Flu shot clinics extended with 2 child deaths from influenza B

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is extending its flu shot clinics on Chancellors Way in Guelph on Sunday and Monday in response to two children dying from influenza B.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health confirms 2 children died from influenza B

The flu shot clinic on Chancellors Way in Guelph will have extended hours on Sunday and Monday. (Valentin Flauraud/Reuters)

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (WDG) Public Health is extending its flu shot clinics on Chancellors Way in Guelph for the next two days in response to two children dying from influenza B. 

WDG Public Health confirmed Saturday the disease is responsible for the two reported deaths and said there is no evidence to show the two cases are related.

"It is a tragedy for this community that two children died from the flu," said Dr. Nicola Mercer, medical officer of health and CEO of WDG Public Health in a release.

"The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided extra vaccines so we can vaccinate as many people as possible."

Clinic hours will be extended on Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Feb. 12 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

'No evidence' school has higher risk

Layna Vu Pollard, a Grade 7 student from Westminster Woods Public School in Guelph was one of the two children who died from influenza B in less than two weeks. Her father told CBC News she died on Jan. 31 after she contracted the flu.

The second child, who is believed to have gone to the same school as Pollard, also died from contracting influenza B.

However, WDG Public Health said Westminster Woods Public School will not be closed because there is no evidence showing there is a higher risk of contracting the flu at the school than anywhere else.

"Influenza circulates not only in schools but in many different setting across the community," Matthew Tenenbaum, a physician at WDG Public Health told CBC News. 

"Even though the two children who passed away were both from the school, that doesn't make the school unsafe and there is no evidence of significantly more risk there than anywhere else." 

The Public Health Agency of Canada said in a report dated Jan. 27 there have been five lab-confirmed flu-related deaths among children so far this season. 

With the two deaths in Guelph, the total deaths will go up to at least seven.