H1N1 shot prevented 1 million cases of flu

Remember those after school special-looking packages that arrived in Toronto mailboxes last October reminding us to wash our hands and get our shots? Well, according to a new Ontario study, it seems they were all worthwhile.

The study, done by Beate Sanders, a health economist with the Ontario Agency of Health Protection and Promotion, concluded 1 million swine flu cases were averted and 50 deaths were prevented because of Ontario's H1N1 vaccination program.

The study looked at the cost-effectiveness of the H1N1 vaccination program, determining it to be worthwhile. Researchers estimated that the vaccine prevented 420 hospitalizations, 28,000 visits to hospital emergency departments and 100,000 visits to doctor's offices in Ontario.

According to Sanders, the program would not have been nearly as effective if the vaccine had come any later than it did.

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