CanPREP in the media. Please select a news article to read. (Newest>Oldest)
$2-billion mass flu immunization program a bust, figures reveal
The Globe and Mail - June 3, 2010
“The messaging was confusing, and the natural thing to do in a state of confusion is to go for the conservative option,” said Ross Upshur, director of the University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics and a primary-care physician.
Did seasonal flu vaccine hike H1N1 risk? Answers finally come
CTV News - April 7, 2010
A set of controversial studies that suggested getting a previous seasonal flu shot doubled a person's risk of catching pandemic H1N1 last spring has finally been published - though the mystery of whether the finding is real remains. Still, making public health policy during a pandemic based on data most people hadn't seen was far from ideal, said Dr. Ross Upshur.
H1N1 Vaccine Loan
The Canadian Press - January 7, 2010
"If you really want to hold a mirror up to our nation, you might ask the question why we're lending and not just giving," Dr. Ross Upshur, head of the University of Toronto's Joint Centre for Bioethics, said when he heard the news Canada is lending vaccine to Mexico. "What does that say about us? We're not using the vaccine that we have, we've got a surplus, but we're not big enough just to simply give?"
UOttawa public health policy expert debunks H1N1 myths
The Gazette Newsletter - University of Ottawa - January 6, 2010
“I’ve been getting calls from two or three reporters a day and I like to help them try to understand a difficult story as best I can,” says Dr. Kumanan Wilson, Canada Research Chair in Public Health Policy at uOttawa. “When there’s confusion and uncertainty, it’s up to the media and media commentators to explain to the audience what is happening.”
Canada loans 5 million flu vaccines to Mexico
Global News - January 6, 2010
"Given that some nations are making contributions out of their stock, one would ask the question why Canada isn't doing the same," said Dr. Ross Upshur, director of the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto. "I think we've got sufficient resources to make a contribution to others on the basis on generosity, solidarity, altruism."
WHO-led H1N1 vaccine redistribution may be scaled back as countries reassess need
The Canadian Press - January 5, 2010
"We may want to ask the question why Canada has A, not had any public discussion of this from our political masters, and B, why it seems that we are not good global citizens in that regard," said Dr. Ross Upshur, adding that there is a strong ethical argument for sharing Canada's H1N1 vaccine with other countries.
H1N1 flu: The fear, the facts, the future
Articles&Clips.com - December 26, 2009
"Yes, mortality was less than what we expected, but look who was dying," says Dr. Ross Upshur. "It was younger people who had a probability of death that was as low as can be, on an average basis. And all of these were preventable deaths. Yes, I'm glad there weren't tens of thousands of deaths -- who would wish that? But the deaths that did occur were disproportionately in younger people, who you would not have expected to die."
A state of suspended animation; Some H1N1 patients in Canada have been on ventilators since September
Kelowna.com - December 26, 2009
"There was lots of confusion about who got what, when, who was eligible for the vaccine, and it was changing on a daily basis," says Dr. Ross Upshur, director for the Joint Centre for Bioethics at the University of Toronto. "As a clinician, when you have a family and only one of them is on a priority list, it's very hard to say, 'You get the vaccine and the rest of you don't,' because it makes no sense. Infections spread in families."
Latest swine flu screwup!
Macleans - November 29, 2009
That [21.5 million doses of vaccine] is enough to vaccinate nearly 64 per cent of Canadians — considerably more than have indicated a willingness to be immunized up until now.“That would be well above anything we’ve ever achieved,” said Dr. Ross Upshur, director of the University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics.
With H1N1 vaccine shipments topping 20M, Canada mulls options for leftovers
CP24 - November 27, 2009
The government spokesperson said it will be important to hold onto some additional supply, in case increased demand is triggered by future events that cannot be foreseen. But Dr. Ross Upshur said Canada shouldn't hoard lots of vaccine while many parts of the world have little or none.
Millions of unused H1N1 vaccines
The Canadian Press - November 27, 2009
“There’s a requirement ... if we’re not going to use it that we make it available to those who can use it,” said Dr. Ross Upshur, director of the University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics.
