Dear Colleagues,

Again, I'm very happy to report that flu activity in our Emergency Departments is receding and we are now in our normally busy state for this time of year.  We still have flu patients on our inpatient units, with some in our ICUs but it appears that we can also expect these numbers to decline in the coming weeks.

Our vaccination campaign for H1N1 has had tremendous uptake with over 10,000 of you vaccinated and our focus with the remaining vaccine will be inpatients and outpatients.  As you have probably heard, Toronto Public Health will begin vaccinating anyone who wants the H1N1 shot this afternoon so it should be very easy now to get the H1N1 shot in the community.

But, you have yet another opportunity to bare arms!  In discussion with Occupational Health and Safety, Infection Prevention and Control and our clinical leadership, we have decided to swing right in to the seasonal flu campaign as soon as we have a large enough supply of seasonal flu vaccine which will probably happen by next week.  If you lined up for H1N1 vaccine, I'm hoping that you'll also take the seasonal flu shot so that you can protect yourself, your family and your patients from other strains of flu as well.  And yes, Occupational Health & Safety will stock the flu carts with chocolate bars for the seasonal flu campaign. 

I would like to thank everyone for all of the work that has gone in to UHN's response to the pandemic.  We will continue to monitor flu activity and I will continue to give you information.  I expect the next Straight Talk will be about the seasonal flu campaign.

Bob

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