* Joanne Shuttleworth, Mercury staff
* Tue Mar 13 2012

More Guelph and area health-care workers need flu shots, medical officer says

FERGUS ? While influenza can be particularly difficult and even fatal for frail, elderly people, the best protection is to immunize the people in their circle of care, the board of health heard at its monthly meeting.

Which is why Dr. Nicola Mercer, medical officer of health for Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph, said she was disturbed to see such low immunization rates from health-care workers, particularly those who work in hospitals...

...Overall, 66.4 per cent of medical personnel who work in long-term care, retirement homes or hospitals were immunized against influenza. That?s up from 55.6 per cent the year before.

Breaking that down, 70.6 per cent of long-term care workers and 74.1 per cent of retirement home workers were immunized, but only 54.6 per cent of hospital workers had the flu shot.

Public health is required to report the numbers to the Ministry of Health and this year?s deadline was Dec. 15, 2011, so anyone immunized after that date is not captured in the data...