As delivery of H1N1 vaccine to the provinces ramps up this week after an unfortunate slowdown, some public health officials are warning Canadians shouldn't decide they can do without vaccine just because they've made it this far without a shot. Though a wave of infection appears to be peaking in some parts of the country and is perhaps past its peak in others, the virus still could have plenty up its sleeve, they say.
New estimates posted online Sunday by the Public Health Agency of Canada suggest 1,993,800 doses of vaccine will be shipped to provinces this week, just under half of which will be without adjuvant. The adjuvant-free product was purchased for use in pregnant women, though it's likely the country will have excess. Late last week, Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada's chief public health officer, said it wasn't yet determined to whom the remainder of the unadjuvanted vaccine will be offered.
The estimates suggest that by the end of this week, 8,568,200 doses of vaccine will have been shipped to provinces and territories, enough to vaccinate 25 per cent of Canadians. A Canadian Press Harris-Decima poll released last week suggested 55 per cent of Canadians intended to be vaccinated.
The toll of the H1N1 virus in Canada continued to grow Sunday, as health officials in Newfoundland and Labrador confirmed that province's third death linked to the virus. The death of a 63-year-old woman from Labrador, who died Saturday night in hospital and who had "multiple underlying medical conditions," according to the local health authority, came as problems and controversy continued to haunt this country's massive vaccination effort.
-- from the news services