Flood waters surged out of the north when heavy rains hammered Toronto, Canada on Friday, flooding streets, snapping trees and ripping roofs off homes across the city.
As authorities grapple with cleanup, medicine concerns have arisen as doctors struggle to figure out how to quickly give vaccinations to thousands of children.
Dr. Brenda Manning, head of emergency medicine at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, said in an interview on CTV News that she is optimistic that strains of the norovirus, measles and mumps will be completely eradicated before school starts in mid-September, The Star newspaper reported.
Manning said she expects the health board to approve the fast vaccine available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within weeks.
“There’s been a disaster, an obvious disaster, [and] from that disaster has come…an almost unfair criticism of the vaccines given … this catastrophe,” she said.
Health officials in the capital of Ontario and southeastern Quebec have warned that inoculation programs could be delayed for weeks as vaccines are ordered, tested and distributed.
Anyone vaccinated in the central area of Ontario may have to wait until March before reaching the northeast. However, the vaccine, which has been available since last fall, is being added to a stockpile and could be shipped out in the next couple of weeks.
Despite the delay, Ottawa school board director Mark Hepworth told CTV that, while some children may be held back, none are sick.
“I can stress that there are no patients here at this school who are being informed that they’re going to miss the school year because of [suspected norovirus,” he said.
“This is a situation that happened in Toronto, it’s something that’s happening everywhere,” he added.
The Canadian Press contributed to this report.
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