Input on flu shots at schools sought
Researchers in Ottawa and across Ontario are polling parents about how they feel about bringing flu shots to schools the same way measles and other vaccines are distributed.
Charles Major took his family to a Ottawa Public Health flu clinic Saturday for their annual flu shot, but he recognizes many people might not make the extra effort to go to a clinic on their own.
His 12-year-old son Sebastian has challenges with asthma and Major said the flu shots help protect his son's lungs against an illness that could lead to added complications.
"As far as we're concerned, the issue is Sebastian's asthma, so there's an incentive for us to be here on a Saturday. As far as the rest of the people, this time of year it might not be on the short list of things to do," said Major.
Anne McCarthy, an infectious disease physician and professor of medicine in Ottawa, said studies have shown when communities of children are vaccinated, flu infections in schools and homes drop by 60 percent.
McCarthy said bringing it to schools would make it more convenient for families wanting to be vaccinated, instead of having to get the shot after hours.
"Kids get the flu and they give the flu to other people, and the vaccine may not be perfect but it works and so they're there in school, so it's an easy place to access the children," said McCarthy.