Hamilton facing flu vaccine shortage

News Nov 05, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton is facing an H1N1 vaccine shortage as the federal

and provincial governments scramble to acquire more of the medicine, says the

city’s association medical officer of health.

Ontario usually received about 700,000 doses per week of the

vaccine, but now it is only getting about 170,000 doses, said Dr. Nith Tran.

Hamilton has only received about 81,500 doses of the

vaccine, far less than is needed for the city’s estimated 500,000 population.

“It doesn’t cover even our first group,” said Hamilton’s

associate medical officer of health Dr. Nith Tran.

He said Hamilton public health officials will be looking to

the province for direction, including whether or not to keep its four flu

clinics open next week.

In the face of a potential shortage, city officials were

more stringent this week in giving flu shots only to people in the

high-priority groups.

“Since last week we were focused on priority groups,” said

Dr. Tran.

He also urged people to continue to conduct safe procedures

including coughing into your arm, washing hands, and if you feel sick to stay

home from work or school.

Hamilton is expecting a smaller shipment of vaccine this

week, but it is unknown how much of the vaccine it will get, he said.

“We are finalizing today what we will be doing next week,” said

Dr. Tran.

The federal government contracted with GlaxcoSmithKlein to

produce 50 million doses of the vaccine at its Quebec plant. So far, about 6

million doses have been distributed across the country.

Meanwhile, Hamilton’s long lines at its vaccine clinics

slowly dissipated this week as the city opened more clinics, and concentrated

on giving the flu shots to only those people in the high-priority groups.

Instead of eight clinics operating, the city had 18.

“The second week we managed to improve our efficiencies,

said Dr. Tran.

Part of the reason is that the city’s public health

distributed about 20,000 doses of the vaccine to about 350 doctors, and another

10,000 to 12,000 doses to hospitals. Over the last few weeks doctors’ offices

had been flooded with phone calls from people asking for the H1N1 flu shot.

“There are definitely more choices for people to get their

shots,” he said.

Clinics at Dundas Baptist Church, Jackson Square, the Chedoke

Twin Pad Arena, and St. Helen’s Elementary School on Britannia Avenue, have

been opened Nov. 2, 3, 6 and 6 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

There are 33 people with the virus in hospital with eight in

the ICU.

Dr. Tran said the H1N1 flu is a different strain of the

seasonal flu that some health officials are now suggesting there will be a

third wave for the virus. Dr. Tran said it is nothing more than “speculation”

about the H1N1 continuing into next year.

“There is a high-level of activity of the flu that will continue

into next month,” he said. “Whether it goes into next year is nothing more than

speculation.”

Meanwhile, the city opened two H1N1 Assessment Centres

earlier this week at the Hamilton West End Assessment Centre at 690 Main Street

West and the East End Assessment Centre at St. Joseph’s healthcare Urgent Care

centre on King Street East.

Ontario health officials are trying to reach the goal of

vaccinating two million high-risk residents against the H1N1 flu by Nov. 6.

It means vaccinating about 300,000 people every day.

The high-priority groups include pregnant woman, children

from six months to five years of age, people who live with children under six

months old, people under 65 with underlying medical conditions,

immune-compromised people.

Opposition parties are accusing both the federal and

provincial governments of the vaccination roll-out as inadequate, continuing

poor planning and miscommunication.

 

Hamilton facing flu vaccine shortage

News Nov 05, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton is facing an H1N1 vaccine shortage as the federal

and provincial governments scramble to acquire more of the medicine, says the

city’s association medical officer of health.

Ontario usually received about 700,000 doses per week of the

vaccine, but now it is only getting about 170,000 doses, said Dr. Nith Tran.

Hamilton has only received about 81,500 doses of the

vaccine, far less than is needed for the city’s estimated 500,000 population.

“It doesn’t cover even our first group,” said Hamilton’s

associate medical officer of health Dr. Nith Tran.

He said Hamilton public health officials will be looking to

the province for direction, including whether or not to keep its four flu

clinics open next week.

In the face of a potential shortage, city officials were

more stringent this week in giving flu shots only to people in the

high-priority groups.

“Since last week we were focused on priority groups,” said

Dr. Tran.

He also urged people to continue to conduct safe procedures

including coughing into your arm, washing hands, and if you feel sick to stay

home from work or school.

Hamilton is expecting a smaller shipment of vaccine this

week, but it is unknown how much of the vaccine it will get, he said.

“We are finalizing today what we will be doing next week,” said

Dr. Tran.

The federal government contracted with GlaxcoSmithKlein to

produce 50 million doses of the vaccine at its Quebec plant. So far, about 6

million doses have been distributed across the country.

Meanwhile, Hamilton’s long lines at its vaccine clinics

slowly dissipated this week as the city opened more clinics, and concentrated

on giving the flu shots to only those people in the high-priority groups.

Instead of eight clinics operating, the city had 18.

“The second week we managed to improve our efficiencies,

said Dr. Tran.

