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Photo Op not Truth Op

Richard Lautens, Staff Photographer

The H1N1 debate rages on this week.  The government is ramping up the vaccination clinics and there is a major PR push to have everyone get their shots.

This week, Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews was part of a photo-op at the Toronto General Hospital.  Front line health care workers are to be some of the first to receive the vaccination and Matthews was on hand to watch some TGH staff get their shots.

The photo-op was held in a typical small examination room in the Emergency department of the hospital.  Picture a half dozen TV crews, 4 or 5 still photographers, several reporters, 4 nurses, the President and CEO of the Hospital as well as Matthews crammed into a room that typically has room for a small bed and a stool-it was a little ‘friendly’ in there.

Various folks came up in front of the camera and dutifully bared their shoulders to the camera, received their shot, were given a candy bar and sent on their way.  Following the shots, several dignitaries answered questions and spoke to the camera.

After the official part was over, we all scrambled around to make sure we had the names of all the jabbers and jabbees.  The surprising part was that several of the nurses admitted that they had received a placebo as they already had their shots. 

Shame on you TGH.


 RL_H1N1_SHOT_3 A nurse gets a shot from another nurse as Health Minister Matthews looks on


 Richard Lautens/Toronto Star


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