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Flu Vaccination Demonstrates 'One Health' Concept

29 October 2012
Manitoba Pork Council

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CANADA - The executive director of the Canadian Swine Health Board says there's a growing recognition among pork producers of the importance of being vaccinated against seasonal influenza, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The Canadian Swine Health Board is urging pork producers and their workers to get their seasonal flu vaccinations to protect both pigs and people and, to reinforce the recommendation, offered a vaccination clinic last week as part of the 2012 Canadian Swine Health Forum.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada regular hand washing and the flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and others from influenza.

Canadian Swine Health Board executive director Bob Harding says many of this year's health forum participants arrived with full expectations of being vaccinated.

Bob Harding-Canadian Swine Health Board:

Remember not that many years ago the folks that were encouraged to get their flu shot were not the normal every day population. It was certain people who were over a certain age or were immune compromised or something. That's changed.

Now it's anyone over six months old I believe. The Public Health Agency are recommending that and they're saying the easiest way is to wash your hands and get your flu shot. People have been hearing that message over and over again and we have found a tremendous response.

At this forum people came expecting to get their flu shot while they were here. Having our producers get their flu shot for the sake of protecting pigs really goes to the issue of one health. One health really is discussing the interaction of human health and animal health. Environmental health is the third one.

This is a really simple way that we can address that and say that if there are certain things like H1N1 that people gave to pigs in 2009, that this will be a way that we can address this as a good one health program moving forward.

Mr Harding notes the response to this year's vaccination clinic was excellent surpassing that of last year. He credits that to a greater awareness of the benefits of the flu shot and that the vaccination clinic would be offered.

ThePigSite News Desk

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