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37% of Toronto’s front line health care workers got the flu vaccine last winter

From a Toronto Star  editorial titled “Hospital staff must get flu shots”:

“Frontline health-care workers across Ontario — and especially in Toronto — are endangering their patients by neglecting to obtain a flu shot. If anyone should know better, it’s these people. And their failure is inexcusable.

The latest data are in a report going to the Toronto Board of Health on Tuesday, and it reveals a situation that’s getting worse, not better. According to health experts, at least 70 per cent of health-care workers should be vaccinated annually against influenza. But figures for the most recent 2010-2011 flu season show that Toronto’s acute-care hospitals are barely halfway there, with a median staff immunization rate of just 37 per cent. The rate is 42 per cent for similar facilities across Ontario.

That’s the lowest rate in the past four years, both in Toronto and across the province. Rather than waking up to the danger posed by influenza spreading in an acute-care setting and taking effective steps to reduce that risk, the province, hospital administrators and health-care workers are failing to protect the public. Continue reading

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