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Canada on Track to Deliver Safe and Effective H1N1 Influenza Vaccine to Canadians

The Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, confirmed that the government remains on track to make an authorized H1N1 vaccine available for Canadians in early November.

“Let me be perfectly clear, in early November we will have a safe and effective vaccine that will begin rolling out to all Canadians who want and need it,” said Minister Aglukkaq.  “It is a vaccine that can be administered to both healthy Canadians and those with underlying medical conditions.”

The minister added that the solid groundwork by provinces, territories and medical community in terms of setup and distribution networks would ensure that Canada was one of the first countries in the world to make vaccine available to its entire population.

Contrary to certain media reports,  the timing of vaccine availability will not depend on the timing of upcoming clinical trials in Canada. The supporting safety and efficacy data upon which Canadian vaccine authorization will be based will come from international clinical trials.

“The Public Health Agency of Canada is following the outbreak very closely,” said Dr. David Butler Jones, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer. “Our latest surveillance report shows there is a slight increase in flu activity, which is in line with expected flu activity at this time of year.”

The Government is working closely with provinces, territories and medical professionals across Canada to help ensure rapid delivery of the vaccine.  Advanced planning under Canada’s Pandemic Influenza Plan has proven invaluable in avoiding unnecessary delays.

For more information on flu prevention, visit www.fightflu.ca or call 1-800-454-8302.