​As some of you know, I'm a respirologist by training and still enjoy my limited practice. I highly recommend flu vaccines for all my patients unless they have contraindications to flu vaccine. The reason being that patients with underlying lung conditions handle seasonal flu poorly as the flu infection exacerbates their lung conditions plus other concurrent medical conditions.  Those who end up coming through the Emergency Department are really, really sick.  In a bad flu year, the city's Emergency Departments see very large numbers of patients and some are hospitalized and of those, a few patients die from a combination of their underlying conditions, the flu and their compromised immune systems.

So, last week I got my flu shot – picture below as proof --  and I am asking you to do the same this week.  The sooner you get your shot, the faster your immune system will start building an immune response which protects you, your family and your patients.  As people who work in a healthcare setting, we have a responsibility to do whatever we can to protect ourselves and our patients.  Getting a flu shot is one of those things as it decreases the likelihood that we will contract the flu and therefore spread the flu.

I've included a short radio interview from CBC's Metro Morning which talks about why we need to vaccinate, what the circulating strain is anticipated to be this year, and how you can tell the difference between the flu and a bad cold.  The flu carts will be in our lobbies at all hospitals.  They will also be moving around the hospitals asking if you would like a flu shot.  Please get a shot.  A moment's discomfort to avoid feeling truly awful when you come down with the flu is well worth it. This year, you have a choice of chocolate bars, chips or popcorn!

We are committed to making our hospitals safe and this is just one more way we can provide a safe environment for each other and for our patients and their visitors.

And, as a final note, UHN's United Way campaign will begin November 13 and run for two weeks.  There will be the ability to give electronically or through payroll deduction and more information will be coming soon.


Charlie Chan getting flu shot
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