This website contains annual reports of influenza immunization coverage rates among healthcare workers in the following Toronto healthcare facilities: acute care hospitals, chronic care/rehabilitation hospitals, and long-term care homes (LTCHs).
Influenza is a highly contagious acute viral infection of the respiratory tract that causes annual outbreaks and periodic worldwide epidemics. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) estimates that each year, 10-20% of the population is infected with influenza. Further, NACI estimates that in Canada, an average of 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths due to influenza occur annually.
Influenza transmission and outbreaks in hospitals and LTCHs are well documented and result in significant patient/resident morbidity and mortality. The increased risk of severe influenza to patients/residents in these facilities is related to their advanced age and/or underlying health problems. Healthcare workers can acquire influenza from patients/residents and the community and can transmit infection to patients/residents, other healthcare workers and their family members.
Annual influenza vaccination is recognized as the best tool for prevention of influenza currently available. Numerous public health agencies and professional associations, such as NACI, the Ontario Provincial Infectious Diseases Advisory Committee, and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that all healthcare workers be vaccinated each year.
Responsibilities of Healthcare Facilities
- Since 1999, under The Influenza Prevention and Surveillance Protocol for Long-Term Care Homes (see Appendix 9), LTCHs are to report influenza immunization coverage rates to their local Medical Officer of Health.
- Since 2000, under the Influenza Surveillance Protocol for Ontario Hospitals, hospitals are to report healthcare worker influenza immunization rates to their local Medical Officer of Health.
- Beginning in 2012, the reporting date for hospitals and LTCHs was extended by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) from November 15 to December 15.
Responsibilities of Public Health Units
The Medical Officer of Health ensures that facility coverage rates are reported to the MOHLTC by January 15 (every year, the aggregated median provincial healthcare worker influenza immunization coverage rates are published in the Ontario Respiratory Pathogen Bulletin).