Canadian Health Minister Wants
100% Of Population H1N1 Vaccinated
Despite national polls indicating that only one third of Canadians
intend to get the H1N1 flu vaccine, a Federal Health Minister says
it is the government's goal to vaccinate 100% of the population.
"My goal is to have 100 per cent of Canadians (vaccinated),"
chief public health officer Dr. David Butler-Jones told reporters
at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.
The minister stated that the vaccine will be rolled out in the
first week of November, with the goal of vaccinating everyone
by the end of December.
"No step is going to be skipped," the health minister
pledged. Once the vaccine is approved, it will be shipped to the
provinces and territories and local health authorities will operate
the statement at a press gathering to announce a funding boost
for swine flu research from the federal government in the shape
of $2.4 million.
"At the end of the day, it is an individual choice,"
he said. "(But) if you don't want H1N1, get the vaccine."
"We're very fortunate as Canadians to be able to have that
choice." he added
Last week a new Canadian
Press Harris-Decima poll indicated that only a third of people
in Canada intend to take the shot. That figure is down from 45%
in a similar poll conducted in August.
Only 11 per cent of respondents described themselves as very
concerned about H1N1.
Butler-Jones scolded a portion of Canadian health workers who
have also indicated that they do not intend to get vaccinated:
"Doctors and nurses are not immortal, as much as we might
think we are," he said. "And, unfortunately, if we're
not immunized, and we have influenza, we'll take it into the nursing
home and hospital and, potentially, we'll kill our patients."
The concerns of Canadian doctors and Health Workers have been proven
justified by a study led by Dr Danuta Skowronski of the British
Columbia Centre for Disease Control and Dr Gaston De Serres of Laval
University, Quebec. The study found that seasonal
flu jabs could double the risk of developing swine flu.
The World Health Organisation has dismissed the research as inconclusive,
however some provincial and territorial public health authorities
in Canada, including those in Ontario, have expressed
great concern, leading to threats to delay or cancel mass
Canada is to use the adjuvanted GlaxoSmithKline H1N1 vaccine
Pandemrix, which contains both squalene and thimerosal, which
have been linked with neurological side effects.
Pandemrix has also been
"fast tracked" based on research only using "mock
up" bird flu vaccines dating from 2007 and 2008.
The Canadian government, like those of the US and the UK, has
to protect the producer of it's H1N1 vaccine from lawsuits
over potential side effects.
The majority of cases of swine flu in Canada have turned out
to be mild, with the virus having been linked to 79 deaths. The
seasonal flu usually kills around 2000 people per year in Canada.
On Wednesday Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper appeared
to hedge when asked if he and his family would get vaccinated.
full list of h1n1 vaccine ingredients, alerts and warnings.
Reference Source 183
October 15, 2009