The Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness (VE) Study started as a pilot program in BC in 2004 to monitor annual influenza circulation and VE against lab confirmed influenza. Ontario joined this initiative in 2008 and the study is now conducted in 5 provinces. The study utilizes a province-wide network of sentinels to collect samples from patients presenting with influenza-like illness, and tests them for influenza and other viral respiratory pathogens. In Ontario, sentinels submit specimens and an accompanying laboratory requisition with a short questionnaire to the Public Health Laboratory - Toronto. Combined VE analysis is conducted annually at the BCCDC using anonymized aggregated data from participating provinces.
Dr. Jonathan Gubbay Is a Medical Microbiologist and Paediatric Infectious Diseases Physician, based at The Public Health Laboratory – Toronto. He oversees Virus Detection, Molecular Diagnostics, and the Respiratory Bacteria/Legionella laboratories. His research interests include the molecular epidemiology and diagnosis of viral and respiratory infections.
Romy Olsha Is the VE study coordinator for Ontario since July 2010. Previously Romy acted as pH1N1 Liaison Officer in the Public Health Lab – Toronto following his graduation from medical school in Budapest, Hungary.
Anne Winter Is the senior epidemiologist for respiratory infections at PHO. Her interests include respiratory virus surveillance and institutional outbreak management. Anne previously worked at the MOHLTC as a nurse epidemiologist and prior to that was a critical care nurse for 20 years.
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