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October 27, 2003
Business community promotes Public Health flu clinics
Dr. Sheela Basrur, Toronto's Medical Officer of Health, welcomed the support of
business leaders at today's launch of Toronto Public Health's five-week
influenza vaccination campaign.

The launch event was attended by Minister of Health and Long-Term Care George
Smitherman, who joined Councillor Joe Mihevc, Chair of the Board of Health, and
Elyse Allan, President of the Board of Trade.

"It makes good business sense to encourage employees to get a flu shot," said
Dr. Basrur. "The flu shot pays back benefits many times. Reduced sick days and
prevention of transmission within the workplace and at home means fewer
hospital visits and less strain on the health care system. Everyone benefits
when we promote wellness."

Today's flu clinic at the Board of Trade offices is the first in a campaign of
public clinics being held across the city. The campaign is funded by the
provincial government as part of its Universal Influenza Immunization Program.
Free flu shots are also available from family doctors.

Councillor Mihevc welcomed Minister Smitherman and said he looks forward to
working with the provincial government on municipal health issues. "Minister
Smitherman has shown interest in health promotion and illness prevention and I
look forward to meeting with him in the near future to discuss the many
challenges we face in promoting good health at the local level."

The clinic schedule runs until November 29, and again from January 12 to
January 15. Clinics are being held in supermarkets, shopping malls and civic
centres, and are open during evening hours and on weekends.

This is the fourth year Toronto Public Health has offered influenza
vaccinations to the general public. Almost 30,000 people were vaccinated during
last year's campaign.

For more information about the flu vaccination program, or for clinic
locations, call 1-866-FLU-N-YOU (1-866-358-6968) or visit the Toronto Public
Health Web site at

Media contact:
Susan Sperling, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974



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