More Canadians plan to get the flu shot with COVID-19: survey – National


More Canadians say they are likely to get a flu shot this year amid the novel coronavirus pandemic than they were last year, according to a new investigation.Pollara’s poll for the Canadian Pharmacists Association surveyed 1,912 Canadian adults between May 21 and May 25 and found that 57% of respondents said they would receive the flu shot this year.

This is a significant increase from the 45 percent of Canadians who said they received the flu shot last year.

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In addition, according to the survey, 26 percent of those who were not vaccinated last year said they would get a flu shot “definitely” or “probably” this year.

These respondents said they were more likely to receive a flu shot due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Shelita Dattani, director of practice development and knowledge translation at the Canadian Pharmacists Association, said while Canadians are likely to be influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also closely monitoring what is happening. is moving to the southern hemisphere, which is now at the end of its influenza season.

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“I think people are just concerned about protection and vaccination because of what we’ve been through and we support that,” she said. “We think it’s great that people want to get the flu shot.«

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COVID-19 and decision making

When asked whether their decision to get a flu shot or not was influenced by the pandemic, a third (34%) of survey respondents said they were more likely to get the flu shot because of of COVID-19.

Dattani said the COVID-19 pandemic has “created a lot of uncertainty for people”.

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“I think COVID-19 is a direct influencer in terms of, you know, changing people’s mindsets about protecting themselves in any way possible with vaccination,” she said.

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However, more than half (58%) of Canadians said the COVID-19 outbreak would not affect their decision to get the flu shot.

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Seven percent said they were less likely to get the vaccine because of the pandemic.

Health issues: COVID-19 vaccine

Health issues: COVID-19 vaccine

Effectiveness of the influenza vaccine

According to the poll, a small majority of Canadians (54%) believe that the flu shot is effective in preventing the flu.

However, 27% of survey respondents said the vaccine did not prevent the flu.

Six percent said they believed the shot did more harm than good. Thirteen percent of Canadians said they didn’t know or were unsure.

Dattani called these results “fairly typical”.

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“Every year the strains (of the flu) are a little different, but I think it’s really encouraging to see that people believe in the flu (vaccine) and that’s over 50% of Canadians,” she declared.

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Dr Timothy Sly, an epidemiologist and professor emeritus at the School of Public Health at Ryerson University, said he was “hopeful” that the results of the survey could mean people might be more willing to get the drug. COVID-19 vaccine if and when it is made available, but it may be “too early to speculate”.

« Of course we can hope, but when it comes to people changing their behavior more permanently, I think we might have to wait and see the vaccine arrive, ”he said.

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Sly said it could take a year or more after the COVID-19 vaccine was released for people to start trusting him.

He referred to the polio vaccines, saying many of them tried to accept them at first, but when they were found to be very effective all the vaccines started to “take off.”

“The vaccines were a good thing,” he explained, saying people have started to update their vaccines against measles, mumps, diphtheria and tetanus.

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Sly said that when it comes to a COVID-19 vaccine, he hopes it will be seen to be effective immediately.

“People might say, ‘hey, you know it’s another vaccine, but let’s take it all for now, don’t hesitate,’ he said.

Could an increase in demand create a shortage?

According to Dattani, Canadian health officials, both federal and provincial, are “preparing as much as they can” to meet the potential increase in demand for influenza vaccines.

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“People kind of put what they think they need, so their volumes are definitely up,” she said. “I think we know, again, from countries that are already experiencing flu season that they have certainly seen increased demand.”

Dattani referred to Australia and Argentina, adding that the two countries have seen a “real increase in demand” for flu shots.

“So I don’t think we expected anything different here,” she said.

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Additionally, Dattani said there could also be a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for those getting the flu shot amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are working hard in our pharmaceutical community to dDefinitely make sure pharmacies have the right PPE to protect themselves and their staff, ”she said. “We want people to come to their pharmacy to get their flu shot.”

METHODOLOGY: This survey was conducted online by Pollara Strategic Insights from May 21 to 25, 2020. For this survey, a sample of 1,912 Canadians was interviewed. A probability sample of this size has a margin of error of. ± 2.2%, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error is greater for sub-segments. Flexible demographic and regional quotas were used to ensure a reliable and comparable sub-segment analysis and the data was weighted according to current census data on gender, age and region to ensure that the sample reflects the actual population of Canadian adults.

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