EOHU: will not extend H1 N1 clinics – Markus Noé interviews Dr. Paul Roumeliotis – Cornwall Ontario November 20, 2009

Markus Here is the latest from Markus Noé – Our Intern at Large:

The sudden outbreak of the H1N1 influenza has forced officials to respond quickly in order to stop the spread of the disease. Dr. Paul Roumeliotis CEO of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit is the man in charge of this task.

Since October 30th there have been 42 clinics held in six different locations simultaneously over seven days. During these clinics, roughly 41,000 vaccines have been distributed. When asked if the EOHU had a target number of people they wanted immunized, Dr. Roumeliotis said, “I was hoping about 40-50% of the population at least.  Although the more we vaccinate, the more efficient we are in preventing the spread of the H1N1 disease in our community. So far the 41,000 doses represent a bit more than 20% of the population, and we still have three more immunization clinic days to go. Also we have just opened up the clinics too all, without any restrictions in terms of priority groups.”

The EOHU’s target is still a long way from being realized. There are no plans yet in motion to add more clinics to the schedule which ends next Friday. Dr. Roumeliotis explained the reasoning behind this when he said, “We will not extend our mass immunization clinics after November 27th deadline. However we will be receiving a more stable vaccine supply over the next few weeks. We are planning to distribute vaccines through family doctors and community health centers. Also we will be offering vaccines at our health unit offices. The

H1N1 vaccine will be widely available for those who want it.”

Across Canada, reports of serious side effects have been surfacing due to the vaccine. In total, 36 cases of serious side effects have occurred, none of which in this community.  There have been reports of negative side effects in Eastern Ontario but none have been more than an allergic reaction according to Dr. Roumeliotis.

The EOHU have been constantly updating information about the H1N1 Flu on their website.  To stay up to date on current H1N1 facts Dr. Roumeliotis recommends that everyone take a look at the two following websites:http://eohu.ca/segments/index_e.php?segmentlD=23 and http://eohu.ca/handwash/handwash_ephp.

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