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I've broken this week's roundup on all matters H1N1 into sections:
Staff Vaccination This campaign continues to outstrip all previous campaigns with more than 9,000 staff having taken the flu shot as of this morning. We will keep going with the carts and, if you have questions about the flu, please call 416-340-FLUS (3587) where staff from Occupational Health & Safety will answer all your flu questions. Stationary cart locations are located in the 5th Floor Staff Lounge at Princess Margaret, the main atrium at Toronto Western and the deGasperis Conservatory at Toronto General. You will need your ID badge to get the shot and it takes two weeks from the time of the shot for immunity to develop so, there's no time like the present to get the shot.
Vaccination of Priority Patient Groups As we get closer to completing our staff vaccination program, we can now turn our attention to a vaccination program for inpatients and high-risk outpatients in the priority groups. Charlie Chan is working with the clinical VPs to determine the process we will use starting next week, and additional information will be posted on the intranet on the H1N1 section of the site.
Many of you have asked about a vaccination program here for your children and family members. At the moment, our mandate is to vaccinate staff first, to make sure we keep health-care workers at work, and patients at high risk next, depending on the supply of vaccine. We have enough vaccine on hand to meet this mandate. After that, if we are able and more vaccine becomes available, we will try to roll out an expanded program. But for now, please take your children aged 6 months to 5 years and high-risk family members under the age of 65 to the city-run public health clinics or your primary care provider's office for vaccination.
Emergency Department Volumes, Inpatient Volumes and Possible Reductions We are seeing increasing volumes in both Emergency Departments as people come to have their flu symptoms checked out. Staff illness is also increasing somewhat. We are monitoring our capacity on a daily basis and it is likely that all departments will need to reduce scheduled procedures to ensure that patients admitted through Emergency continue to move 'upstairs' on both sites. The clinical VPs, in partnership with Charlie Chan and our medical leaders, are leading this process and will make every attempt to 'balance the load' and spread the reductions throughout the hospital. If necessary, we will also redeploy staff from to assist with care in other parts of the hospital.
Supplies We have lots of vaccine and are comfortable with all other supplies related to infection prevention and control and the delivery of care to patients. This is due to the hard work of many, many people and my thanks to all of you. The hospital can't run without everyone working together and anticipating the needs and bottlenecks that can occur and you've done a great job of that to date.