Vaccinations 20 per cent done

Alisha Morrissey & James McLeod
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100,000 people inoculated in province so far

With 20 per cent of the province's population now vaccinated against H1N1 flu, the disease continued its sweep through the rest of the population.

Four more people were put on ventilators as of 8 a.m. Friday for a total of 15 people. In total, 111 people are currently hospitalized with the disease, 31 of which are in intensive care. Health Minister Jerome Kennedy and Faith Stratton, the province's chief medical officer of health, said roughly 100,000 people have been inoculated and they plan to continue giving shots to kindergarten to Grade 3 students today.

Photo by The Canadian Press

With 20 per cent of the province's population now vaccinated against H1N1 flu, the disease continued its sweep through the rest of the population.

Four more people were put on ventilators as of 8 a.m. Friday for a total of 15 people. In total, 111 people are currently hospitalized with the disease, 31 of which are in intensive care. Health Minister Jerome Kennedy and Faith Stratton, the province's chief medical officer of health, said roughly 100,000 people have been inoculated and they plan to continue giving shots to kindergarten to Grade 3 students today.

Sunday will likely be a day off for the taxed medical workers who have been administering the immunizations for 13 days straight.

"We're hoping to give the nurses a rest on Sunday, thinking that most of the vaccine would already have been given, and we would actually run out of vaccine," Stratton said.

Kennedy said Monday will be a day for the province to reassess and redistribute any remaining vaccine ahead of the next scheduled shipment Wednesday.

"If it turns out on Monday that there's vaccine out there that's not utilized, then we will certainly move it around or do whatever we have to do to make sure it's all utilized," he said.

With two lives already taken by the disease, health officials were quick to assure that they have adequate equipment and preparation to handle the pandemic.

"We're OK right now," said Dr. Michael Jong, vice-president of medical services for Labrador-Grenfell Health.

"If we do not have increased numbers in cases over what we have now, we're OK. Unless something happens, but with vaccinations we should be OK."

Stratton said the current pandemic is unlike any seasonal flu they've experienced, but they were as prepared as they could be.

"We've certainly been able to use all the plans that we've been putting in place," she said. "We've been getting ready for this for at least 10 years."

With the weekend inoculations, Kennedy said the students and parents affected had already been contacted, and people could also consult schedules on the Eastern Health and Eastern School District websites.

The next shipment of vaccine is slated for Wednesday. Across Canada about 1.8 million doses will be shipped; Newfoundland and Labrador will get its 1.5 per cent share.

amorrissey@thetelegram.com jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Labrador-Grenfell Health

Geographic location: Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • RP
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    1. Ten (10) years to prepare says it all!!!

    2. Mr. Kennedy: If there is vaccine out there not being utilized...how about leaving these vaccines in the small town to be used on those waiting to be vaccinated. As it is now you are asking for the 'leftover' vaccines from smaller clinics to be returned to a Regional Clinic, that does little to serve small town NL.

    3. Mr. Kennedy: # 2 causes further delay and adds to logistical confusion. I understand that NL, like other provinces, requested quantity based on seasonal/ annual flu vaccines. How shortsighted for such a fast killing virus based on evidence from April '09. Of course, the feds gave us a snowjob with their 50 million vaccine claims, and now leaves NL and others short of vaccines.

    4. Health Minister dictates to frontline Public Health units leave them on the firing line when people are turned away because they are too old, too young or not on the current list.

    5. People leaving the province on business or visiting relatives for an extended time won't be able to be vaccinated in other provinces. Pre-paid air tickets cost money.

    6. To have a six-year old, a forty-year old, or a sixty-year old turned away for being outside the bureaucratic age grid, especially living in an outport, borders on the criminal.

    7. For the record, this week's London Telegraph (UK) states that 35% of deaths in UK so far were not in any priority list; add 15% and it sounds unfair to have 1/2 the deceased outside of priority lists.

    8. Can the handling of this vaccine roll out be seen as the Rationing of Medical Access/Medical Care when returned from outports to Regional clinics?

  • Tina
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Well, my hat is off to Jerome Kennedy. I think, under the circumstances, he is doing a fabulous job. To be thrown into this mess, and to be still doing his best with what he has to deal with - and not to mention the lack of support from selfish Newfoundlanders. What would the rest of you be doing in his position? To hear you talk, I guess everyone would be vaccinated by now... Not likely. Way to go, Mr. Kennedy.

  • Rob
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    No worries people, turns out the virus is no more dangerous than the seasonal flu (check for yourself, we have to stop taking peoples word for things like this). Australia just went threw its flu season with NO vaccine. Death totals less than the regular flu of previous years.

    This whole mess should never have happened, and those who benefited financially from the sale of vaccines had a lot to do with the media frenzy leading up to it. We've been duped!

  • Dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:30

    The H1N1 vaccination program was a bureaucratic failure. The high priced health officials could not plan the annual Christmas party. The hockey players got vaccinated. The military got vaccinated. The executives at the the hospitals got vaccinated. And, the common Joe is left to stand in line while some bureaucrat determines their eligibility for the vaccination.

  • Sheila
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Getting ready for this for 10 years...well I can see why things went so wrong, you didn't have enough time to prepare.

