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More people in B.C. planning to get flu shot amid pandemic

Last Updated Oct 2, 2020 at 10:14 pm PDT

(iStock Photo)
Summary

The percentage of people who say they will get the vaccine has jumped to 72 -- up 10 points from 2019

The mistaken belief that the vaccine can infect people with the flu persists among 23 per cent of those polled

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more British Columbians than ever say they will be getting a flu shot.

A new survey by London Drugs says the percentage of people who say they will get the vaccine has jumped to 72 — up 10 points from 2019.

“The unique circumstances surrounding the approaching influenza season have many more people focused on protecting themselves, their families, and vulnerable members of the community from the double threat of the flu and COVID-19,” says Chris Chiew, general manager of pharmacy at London Drugs, in a release.

Concern for the health of others, particularly those most vulnerable to serious illness or death from viruses like the flu and COVID-19, is something most people in this province cite as a reason to get the shot.

Eighty-six per cent of those surveyed say they are “more aware of the importance of protecting the most vulnerable from viruses.”

RELATED: Flu vaccination focus of B.C.’s fall plan to reduce strain on health care system

Four out of five people say they will seek out a flu vaccine this year to “lessen the potential burden on healthcare resources.”

The survey also revealed “lingering concerns and misconceptions about the flu shot.”

These include the belief that it has negative side effects, and that the shot is ineffective for this year’s strain of the virus.

The mistaken belief that the vaccine can infect people with the flu persists among 23 per cent of those polled.

London Drugs is adding extra incentive to get the shot this year as it will donate a polio, tetanus or measles vaccine to a child in a developing country for every one of its flu shots in Canada.

The pharmacy is also eliminating walk-ins for the vaccine in order to ensure physical distancing.