H1N1's true toll not shown by death tally, picture may take months to come clear
The Canadian Press - November 16, 2009
"Nobody has seen a flu season like this on the ground level," said Dr. Kumanan Wilson. "If you talk to any frontline worker, they've never seen anything like this. And we keep getting told this is nothing."
"Emergs (emergency departments) are filled. All the children's hospitals are filled. Family docs I talk to say 'Oh my God, I've never seen so many flu cases.'"
Unadjuvanted flu vaccine approved for wider use
The Globe and Mail - November 15, 2009
“This kind of communication may be the new normal. I think human behaviour is starting to mirror that of influenza virus: changeable, unpredictable and subject to frequent mutation,” said Ross Upshur, director of the University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics and a primary-care physician.
Second H1N1 wave takes lethal toll on Canadians
The Globe and Mail - November 13, 2009
"It's not fair to make the comparison," said Kumanan Wilson, Canada research chair in public-health policy at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. "On the ground level, this is definitely not that much milder than the seasonal flu as those mortality stats would suggest. It's as bad, if not worse as regular seasonal flu. That's the clinical experience."
Cost of vaccinating nation hits $1.5-billion and climbing
The Globe and Mail - November 12, 2009
"We're sort of in the grey zone, is it worth it or not? We'll have to see how this plays out to determine that. If there is a potential third wave and the vaccine program has helped mitigate that in Canada ... then it still may be worth it," Dr. Kumanan Wilson said.
Forget the poppies – our vets deserve flu vaccine
The Globe and Mail - November 12, 2009
We vaccinated current soldiers en masse, along with their Taliban prisoners; per capita, the Department of National Defence has received far more vaccine than any province or territory. Why have we forgotten the veterans?
What are the ethics of jumping the queue to avoid the flu?
The Globe and Mail - November 6, 2009
Dr. Upshur also said that, in a society where citizens generally trust each other's moral behaviour, have a collective sense of caring for one another and have confidence in their governments to deliver on their commitments, there's a low likelihood of people sneaking treatment ahead of sequencing – queue-jumping, in a word.
Did Canada botch the vaccine rollout?
The National Post - November 3, 2009
"I try to think how they could have done any better and it's hard to see," said Dr. Kumanan Wilson, a public health expert at the University of Ottawa. "Public health warned us about this, it did happen. They said there was going to be a second wave, there was a second wave. They do have a vaccine available."
Next week's H1N1 vaccine doses not yet firm
CBC News - November 2, 2009
"I think it's reasonable that the first group has to be the high risk group," Dr. Kumanan Wilson said.
"But then I think before going to the general population or the next group, they should target the group that's most likely to spread the virus, that would be the school-aged children. And then they can move to the general population."
A million doses of swine-flu drugs given so far in Canada
The Montreal Gazette - November 2, 2009
If the shortfall continues, officials may need to rethink their distribution plan and shift priority, once high-risk groups are vaccinated, to the single largest reservoir of infection — schoolchildren. "That's probably the most effective way to reduce the spread of the virus," says Dr. Kumanan Wilson, Canada research chair in public health policy and a specialist in general internal medicine at the Ottawa Hospital.
Flu frustrations to worsen as vaccine shortage takes hold
Canada.com - October 30, 2009
Kumanan Wilson, an expert on pandemic preparedness at University of Ottawa, said there is not enough public information to decipher what, if anything, has created a bottleneck in trying to mass immunize the Canadian public.
Canada, U.S. spark ethical debate with different approaches
The Globe and Mail - October 29, 2009
"It looked initially like we were perhaps going to be too late," Kumanan Wilson, Canada Research Chair in public-health policy at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. "But in retrospect it looks like we may have actually made the right call."
Airports a safe haven for infectious disease: Report
The Vancouver Sun - October 29, 2009
Christopher McDougall, of the University of Toronto's Joint Centre for Bioethics, which deals with ethical issues of a pandemic response, says protective measures along those lines would not be of much help and believes the time has passed to be largely effective in airports.
