most important tool that we have to protect ourselves, our patients and the population.”

“We did talk to some patients saying that they were ‘vaxxed out,’” said Dennis Abud, a pharmacist in Dieppe, NB

“They felt that they had produced enough over the last year with the COVID vaccine.”

Getting the flu shot is a priority for some, but not everyone.

“I think for us, with a four-month-old at home, it becomes even more important,” said Adam Lank who lives in Fredericton.

“We are getting our flu shot obviously. With COVID and everything else going on, there’s lots of vaccines that we’re kind of taking but I think the flu shot is an important one.”

“I had the flu about 15 years ago and will never do that again,” said Jan Flowers who got her vaccine in October.

“I would normally. I guess I just kind of forgot this year. There’s a lot going on,” Bailey Flemming said.

The Department of Health is encouraging people to wear masks or stay home if they’re sick but won’t be mandating those measures.

“We’ve still got a way to go and that’s why people need to protect themselves and make sure they do what they can to prevent the spread,” said Bruce Fitch, New Brunswick’s minister of health.

So far, 851 people have been hospitalized due to influenza this flu season.

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