Ontario Expands H1N1 Vaccination Program
Province to vaccinate first responders and seniors in long-term care
Ontario is opening its H1N1 immunization program to first responders (police and firefighters), frontline institutional correctional workers, and people aged 65 and over who live in institutions like long-term care homes.
A small number of ministry staff who are directly involved in the pandemic response will also be immunized this week.
Ontario received 395,000 doses of adjuvanted vaccine on Monday. The adjuvanted vaccine can be used this week and allows for the limited expansion of the immunization program. An additional 375,000 doses of unadjuvanted vaccine produced by GlaxoSmithKline was also received on Monday. Authorization of this product for use by federal regulators is expected later this week.
First responders frequently attend emergency health situations with emergency medical services. Frontline institutional correctional workers are in closed settings where the risk of outbreaks is higher. And while adults aged 65 and older seem to have more protection against getting H1N1 flu than the general public, they are more vulnerable to serious complications and death if they do contract the disease.
Ontario will continue to immunize the six priority groups with a special focus on pregnant women, who are at higher risk of severe disease from H1N1 infection. People in priority groups who have not yet been immunized should come forward and get their H1N1 flu shot.
- To date, Ontario has received 2,813,500 doses of adjuvanted vaccine.
- Ontario received 86,800 doses of Australian unadjuvanted vaccine last week which is now being administered to pregnant women. Three hundred and seventy-five thousand doses of GlaxoSmithKline unadjuvanted vaccine have been received by Ontario. Authorization of this product for use by federal regulators is expected later this week.
- Health units will receive the recent shipment of adjuvanted vaccine as early as today.
“As more vaccine is received, we will continue to expand our H1N1 immunization program to all those who will benefit from immunization. By Christmas, we should have enough vaccine for everyone who needs and wants it.”
Dr. Arlene King