Hamilton expecting flu vaccine soon

News Oct 16, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton public health officials are waiting to hear when the provincial government will release the H1N1 flu vaccine.“We are hoping to get some news today,” said Dr. Chris Mackie, associate medical officer of health.Health units across the province are scheduled for a tele-conference with Ontario health ministry officials later this afternoon.The Canadian government has temporarily delayed the release of nearly 1 million doses of the vaccine until the first week in November. Canadian health officials say the vaccine, which is manufactured by GlaxcoSmithKline at its Quebec plant, will undergo further testing. Health Canada has yet to approve the vaccine, but officials believe the application process will only be a formality. Ottawa has ordered 50 million doses.Dr. Mackie said Hamilton is “pretty close” to being ready to start providing the vaccines to residents in the last week of October. He said when the vaccine is released Hamilton health officials will be prepared.Canada is behind other countries, such as the United States, Australia and China, which have already begun inoculating their populations.Hamilton’s H1N1 numbers are “consistent” with other jurisdictions across Canada. But Dr. Mackie warns residents health officials are expecting further deaths over the next few months in the city due to of the flu.“We expect to have some people dying,” he said. “(The cases) are way above what we have been expecting. There are a greater number of cases.”About 4,500 people have died of H1N1 globally, including 79 in Canada since it was first detected in Mexico last spring.In Hamilton there have been 149 cases and three deaths.A recent Canadian study in the Journal of American Medical Association has found that otherwise healthy young women have fallen critically ill and died of the H1N1 virus. The two-thirds of patients admitted to Canadian intensive care units, the study found, were women with the average age of 32. In contrast, seasonal flu affects mostly the elderly.Meanwhile, a Hamilton resident was confirmed this week as having Tamilflu resistant H1N1.Dr. Mackie said it doesn’t appear the virus spread since the health care providers did not display any symptoms.He could not reveal further information citing privacy issues. He refused to say what the status of the individual is, an unusual occurrence.There have been only a few people confirmed with Tamilflu resistant H1N1, including  cases in Alberta and Quebec.Dr. Mackie says the cases points to the use of antiviral drugs used to prevent contracting  the flu. The continued use of the drugs increases the risk of developing resistant strains. He said people should get flu shots and not use the antiviral drugs.For more information about H1N1 influenza flu, see the city’s website, call 905-546-H1N1 (41561) or by email at publichealth@hamilton.ca.For more information about the seasonal flu clinic schedule for people age 65 and over, log on to www.hamilton.ca/influenza, or call 905-546-CITY (2489).

Hamilton expecting flu vaccine soon

News Oct 16, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton public health officials are waiting to hear when the provincial government will release the H1N1 flu vaccine.“We are hoping to get some news today,” said Dr. Chris Mackie, associate medical officer of health.Health units across the province are scheduled for a tele-conference with Ontario health ministry officials later this afternoon.The Canadian government has temporarily delayed the release of nearly 1 million doses of the vaccine until the first week in November. Canadian health officials say the vaccine, which is manufactured by GlaxcoSmithKline at its Quebec plant, will undergo further testing. Health Canada has yet to approve the vaccine, but officials believe the application process will only be a formality. Ottawa has ordered 50 million doses.Dr. Mackie said Hamilton is “pretty close” to being ready to start providing the vaccines to residents in the last week of October. He said when the vaccine is released Hamilton health officials will be prepared.Canada is behind other countries, such as the United States, Australia and China, which have already begun inoculating their populations.Hamilton’s H1N1 numbers are “consistent” with other jurisdictions across Canada. But Dr. Mackie warns residents health officials are expecting further deaths over the next few months in the city due to of the flu.“We expect to have some people dying,” he said. “(The cases) are way above what we have been expecting. There are a greater number of cases.”About 4,500 people have died of H1N1 globally, including 79 in Canada since it was first detected in Mexico last spring.In Hamilton there have been 149 cases and three deaths.A recent Canadian study in the Journal of American Medical Association has found that otherwise healthy young women have fallen critically ill and died of the H1N1 virus. The two-thirds of patients admitted to Canadian intensive care units, the study found, were women with the average age of 32. In contrast, seasonal flu affects mostly the elderly.Meanwhile, a Hamilton resident was confirmed this week as having Tamilflu resistant H1N1.Dr. Mackie said it doesn’t appear the virus spread since the health care providers did not display any symptoms.He could not reveal further information citing privacy issues. He refused to say what the status of the individual is, an unusual occurrence.There have been only a few people confirmed with Tamilflu resistant H1N1, including  cases in Alberta and Quebec.Dr. Mackie says the cases points to the use of antiviral drugs used to prevent contracting  the flu. The continued use of the drugs increases the risk of developing resistant strains. He said people should get flu shots and not use the antiviral drugs.For more information about H1N1 influenza flu, see the city’s website, call 905-546-H1N1 (41561) or by email at publichealth@hamilton.ca.For more information about the seasonal flu clinic schedule for people age 65 and over, log on to www.hamilton.ca/influenza, or call 905-546-CITY (2489).

Hamilton expecting flu vaccine soon

News Oct 16, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton public health officials are waiting to hear when the provincial government will release the H1N1 flu vaccine.“We are hoping to get some news today,” said Dr. Chris Mackie, associate medical officer of health.Health units across the province are scheduled for a tele-conference with Ontario health ministry officials later this afternoon.The Canadian government has temporarily delayed the release of nearly 1 million doses of the vaccine until the first week in November. Canadian health officials say the vaccine, which is manufactured by GlaxcoSmithKline at its Quebec plant, will undergo further testing. Health Canada has yet to approve the vaccine, but officials believe the application process will only be a formality. Ottawa has ordered 50 million doses.Dr. Mackie said Hamilton is “pretty close” to being ready to start providing the vaccines to residents in the last week of October. He said when the vaccine is released Hamilton health officials will be prepared.Canada is behind other countries, such as the United States, Australia and China, which have already begun inoculating their populations.Hamilton’s H1N1 numbers are “consistent” with other jurisdictions across Canada. But Dr. Mackie warns residents health officials are expecting further deaths over the next few months in the city due to of the flu.“We expect to have some people dying,” he said. “(The cases) are way above what we have been expecting. There are a greater number of cases.”About 4,500 people have died of H1N1 globally, including 79 in Canada since it was first detected in Mexico last spring.In Hamilton there have been 149 cases and three deaths.A recent Canadian study in the Journal of American Medical Association has found that otherwise healthy young women have fallen critically ill and died of the H1N1 virus. The two-thirds of patients admitted to Canadian intensive care units, the study found, were women with the average age of 32. In contrast, seasonal flu affects mostly the elderly.Meanwhile, a Hamilton resident was confirmed this week as having Tamilflu resistant H1N1.Dr. Mackie said it doesn’t appear the virus spread since the health care providers did not display any symptoms.He could not reveal further information citing privacy issues. He refused to say what the status of the individual is, an unusual occurrence.There have been only a few people confirmed with Tamilflu resistant H1N1, including  cases in Alberta and Quebec.Dr. Mackie says the cases points to the use of antiviral drugs used to prevent contracting  the flu. The continued use of the drugs increases the risk of developing resistant strains. He said people should get flu shots and not use the antiviral drugs.For more information about H1N1 influenza flu, see the city’s website, call 905-546-H1N1 (41561) or by email at publichealth@hamilton.ca.For more information about the seasonal flu clinic schedule for people age 65 and over, log on to www.hamilton.ca/influenza, or call 905-546-CITY (2489).