'Difficult' flu season ahead: Health Minister Christine Elliott
Antonella Artuso
July 15, 2019
July 15, 2019 7:58 PM EDT
A hospital patient receives a flu shot.Tony Dejak / AP
Public health officials are predicting that Ontario residents face a particularly nasty flu season this winter.
Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott said the health ministry has already ordered a couple hundred thousand more units of a flu vaccine that proved effective last year.
“We expect that it’s going to be a very difficult year,” Elliott said Monday.
Ontario officials have their eyes on Australia which is currently experiencing an unusually busy and serious flu season with hundreds of related deaths.
The province will launch a vaccine education campaign, telling people to ignore the voices of anti-vaxxers, Elliott said.
“We want to get rid of those myths and encourage people to get the shot,” she said.
The province is also developing a plan to provide care in hospitals, in community settings and in the homes of those who come down with the flu, she said.
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The minister’s comments were made in response to questions about the complexity of ending hallway medicine, especially in light of Premier Doug Ford’s suggestion that it could be dealt with within a year.
Elliott said that given the upcoming flu season, it will challenge to attain that goal.