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News Release For Immediate Release
January 5, 2012
Healthcare workers in Grey Bruce are getting their flu shot
The Grey Bruce Health Unit is seeing an increase in the number of healthcare workers receiving annual influenza immunization. Each year, the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care requires vaccine uptake rates as of November 15, before flu season begins and outbreaks occur.
Healthcare worker influenza vaccination rates were higher in nursing homes with an overall average of 69%, up from 50% last year; retirement home rates averaged 72%, up slightly from 70% last year; and local hospitals averaged 60%, up from 45%.
Errinrung Nursing Home in Thornbury reports 100% of staff immunized against the flu; Country Lane in Chatsworth, 98%; and Elgin Abbey Nursing Home in Chesley 97%.
Local hospitals ranged from 44% to 65%, with Grey Bruce Health Services reporting 65% of staff getting their flu shot. Country Care Seniors’ Residence in Allenford, Inglewood Villa in Owen Sound and New Horizons Retirement Home in Wiarton were among the highest for retirement homes, with 100% of staff and residents vaccinated. All rates are as of November 15, 2011; current rates may be higher at individual locations where staff received the vaccine after the reporting date.
A complete list of facilities and both staff and resident (where applicable) influenza vaccination rates is available at www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca and click on Influenza Immunization Rates for Facilities.
Vaccination remains fundamental in the prevention of influenza and its complications. Influenza is responsible for about 4,000 to 8,000 deaths each year in Canada. Locally, the death rate from influenza is about 20.2 per 100,000 population. Our local rate is higher than the provincial rate (15.4 per 100,000 population) because more seniors die of the disease than younger persons, and our local proportion of seniors is higher relative to that of Ontario.
Healthcare workers need to get their flu shot to prevent illness in themselves, their families and their patients.
“Healthcare workers have a duty of care to their patients to be immunized against influenza.” says Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hazel Lynn. “The higher the immunization rates in healthcare workers the lower the risk of outbreaks. Our target is to have 100% of all staff in nursing homes, retirement homes and hospitals receive an annual flu shot.”
It’s not too late to be immunized – call the Health Unit or your healthcare provider for an appointment.
For more information:
Manager, Infectious Disease Program
Grey Bruce Health Unit
519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456 ext.1230
We work with the Grey Bruce community to protect and promote health