Swine Health Board Encourages Seasonal Flu Vaccination Clinics

11 October 2012, at 10:28am

CANADA - The Canadian Swine Health Board is encouraging groups planning agricultural meetings to consider including a seasonal influenza vaccination clinic, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends all Canadians be vaccinated against the seasonal flu.

As part of the 2012 Canadian Swine Health Forum next Wednesday and Thursday in Winnipeg, the Canadian Swine Health Board will be hosting a seasonal influenza vaccination clinic.

Dr Dan Hurnik, the chair of the Canadian Swine Health Board's Long Term Disease Risk Management Committee and a member of the faculty of the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island, says influenza is an example of where if both the public and the farm population work together we can really make some headway.

Dr Dan Hurnik-Canadian Swine Health Board:

The Canadian Swine Health Board is having an annual meeting where it brings in people from across the country who work with pigs or have contact with pig farms and we thought it was a good idea to have a clinic on site and to offer a vaccination to any of the attendees.

We did that last year, we're doing it again this year.

One of the reasons that I think that people don't always get vaccinated is because it's not convenient to access the vaccine. If they have to make a special trip to a doctor's office or a clinic it's time out of their day.

If we can make this convenient, we found that people do take the vaccine and there's a win-win for both animals and people. The response has been positive.

If we made it convenient people do go and get vaccines, particularly once they understand the impact of the virus on both people and potentially on the pigs and the response, if the clinic is made convenient, has been very good.

Dr Hurnik says influenza is normally seasonal, spreading more in the fall and winter months so as we head into those months the Swine Health Board is encouraging all regions, if they have meetings, to consider vaccination clinics if that can fit.