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

Power outages affected thousands of BC Hydro customers in the north on Jan. 14 (File photo) (File photo)
Power outages affect thousands of BC Hydro customers in northern B.C.

Transmission failure led to outages in Prince Rupert and Port Edward

A Prince Rupert port expansion project received a $25 million investment from the provincial government, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced on Jan. 14. Seen here is Ridley Terminals Inc., a coal export terminal in Prince Rupert (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)
$25 million government investment in Prince Rupert port expansion project

Prince Rupert port expansion project expected to create more than 2,200 jobs

For the second time in less than a year, Air Canada announced on Jan. 13 it has suspended flights on the Prince Rupert-Vancouver route as of Jan 17. (Photo by: Jerold Leblanc)
Cessation of flights to YPR will affect the municipal economy and global trade, P.R. Mayor said

Chamber of Commerce said it will aggressively pursue the resumption of flights to Prince Rupert

Air Canada has suspended flights to Prince Rupert Regional Airport due to COVID-19 mitigation, the airline announced on Jan. 13. (Photo:THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
YPR is not immune to plummeted air travel demands – 25 jobs lost

Prince Rupert Regional Airport flight cancellation will levee significant hardship - Rick Leach

Air Canada announced on Jan 13, that it is reducing operations by 25 per cent affecting flights into and from Prince Rupert.
Flights to Prince Rupert cancelled

Air Canada announced reduction in operation and more than 1,700 employees affected

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. find its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s. (Canadian Press file)
Full parole granted to former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse of boys

Alan Davidson convicted of abusing boys in B.C. and Saskatchewan in late ’70s, early ’90s

The first COVID-19 vaccine arrives in B.C. in temperature-controlled containers, Dec. 13, 2020. (B.C. government)
More vaccine arrives as B.C. struggles with remote COVID-19 cases

Long-term care homes remain focus for public health

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in 60 B.C. First Nations by next week

B.C. has allocated 25,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to First Nations for distribution by the end of February

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 25, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Todd Stone says he’s not running for B.C. Liberal leadership

Kamloops MLA was widely viewed as a front-runner

Wireless voice and data services are out for those on Telus as of Thursday (Jan. 14) afternoon across Western Canada, Telus Support said in a recent Tweet. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATE: Telus services restored across Western Canada

Telus said they are monitoring the situation to ensure connections remain stable

Screenshot from video.
2 students arrested in assault of transgender girl at Lower Mainland school

Mother says daughter was targeted because of how she identifies

Constable Ken Jaques broke a window and crawled into a home to rescue an elderly man who had be laying on the floor for days. Jaques was the officer who provided oversight for the 2020 Remembrance Day services and is shown here in a picture with his son. Photo Andrea DeMeer
Senior who fell and spent days lying on floor of home saved by Princeton cop

He broke the glass and crawled into the house, while calling for assistance from BC Ambulance

Luke Marston works on the seawolf mask for Canucks goalie Braden Holtby. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
B.C. Coast Salish artist designs new mask for Canucks goalie

Braden Holtby’s new mask features artwork by Luke Marston inspired by the legend of the seawolf

Most Read