Part of the reason is that the city’s public health

distributed about 20,000 doses of the vaccine to about 350 doctors, and another

10,000 to 12,000 doses to hospitals. Over the last few weeks doctors’ offices

had been flooded with phone calls from people asking for the H1N1 flu shot.

“There are definitely more choices for people to get their

shots,” he said.

Clinics at Dundas Baptist Church, Jackson Square, the Chedoke

Twin Pad Arena, and St. Helen’s Elementary School on Britannia Avenue, have

been opened Nov. 2, 3, 6 and 6 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

There are 33 people with the virus in hospital with eight in

the ICU.

Dr. Tran said the H1N1 flu is a different strain of the

seasonal flu that some health officials are now suggesting there will be a

third wave for the virus. Dr. Tran said it is nothing more than “speculation”

about the H1N1 continuing into next year.

“There is a high-level of activity of the flu that will continue

into next month,” he said. “Whether it goes into next year is nothing more than

speculation.”

Meanwhile, the city opened two H1N1 Assessment Centres

earlier this week at the Hamilton West End Assessment Centre at 690 Main Street

West and the East End Assessment Centre at St. Joseph’s healthcare Urgent Care

centre on King Street East.

Ontario health officials are trying to reach the goal of

vaccinating two million high-risk residents against the H1N1 flu by Nov. 6.

It means vaccinating about 300,000 people every day.

The high-priority groups include pregnant woman, children

from six months to five years of age, people who live with children under six

months old, people under 65 with underlying medical conditions,

immune-compromised people.

Opposition parties are accusing both the federal and

provincial governments of the vaccination roll-out as inadequate, continuing

poor planning and miscommunication.

 

Hamilton facing flu vaccine shortage

News Nov 05, 2009 Ancaster News

Hamilton is facing an H1N1 vaccine shortage as the federal

and provincial governments scramble to acquire more of the medicine, says the

city’s association medical officer of health.

Ontario usually received about 700,000 doses per week of the

vaccine, but now it is only getting about 170,000 doses, said Dr. Nith Tran.

Hamilton has only received about 81,500 doses of the

vaccine, far less than is needed for the city’s estimated 500,000 population.

“It doesn’t cover even our first group,” said Hamilton’s

associate medical officer of health Dr. Nith Tran.

He said Hamilton public health officials will be looking to

the province for direction, including whether or not to keep its four flu

clinics open next week.

In the face of a potential shortage, city officials were

more stringent this week in giving flu shots only to people in the

high-priority groups.

“Since last week we were focused on priority groups,” said

Dr. Tran.

He also urged people to continue to conduct safe procedures

including coughing into your arm, washing hands, and if you feel sick to stay

home from work or school.

Hamilton is expecting a smaller shipment of vaccine this

week, but it is unknown how much of the vaccine it will get, he said.

“We are finalizing today what we will be doing next week,” said

Dr. Tran.

The federal government contracted with GlaxcoSmithKlein to

produce 50 million doses of the vaccine at its Quebec plant. So far, about 6

million doses have been distributed across the country.

Meanwhile, Hamilton’s long lines at its vaccine clinics

slowly dissipated this week as the city opened more clinics, and concentrated

on giving the flu shots to only those people in the high-priority groups.

Instead of eight clinics operating, the city had 18.

“The second week we managed to improve our efficiencies,

said Dr. Tran.

Part of the reason is that the city’s public health

distributed about 20,000 doses of the vaccine to about 350 doctors, and another

10,000 to 12,000 doses to hospitals. Over the last few weeks doctors’ offices

had been flooded with phone calls from people asking for the H1N1 flu shot.

“There are definitely more choices for people to get their

shots,” he said.

Clinics at Dundas Baptist Church, Jackson Square, the Chedoke

Twin Pad Arena, and St. Helen’s Elementary School on Britannia Avenue, have

been opened Nov. 2, 3, 6 and 6 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

There are 33 people with the virus in hospital with eight in

the ICU.

Dr. Tran said the H1N1 flu is a different strain of the

seasonal flu that some health officials are now suggesting there will be a

third wave for the virus. Dr. Tran said it is nothing more than “speculation”

about the H1N1 continuing into next year.

“There is a high-level of activity of the flu that will continue

into next month,” he said. “Whether it goes into next year is nothing more than

speculation.”

Meanwhile, the city opened two H1N1 Assessment Centres

earlier this week at the Hamilton West End Assessment Centre at 690 Main Street

West and the East End Assessment Centre at St. Joseph’s healthcare Urgent Care

centre on King Street East.

Ontario health officials are trying to reach the goal of

vaccinating two million high-risk residents against the H1N1 flu by Nov. 6.

It means vaccinating about 300,000 people every day.

The high-priority groups include pregnant woman, children

from six months to five years of age, people who live with children under six

months old, people under 65 with underlying medical conditions,

immune-compromised people.

Opposition parties are accusing both the federal and

provincial governments of the vaccination roll-out as inadequate, continuing

poor planning and miscommunication.