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Push Is On To Continue Vaccinating
Everyone For H1N1 Swine Flu

Canadian public health officials say they are disappointed over provincial estimates showing that only a small percentage of Ontarians plan to get the H1N1 vaccine, and are making a big push for everyone to get the shot now that it is widely available.

"That for me right now is our big challenge, convincing people that the right thing to do for themselves and people around them is to get the vaccine," Health Minister Deb Matthews said Wednesday.

She announced the vaccine would be available to all Ontarians – not just high-risk groups – on Thursday. The province is aiming for 75 per cent coverage.

Public health officials have reported that flu activity has already peaked in some areas of the province, including Peel, Halton, Hamilton, Niagara and Kingston.

Dr. Arlene King, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, said people should not interpret that as the threat of H1N1 waning. "I want to remind everyone that flu season lasts all winter long ... We cannot afford to lower our guard," she warned, adding the virus is still active and people are getting sick. However, she acknowledged the pandemic has not been as bad as feared.

Lineups at flu clinics have been dwindling in recent days. Public health officials have been throwing out thousands of doses of H1N1 flu vaccine because the demands for the vaccine (by the public) are not meeting up to expectations by governments causing many batches to exceed their 24-hour shelf life.

* A full list of h1n1 vaccine ingredients, alerts and warnings.


Reference Sources: www.healthzone.ca
November 19, 2009

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