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Ontario stepping up efforts to immunize against H1N1

The province is looking to set up vaccination clinics in schools andworkplaces after a chaotic start to its mass immunization campaign ascases of H1N1 rapidly increase.

The province is looking to set up vaccination clinics in schools and workplaces after a chaotic start to its mass immunization campaign as cases of H1N1 rapidly increase.

Acknowledging the campaign got off to a bumpy start last week, health officials say the province is stepping up its efforts by calling in retired nurses, opening more than 30 flu assessment centres where sick people can get medical help and doubling the number of mass vaccination clinics so 2.2 million Ontarians will be immunized by week’s end.

“It’s all hands on deck right now,” Ontario chief medical officer of health Dr. Arlene King told a news conference yesterday.

The province will only say “tens of thousands” have been immunized to date. An estimated 2.4 million Ontarians are considered at high risk of complications and are in the priority groups for flu shots, as are health-care workers.

When the province moves from immunizing priority groups to healthy Ontarians, it is possible vaccines will be offered in places of employment and in schools, King said.

The province has been under pressure to offer the flu shot in more places after mass vaccination clinics last week were overwhelmed with long lines and angry people.

 
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