QFC Pharmacist Becky Buerhaus administers a flu shot on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

QFC Pharmacist Becky Buerhaus administers a flu shot on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Some Canadians won’t get the flu shot because they haven’t gotten COVID-19: poll

Health officials are worrying about a ‘twindemic’ as flu and coronavirus cases collide

As influenza season begins to make its way across the country, experts say it’s critical British Columbians do what they can to avoid a severe flu season and what some have dubbed a looming “twindemic.”

But according to a new Shoppers Drug Mart poll, some aren’t as eager to get a flu shot as maybe they should be.

According to the poll, 40 per cent of the 1,152 Canadian respondents said they don’t plan on getting immunized, with almost 75 per cent of those people saying that the flu doesn’t worry them because they have made it through COVID-19 thus far without getting infected.

Ten per cent said they think if someone already has contracted the novel coronavirus, they don’t need to get the flu shot – which health officials have confirmed isn’t true.

Nearly half of respondents admitted to going to social events while ill in 2019, long before the pandemic was declared a global health emergency. While the poll results suggest that more Canadians are staying close to home this year – as per recommendations by health officials – 20 per cent of respondents between the ages of 18 to 35 said they are still attending social events with possible COVID-19 symptoms.

ALSO READ: A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

That’s compared to eight per cent of respondents aged 52 or older.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has urged British Columbians to be vigilant in reducing transmission of the disease as we head into the fall and winter – during which other respiratory illnesses become more rampant.

During a news conference Tuesday (Oct. 14), Henry said it’s more important this year than ever to protect ourselves – and those we love – from the flu, which accounts for roughly 3,500 deaths and 12,000 hospitalizations every year.

“We may be healthy, we may not feel we are at risk, but we can pass it on to others who are at risk,” Henry said, adding that children and the elderly are more likely to have severe symptoms if infected.

“This is the year where we all need to do what we can to keep influenza as low as possible in our community so we can protect our community healthcare system but also so we’re able to tell the difference between COVID and influenza.”

The Shoppers Drug Mart poll was conducted online between Aug. 5 to 14.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross at his swearing in on Thursday (Nov. 26), with his wife, Tracey, left, mother, Frieda, and grandson, Parker. (Ellis Ross photo)
Ellis Ross sworn in as Skeena MLA

Ceremonies happening virtually rather than all in-person in Victoria

CityWest internet and other services are down in Kitimat as of Wednesday (Nov. 25) evening. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATE: Services down for CityWest users in Kitimat

Services were put out due to a landslide cutting a fibre line

The Terrace River Kings lost 3-9 to the Quesnel Kangaroos on Mar. 2, 2019 in the final CIHL playoffs. (Lindsay Chung Photo)
Central Interior Hockey League cancels 2020/21 season

League open to playing exhibition games if possible

The team at Burns Lake Elizabeth Fry Society, who work to support those affected by domestic abuse and violence. (Submitted/Lakes District News)
Rio Tinto donates $25,000 to each Kitimat’s Tamitik Status of Women, Burns Lake Elizabeth Fry Society

Part of larger support to those helping women and children experiencing family and domestic violence

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

After twice have their wedding plans altered due to COVID-19 restrictions, Suzanne Schmidt and Andrew Sturgess got married in Bakerview Park last weekend, with the only guests being their two daughters, Zoey (foreground) and Tessa. (Darren Ripka photo)
From New Zealand to Bakerview Park, B.C. couple weds in ‘backyard’

Twice scaled-down wedding ‘proof that good things still happen during bad times’

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

Most Read