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Three-day flu clinics planned for Winnipeg
Accelerated program for seasonal flu will test swine flu response
Winnipeg health officials are changing the way they vaccinate people against seasonal flu.
The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) said Tuesday it will hold large flu clinics over a period of three days in October instead of spreading out its flu-shot program over several weeks.
The WRHA wants to immunize 24,000 people over the three days, the agency said in a statement.
The agency said it's using the clinics for seasonal flu as a test run to gauge the region's ability to respond to the expected resurgence of swine flu.
WINNIPEG — CALL it a mass immunization dress rehearsal.
Next month, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority will launch a three-day, seasonal flu shot blitz to test its ability to handle the second wave of H1N1 flu.
From Oct. 14 to 16, the WRHA will offer immunizations at 36 clinics in a dozen locations across Winnipeg. The clinics will operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The goal is to immunize 24,000 people, Dr. Sande Harlos, WRHA medical officer of health, said Tuesday.
Normally, seasonal flu vaccinations are offered at 200 community clinics over a five- or six-week period. Those clinics typically draw 20,000 people, Harlos said.
"This year we're ready for a little bit more," she said. "We're trying to continue business as usual with seasonal influenza so we don't have people unprotected for other influenza viruses."
Harlos said the restructured immunization campaign is not only the usual annual pre-emptive strike against seasonal flu, it will be a "learning experience" for the WRHA to gauge how well it can deal with an H1N1 pandemic and ramp up services if necessary.