Ontario pediatricians caution on imminent crisis with rolling out flu shot

Sep 22 2020, 7:08 am

A group representing more than 1,400 Ontario pediatricians is cautioning “an imminent crisis” in rolling out the flu shot.

A recent online petition by members of the Ontario Medical Association are “expressing our urgent concerns regarding an imminent crisis in influenza vaccination.”

They note that more children were hospitalized last year with the flu than have been with coronavirus to date.

The group said that with the pandemic, there could be “unprecedented strong interest” among parents for the flu shot. There will also be the difficulties of the flu and coronavirus occurring at the same time in communities, and obstacles with physicians delivering vaccinations safely due to high demand.

“COVID-19 remains a growing and unpredictable threat. Not only do we want to prevent our children from getting sick with the flu, we also must prevent them from making others around them sick,” the petition adds.

In order to avoid this, the group is asking for the uptake of flu vaccine to rise from “the usual 30-35% of the population to much higher levels, especially for young children and infants over six months of age.”

In order to assist with the problem, the petition notes that Ontario pediatricians and other community physicians are willing to assist in planning large-scale, community-based flu vaccination clinics.

This would allow the flu vaccine to be administered quickly and to a large part of the population while also ensuring they’re stocked with PPE.

“These clinics could potentially be part of COVID assessment centres staffed by public health and community pediatricians and other volunteer physicians,” the group notes.

From 2019 to 2020, there was a total of 42,541 flu cases in the country, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Daily Hive has reached out to the Ontario Ministry of Health for comment and will update the article accordingly.  

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