Ontario launches campaign urging health-care workers to get flu shot

Ontario's chief medical officer of health, Arlene King, is urging health-care workers to get their flu shot and stay healthy. King joined representatives from Ontario hospitals and long-term care at HealthAchieve, one of the largest health-care events in North America, to kick-off a flu immunization awareness campaign aimed at health system employees.  
"I am calling on all health-care workers to get vaccinated against the flu. I truly believe that we can increase our influenza vaccination rates, as well as lessen the burden and spread of the flu in our homes and our health care facilities," said King. 

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has been working with organizations representing different sections of the health sector that are all committed to increasing flu immunization rates among health care workers. From that work, the awareness campaign "Let's Get Fluless", is being rolled out across the province. It aims to promote the flu shot and protect health-care workers, their patients and families from influenza.

It is estimated that about one-half (51 per cent) of the province‚Äôs hospital staff and three-quarters (74 per cent) of long-term care workers currently receive the flu shot.

Persons at high risk of serious infection and death are children under five years old, seniors, people with weakened immune systems and individuals with underlying medical conditions.

The flu vaccine is free and available to everyone, six months of age and older, who lives, works or attends school in Ontario.

Good hygiene practices such as frequent handwashing, covering all coughs and sneezes, and staying home when you are sick can help reduce the spread of respiratory infections, says the government.