Some provinces already have in wake of H1N1 study

By Katie DeRosa, Times ColonistSeptember 27, 2009

With Dr. Bonnie Henry of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control looking on, Dr. Perry Kendall holds a press conference in August in Vancouver to discuss H1N1 flu concerns and preparations. Kendall, the provincial health officer, is expected to address the media at Monday’s meeting as well.

Photograph by: Wayne Leidenfrost, Canwest News Service

B.C. might suspend seasonal flu shots as early as Monday for people who aren’t seniors, in the wake of a Canadian study that suggests people who get the normal flu vaccine are twice as likely to contract the H1N1 virus.

Several news outlets have reported the preliminary findings of the study, which is still under peer review. Researchers found that those who received the seasonal flu vaccine in the past were more likely to catch H1N1.

While the research was initially met with much skepticism from health officials, several provinces, including Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Nova Scotia, have suspended seasonal flu shots for anyone younger than 65, the Globe and Mail newspaper is reporting in its Monday editions.

Quebec announced its decision Sunday, postponing regular flu shots until January to devote the fall vaccination season to the wave of expected H1N1 infections. New Brunswick, on the other hand, announced last week that it will stick to its plans to offer seasonal flu shots in October.

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