Councillor misspoke on H1N1 vaccine for paramedics
Ottawa paramedics who don't want to get the H1N1 flu vaccine will have the option of wearing a mask and other protective gear to protect themselves from swine flu.
Although Coun. Diane Deans said Wednesday that the H1N1 flu vaccine would be mandatory for the city's paramedics, that is not the case. Later in the day, city officials told CTV Ottawa the city can't force workers to get vaccinated.
Ontario's premier echoed that sentiment on Wednesday, saying the province will not force health-care workers, or anyone else, to get vaccinated against swine flu.
Although McGuinty said the government is establishing protocols as to which groups should receive the H1N1 flu vaccine first, he said the province can't force people to get vaccinated.
The government cannot "hold anybody down and inject them with a vaccine when they don't want it," McGuinty said.
When it comes to vaccinating health-care workers, he said the province will rely on expert advice from Ontario's chief medical officer of health.
CTV Ottawa has learned the Ontario government will only vaccinate those 65 years and older for the seasonal flu this year.
For the rest of the population, the emphasis will be on vaccinating groups that are at high risk for contracting swine flu.
With files from The Canadian Press