Health Canada Approves Pandemic H1N1 Flu Vaccine - Province Will Provide Vaccine to All Ontarians

To: Ontario First Nations Communities
From: First Nations Inuit Health - Ontario Region
Subject: Health Canada Approves Pandemic H1N1 Flu Vaccine - Province Will Provide Vaccine to All Ontarians
Date: 22/10/2009

Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq announced today that Health Canada has approved AREPANRIX, a vaccine against the pandemic H1N1 flu virus. This means that the adjuvanted vaccine has been judged safe and effective for use in Canada by both the Canadian manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, as well as by the Health Canada regulator.

The Ontario Ministry so Health and Long-Term Care made an announcement today that beginning the week of Oct.26, adjuvanted H1N1 flu vaccine will be offered to all Ontarian that need and want it, starting with:

  • People 65 and under with chronic conditions;
  • Pregnant women;
  • Health children 6 months to under five years of age;
  • People living in remote or isolated communities;
  • Health care workers, and
  • Household contacts and care providers of persons at high risk who cannot be immunized or may not respond to vaccines.

Unadjuvanted vaccine will not be available until early November. All pregnant women with pre-existing health conditions and healthy pregnant women in the second half of their pregnancy (more than 20 weeks) should speak to their health care provider about receiving the adjuvanted vaccine. Health pregnant women in the first half of their pregnancy are at less risk of complication from the flu, and should wait to receive the unadjuvanted vaccine, when it is available.

People age 10 and over will require one dose of the H1N1 vaccine for full immunity and children under 10 years old will require two-half doses, a minimum of 21 days apart.

Quick Facts

  • Ad adjuvant is a substance that is added to a vaccine in order to boost the individual's response. It also means that less of the virus or "antigen" is needed to make a dose of the vaccine. Unadjuvanted vaccine has to "immune boosting" element, and more antigen is needed to create this kind of vaccine.
  • Adjuvants are made entirely from naturally-occurring ingredients such as oil, water and Vitamin E. Adjuvants can be found in many common vaccines. The adjuvant in the H1N1 vaccine as been tested with over 39,00 people around the world.
H1N1 Vaccine Announcement - October 22, 2009 (PDF)53.62 KB