Pandemic battle a test of public trust
The Telegraph Journal - October 23, 2009
For now, "I think there's a lot of public uncertainty about this vaccine," said Kumanan Wilson, a former Frederictonian now at the University of Ottawa. But Wilson himself, a medical doctor as well as public health policy expert, says "I trust our public health officials that the vaccine is safe."
Key Medical Ethics Issues in the H1N1 Pandemic
SciMed - Horizons - October 5, 2009
"While we hope there will not be a major second wave of the H1N1 flu, there is limited cause for optimism and we could well see the pandemic's full onset late this year or early next when the traditional flu season begins," says JCB Director Ross Upshur
Medical Ethics Experts Identify, Address Key Issues In H1N1 Pandemic
WeeksMD - October 4, 2009
The anticipated onset of a second wave of the H1N1 influenza pandemic could present a host of thorny medical ethics issues best considered well in advance, according to the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, which today released nine papers for public discussion.
Ethics and Pandemic Influenza White Paper Series
National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseasses - October 2, 2009
The CanPREP White Paper Series provides a preliminary analysis of The Canadian Program on Research of Ethics in a Pandemic (CanPREP) research findings. Each paper discusses ethical issues related to a particular research theme (e.g., priority setting, duty to care) and addresses several questions.
Provincial flu plans all over the map
The Globe and Mail - September 30, 2009
"We'll know who's smarter at the end of the flu season," said Ross Upshur, director of the University of Toronto's Joint Centre for Bioethics and a primary care physician. "What we assuredly have is an outbreak of unpublished research which is causing an epidemic of confusion."
Health officials must assume 'worst-case scenario' with swine flu: Expert
Canada.com - September 25, 2009
Kumanan Wilson, Canada Research Chair in public health policy at the University of Ottawa, said Canada must not repeat the mistakes that were made during past public health emergencies, such as the SARS outbreak and the tainted blood scandal, and that the fundamental ethos of public health — the precautionary principle — must be applied.
Many willing to give up rights during outbreak:poll
Ottawa Citizen - September 23, 2009
"There's going to be a lot of uncertainty to decision-making, even in a mild pandemic," says Dr. Ross Upshur, director of the University of Toronto's bioethics centre, which released a series of research papers on pandemic ethics on Wednesday.
H1N1 vaccine -- yay or nay?
The Owen Sound Sun Times - September 12, 2009
The anxiety comes despite assurances from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada and the World Health Organization that the vaccine will adhere to high safety standards. "New vaccines always provoke anxieties," said Dr. Ross Upshur of the University of Toronto's bioethics department. Questions about the vaccine's effectiveness and its risks is only compounding anxiety, he said.
Feds juggling speed, safety of pandemic vaccine
CTV News - September 6, 2009
"They're going to get enough vaccine for everybody to have it; nobody's going to want it, and any sequence that they can come up with of who gets it first isn't going to satisfy anybody because somebody has to go second for a vaccine that they don't want to get," said Dr. Ross Upshur
Should Canada share its swine flu drugs?
The Toronto Star - August 5, 2009
"There is an obligation for the better-off nations of the world to help support the low- and middle-income countries address and respond to novel pandemics, and that wouldn't be just for H1N1, but I think for every form of serious infectious disease that threatens global health security," Dr. Ross Upshur said.
Doctors brace for a new wave of vaccine hysteria
The National Post - May 18, 2009
Increasing Internet usage has accelerated the spread of such mis-information about vaccines in the United States and in Canada, says Dr. Kumanan Wilson, who holds a Canada research chair in public health policy at the Ottawa Hospital. Vaccine skeptics are using social networking sites to meet other skeptics and they can share their views through blogs and Web sites, he said.
Swine flu’s arrival will test Canada's readiness
The National Post - April 29, 2009
Mr. Upshur, of the University of the Toronto, says some argue anti-virals and other resources shouldn't go to people who do not have a "high probability of survival." In other words, younger and healthier adults should be first in line.
Give scientists your views on pandemic response
The Winnipeg Sun - February 23, 2009
Dr. Ross Upshur said CanPREP researchers see public engagement as providing valuable input to help shape policy, build consensus and resolve moral conflict in dealing with health crises. CanPREP has already taken the issues to the public through a national public opinion telephone survey.