  • Karen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    I cannot understand why the children were not done first, before prisoners, hockey players and others...furthermore, one of my children have been vaccinated at school because he is in grade 3..what about my other son who is in grade 6?...How much longer will he have to wait?...Our children are our future and tend to get sick quicker....I don't think this was thought out very well...makes you wonder about Priority

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Time and patience awaits no man today. It is everyone for themselves. me first and you next. Here in Ontario they were fighting in the lineups as if they were waiting for a new cabbage patch doll waiting for then in the place where the vaccines were administered. I want to get that doll, I don't care if you get one!

    The Federal government has boggled this crisis plan and it makes you wonder if we are safe if another crisis creeps upon us. If they are so incompetent in taking care of crisis interventions, can you imagine what would happen if there was an outburst of various diseases like in the 1930's and 40's, they would need a special service to collect the dead from their homes. We have to deal with common sense in admitting to we have not been doing our best. The politician's and department official's have not been doing their best, far from it.

    The health care workers are doing their jobs while many MP's and MLA's are lying in the sun elsewhere.

    Frank M. Blackwood

  • Worthless
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    I don't want a shot. Better of dead than here where we are all abused Williams and his puppets.

  • Swine
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    Seems like they keep missing the group in this province that has shown the highest death rate. Wonder when that will change?

    Three deaths out of target group.
    Zero deaths in target group.

    Math seems pretty simple folks.

  • RP
    July 01, 2010 - 20:24

    1. Ten (10) years to prepare says it all!!!

    2. Mr. Kennedy: If there is vaccine out there not being utilized...how about leaving these vaccines in the small town to be used on those waiting to be vaccinated. As it is now you are asking for the 'leftover' vaccines from smaller clinics to be returned to a Regional Clinic, that does little to serve small town NL.

    3. Mr. Kennedy: # 2 causes further delay and adds to logistical confusion. I understand that NL, like other provinces, requested quantity based on seasonal/ annual flu vaccines. How shortsighted for such a fast killing virus based on evidence from April '09. Of course, the feds gave us a snowjob with their 50 million vaccine claims, and now leaves NL and others short of vaccines.

    4. Health Minister dictates to frontline Public Health units leave them on the firing line when people are turned away because they are too old, too young or not on the current list.

    5. People leaving the province on business or visiting relatives for an extended time won't be able to be vaccinated in other provinces. Pre-paid air tickets cost money.

    6. To have a six-year old, a forty-year old, or a sixty-year old turned away for being outside the bureaucratic age grid, especially living in an outport, borders on the criminal.

    7. For the record, this week's London Telegraph (UK) states that 35% of deaths in UK so far were not in any priority list; add 15% and it sounds unfair to have 1/2 the deceased outside of priority lists.

    8. Can the handling of this vaccine roll out be seen as the Rationing of Medical Access/Medical Care when returned from outports to Regional clinics?

  • Tina
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Well, my hat is off to Jerome Kennedy. I think, under the circumstances, he is doing a fabulous job. To be thrown into this mess, and to be still doing his best with what he has to deal with - and not to mention the lack of support from selfish Newfoundlanders. What would the rest of you be doing in his position? To hear you talk, I guess everyone would be vaccinated by now... Not likely. Way to go, Mr. Kennedy.

  • Rob
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    No worries people, turns out the virus is no more dangerous than the seasonal flu (check for yourself, we have to stop taking peoples word for things like this). Australia just went threw its flu season with NO vaccine. Death totals less than the regular flu of previous years.

    This whole mess should never have happened, and those who benefited financially from the sale of vaccines had a lot to do with the media frenzy leading up to it. We've been duped!

  • Dave
    July 01, 2010 - 20:18

    The H1N1 vaccination program was a bureaucratic failure. The high priced health officials could not plan the annual Christmas party. The hockey players got vaccinated. The military got vaccinated. The executives at the the hospitals got vaccinated. And, the common Joe is left to stand in line while some bureaucrat determines their eligibility for the vaccination.

  • Sheila
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Getting ready for this for 10 years...well I can see why things went so wrong, you didn't have enough time to prepare.

  • Karen
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    I cannot understand why the children were not done first, before prisoners, hockey players and others...furthermore, one of my children have been vaccinated at school because he is in grade 3..what about my other son who is in grade 6?...How much longer will he have to wait?...Our children are our future and tend to get sick quicker....I don't think this was thought out very well...makes you wonder about Priority

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Time and patience awaits no man today. It is everyone for themselves. me first and you next. Here in Ontario they were fighting in the lineups as if they were waiting for a new cabbage patch doll waiting for then in the place where the vaccines were administered. I want to get that doll, I don't care if you get one!

    The Federal government has boggled this crisis plan and it makes you wonder if we are safe if another crisis creeps upon us. If they are so incompetent in taking care of crisis interventions, can you imagine what would happen if there was an outburst of various diseases like in the 1930's and 40's, they would need a special service to collect the dead from their homes. We have to deal with common sense in admitting to we have not been doing our best. The politician's and department official's have not been doing their best, far from it.

    The health care workers are doing their jobs while many MP's and MLA's are lying in the sun elsewhere.

    Frank M. Blackwood

  • Worthless
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    I don't want a shot. Better of dead than here where we are all abused Williams and his puppets.

  • Swine
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    Seems like they keep missing the group in this province that has shown the highest death rate. Wonder when that will change?

    Three deaths out of target group.
    Zero deaths in target group.

    Math seems pretty simple folks.