On Tuesday's GFB: Dr. Jay Keystone

Feb 15, 2013

By Dale Goldhawk

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11:15am ET | Dr. Jay Keystone, Director of the Medisys Travel Health and Immunization Clinic in Toronto
12:30pm ET | Dr. Sharon Cohen 


GUEST – Dr. Jay Keystone, Director of the Medisys Travel Health and Immunization Clinic in Toronto

TOPIC – Canadian seniors’ number one concern with the flu: spreading it to their loved ones.

INFO – Survey also shows 22 per cent not getting the flu vaccine on yearly basis

Dorval, Québec – January 2012 – When it comes to the flu, Canadian seniors are far less concerned about getting sick or even dying than they are concerned about spreading the illness to their families and loved ones.

A Leger Marketing survey released today about the perception Canadian seniors have of the seasonal flu shows that 49 per cent are most concerned about spreading the flu to family or grandchildren, while 18 per cent are most concerned about dying from it and only four per cent about being ill.

Up to 8,000 Canadians, mostly those aged 65 and older, die every year from pneumonia related to influenza. Many others may die from other serious complications of influenza.

The survey also shows one in five Canadian seniors do not get the seasonal flu vaccine every year. Uncertainty is the most common reason for not getting it on a yearly basis.

“There should be no uncertainty. Canadian seniors need to think more about protecting themselves from the flu and get vaccinated,” said Dr. Jay Keystone, Director of the Medisys Travel Health and Immunization Clinic in Toronto and Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto. “Now there is good evidence that seniors have a lower risk of hospitalization when they receive the flu vaccine that is specifically designed for them.”

Recently-published clinical research shows that there is a 25 per cent lower risk of hospitalization for seniors using a seasonal flu vaccine specifically designed for people 65-plus, versus the regular seasonal flu vaccine intended for the general population. In addition, there is strong evidence that influenza vaccination, in general, reduces the number of physician visits, hospitalizations and deaths among seniors.

The survey also shows:

  • When it comes to protecting themselves against influenza, most seniors (78 per cent) would prefer to get an influenza vaccine that is specific to their age group;
  • An overwhelming majority (92 per cent) believe that their doctors’ office should offer such a vaccine.

Dr. Keystone said that additional flu vaccine hospitalization data has been released at the Canadian Immunization Conference currently being held in Vancouver.

Fluad® was authorized in Canada for use in adults 65 years of age and older for active immunization against influenza caused by specific strains of influenza virus contained in the vaccine.


GUEST – Dr. Sharon Cohen

TOPIC  – New hope for Alzheimer’s research in Canada with first-of-its-kind fellowship

INFO –  As you may know January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. While the disease currently affects roughly 750,000 Canadians, there is still no cure. Toronto Memory Program thinks this is unacceptable and recognizes the need to address Canada’s dementia investigator shortage.

Toronto Memory Program will host the Pfizer-Alzheimer Society of Ontario Dementia Trial Investigator Fellowship. This is a first-of-its-kind fellowship that gives a physician the opportunity to build a career as a qualified investigator in dementia research.

Lead by prominent behavioural neurologist Dr. Sharon Cohen, the Toronto Memory Program is a world-class medical centre for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. It is one of Canada’s largest and most active centres for clinical research aimed at improving the health of individuals with, or at risk for, diseases of memory, language and thinking.

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