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

Brittny Anderson. Photo: Submitted
UPDATED: NDP’s Brittny Anderson named provisional winner in Nelson-Creston

The final result won’t be known until November due to mail-in ballots

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 18 COVID-19 cases, highest daily count since July

The total of COVID-19 cases in the region is now at 662

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read