An employee wearing hospital scrubs sits next to a table that has mini chocolate bars and a yellow plastic container on it. She's holding her sleeve rolled up and looking at another employee who is next to her putting a cotton ball on her arm after giving her the flu shot.

On Monday we launched our annual influenza vaccination campaign. Over the next four weeks, lobby clinics and travelling carts at Bridgepoint and Mount Sinai will make it easy and convenient for our people, including employees, physicians, volunteers, learners and scientists to get the flu shot, the best form of protection against influenza.

Seeta, a service assistant at Mount Sinai was among the first employees who lined up to get the flu shot on Monday morning. “Every year I get the flu shot on the first day of the lobby clinics,” says Seeta “I get it to protect myself, my grandkids and our patients.”

an employee wearing scrubs sitting next to a table looking at the camera smiling. Another employee sits at the table writing down information

Lynn, a Pharmacy Technician at Bridgepoint was at the lobby clinic to get her flu shot early.

Lynn, a Pharmacy Technician at Bridgepoint was also among the early birds who got the flu shot this week. “I think it’s important to get the flu shot every year,” she says. “I want to protect myself and my family. My parents both had cancer so they were immunocompromised and other people in my family are getting older. Also, when you work in a hospital you want to make sure you stay healthy. I heard that this year could be a bad flu season and it’s no fun being sick.”

Dr. Jennie Johnstone, Sinai Health’s Physician Lead of Infection Prevention and Control says while flu seasons are difficult to predict, Infection Prevention and Control experts pay attention to the southern hemisphere where winter just ended.

“It’s been a severe flu season in Australia and other countries in the south and that can predict a similar pattern for the upcoming flu season here in North America,” she says. “We also know that the strains of influenza viruses that dominated the flu season there tend to affect older adults, one of the groups at risk of serious complications from influenza. This can lead to a surge in hospital admissions, which in turn leads to hospitals operating over capacity which then increases the potential for influenza outbreaks. The annual vaccination campaign is a key part of being prepared for whatever flu season brings by ensuring as many of our people as possible get the flu shot.”

The vaccination campaign for employees with lobby clinics and travelling carts runs through November 15. The flu shot will also be available at local pharmacies starting October 28.