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Athletes urged to get shots

Vancouver-region health officials are urging all athletes attending the Winter Olympics in February to get the H1N1 vaccine.

Vancouver-region health officials are urging all athletes attending the Winter Olympics in February to get the H1N1 vaccine.

All participating countries have been given a list of recommended immunizations by Vancouver Coastal Health.

Athletes are encouraged to get both the H1N1 and seasonal influenza vaccine at least 14 days before their arrival at the Olympics, according to Coastal Health spokesman Gavin Wilson.

Athletes who can’t get the H1N1 vaccine at home can do so when they arrive in Vancouver.

Public health nurses can vaccinate athletes in the Olympic villages in both Vancouver and Whistler, according to Wilson.

“It is a practice that we have encouraged as one of our strategies to mitigate the impact of influenza on Games participants, visitors and VCH,” Wilson said.

Bob McCormack, the Canadian Olympic team’s doctor, has said he would like to see all of Canada’s athletes get the swine flu vaccine.

Italian Olympic officials said Thursday they are considering swine flu vaccinations for all their athletes.

Italy has reported at least six deaths related to swine flu over the past two months and expects swine flu cases to peak between December and January, with 1.5 million to three million cases.

 
 
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