An Irish family medicine doctor who was one of the first to discover the flu shot’s potential role in lowering the risk of COVID-19 is being considered for a job at a hospital in Canada, a report said.
Dr. David Connolly, a family medicine physician who also treats cancer patients, was awarded the 2014 National Medal of Excellence in Medicine at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ireland’s annual dinner in Dublin on Tuesday.
Dr Connolly’s wife, Mary, is the CEO of Mediacorp of Ontario, which provides the flu vaccine to Ontario’s seniors.
DrConnolly has been the principal medical officer of Medacor HealthCare in Halifax since June 2015.
Medacors’ headquarters are in Toronto and the company was formed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The company has a global network of 1,200 physicians and has been a leader in the development of the flu jab.
“Dr Connelly’s leadership of Medicare will be deeply valued in the hospital and our community and we look forward to working with him as he continues to lead our efforts to develop and deliver innovative new treatments for our patients,” said Dr. Mark Kavanagh, CEO of Toronto-based Medacorp, in a statement.
DrKavanagh declined to name the hospital but said it is a publicly traded company and would be located in Toronto.
He declined to say when he thought DrConnolly would be chosen for the job.
DrMedacor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
DrClaire Murphy, a spokesperson for Medacores, did not respond to requests for comment, but confirmed the family medicine director would be working with Mediacor to expand its flu program in Canada.
The family medicine program, which has been expanded in Canada to treat chronic illnesses, has been in place since January 2016.
“The team at Medicor are excited to have Dr Connolly joining us to take this new role as the next leader of our global network,” Murphy said in a written statement.
“This position will be of significant importance to the future of our team in Canada and across the world.”
DrConnelly joined Medacore in 2015, and has led the company’s flu team for more than two years.
He was also its deputy director of global strategy in late 2017, according to a company blog.
“I am thrilled to be joining the Medacos team, which is focused on delivering the best possible care to patients and our colleagues in Canada,” he wrote in a blog post.
“Our team will be based in Toronto, where we will work to ensure we can meet our global health and medical obligations.”
Dr Connherty was one the first doctors to find out that flu shots might have a potential role to reduce COVID infection, and he has been vocal in the past about the importance of flu vaccinations.
In March, he told CBC News that flu shot recipients should avoid the area with high risk of infection.
“What we are trying to do is to make sure that we’re being very careful about what we’re putting in the hands of the patients,” he said.
“We’re doing everything we can to make the flu shots as safe as possible.”