Health unit recognizes Riverview, Pleasant Meadow for high flu-shot rates

Homes saw 80%-plus vaccination rates in 2013-14

Two of OMNI Health Care’s Peterborough County long-term care homes were recently honoured for having more than 80 per cent of their staff members vaccinated during last year’s flu season.

Riverview Manor in Peterborough and Pleasant Meadow Manor in Norwood were among eight homes in the county recognized by the Peterborough County-City Health Unit for this success. Additionally, each of the homes saw a five-per-cent increase in staff flu vaccinations compared to the previous year.

Riverview Manor saw about 95 per cent of its staff members vaccinated during the 2013-14 flu season; Pleasant Meadow Manor saw about 80 per cent of its staff vaccinated. The provincial median for flu vaccinations among long-term care staff was 78 per cent last year.

“We had a bunch of flu-clinic days; we had them for day shifts and evening shifts, and then there were (staff members who) came in randomly,” explains Riverview Manor clinical care co-ordinator Kelley McGleish, when asked how her home achieved this success.

“(Flu vaccinations) are beneficial to everybody. You’re protecting yourself as well as everybody else from infection.”

The flu season has just started and McGleish says about 70 per cent of Riverview Manor’s staff members are already vaccinated. The home has hosted two flu-clinic days this year and there will be at least one more, she adds.

The Public Health Agency of Canada website explains the importance of getting the flu vaccination.

“Vaccination is the safest, longest-lasting and most effective way to prevent influenza,” the site says. “Each year there is a new vaccine to protect against the expected influenza virus strains of the coming influenza season. Even if the strains have not changed, getting the influenza vaccine every year is necessary to maximize protection as its duration may not span two influenza seasons.”

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