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London, Ontario: Nurses among flu shot resisters

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  • London, Ontario: Nurses among flu shot resisters


    News London
    Nurses among flu shot resisters

    Dr. Graham Pollett once called for mandatory flu shots, but can?t convince his own staff

    By JONATHAN SHER The London Free Press
    Last Updated: January 23, 2012 9:41pm

    For years, London?s medical officer of health has decried low flu vaccine rates for those who work at area hospitals and long-term care homes.

    Dr. Graham Pollett has called for mandatory flu shots for health-care workers.

    But though some Ontario health units require staff to get the flu shot, Pollett has not, relying on a voluntary program that may have left many staff without vaccinations as they cared for those most vulnerable to influenza, including the elderly, pregnant women, young children and those with compromised immune systems.

    Asked Monday to explain the gap between his public comments and practices at the health unit, Pollett said he wouldn?t be interviewed on the matter, referring questions to his second-in-command, Dr. Bryna Warshawsky. She said the health unit proposed mandatory flu vaccines when it negotiated with unions in 2010 but was rejected by a union representing about 150 public nurses.

    A spokesperson for the Ontario Nurses Association couldn?t be reached Monday.

    About 12 Ontario health units require staff to take the vaccine, and one of the early adopters was Dr. Rosana Pellizzari...