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by Heather Gilmour and Nancy Hofmann
Early results (January to April) from the 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey show that an estimated 41% of Canadians (excluding those in the territories) aged 12 or older had been vaccinated for H1N1 by April 2010. The percentages were higher in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec and Saskatchewan than in Canada overall. Relatively high percentages of females and people aged 45 or older were vaccinated; the percentage of immigrants who had done so was relatively low. Being in a priority group (health-care worker, having children younger than 5 in the household, or having a chronic condition that could increase the risk for complications from H1N1) increased the likelihood of vaccination. A history of seasonal flu vaccination and having a regular doctor were also associated with H1N1 vaccination. Nearly three-quarters of those who had not been vaccinated reported that they did not think it was necessary.
Immunization, influenza, pandemic, public health
The H1N1 flu virus, a new influenza strain to which most people have no natural immunity, emerged in April 2009. In June of that year, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced "the start of the 2009 influenza pandemic" and raised its influenza pandemic alert to phase 6, the highest level. Phase 6 indicates that the same identified virus has caused sustained outbreaks in two or more countries in one WHO region and in at least one other country in another WHO region. A year later, 214 countries had reported H1N1 cases, with more than 18,000 deaths world-wide. In Canada, 428 people died from H1N1, and thousands more were infected. In August 2010, the WHO announced that the world was "now in the post-pandemic period." [Full text]
Heather Gilmour (1-613-951-2114; Heather.Gilmour@statcan.gc.ca) is with the Health Analysis Division and Nancy Hofmann (1-613-951-0789; Nancy.Hofmann@statcan.gc.ca) is with the Health Statistics Division at Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6.
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