Thunder Bay hospitals stick to flu shot policy for staff

Hospitals in Thunder Bay will stick with their existing policies regarding staff and the flu shot, despite new rules at two London, Ont., hospitals forcing employees to wear a mask this season unless they get vaccinated.

London, Ont., hospitals say non-vaccinated staff must wear masks

Dr. Janet DeMille with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit gets the first flu shot of the year. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Hospitals in Thunder Bay will stick with their existing policies regarding staff and the flu shot, despite new rules at two London, Ont., hospitals forcing employees to wear a mask this season unless they get vaccinated.

"This is not a policy that's requiring you to get an influenza shot. It's just saying that if you choose not to, you need to wear a mask to prevent the spread from you should you be exposed to influenza," said Dr. Michael John, spokesperson for London's Health Sciences Centre.

The lineup begins Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, at the Italian Cultural Centre for Thunder Bay's first flu clinic of the year. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

Hospitals in Thunder Bay have no plans for a similar measures.

A spokesperson for the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre says the hospital "encourages" its staff to get the flu shot.

Employees at St. Joseph's Care Group, meanwhile, will be told to stay home during a flu outbreak if they don’t get the vaccine.

“We also make sure our staff are, regardless, using their protective equipment when helping and caring for our clients that may have an influenza strain,” said St. Joseph’s Chief Nursing Executive Meaghan Sharp.

So far this season there have been no confirmed flu cases in the Thunder Bay district.

For more information on schedules and locations of flu clinics in your area, visit www.thunderbayflu.ca.

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