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

Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon, B.C. photo: Sparkling Hill Resort’s Facebook
COVID-19: Sparkling Hill Resort closes after staffer tests positive

Vernon resort closes for 11 days as precautionary measure

A pair of hunters walked away with minor injuries after their vehicle rolled down an embankment Oct. 28. (VSAR photo)
Hunters free themselves from rollover on Westside

Vernon Search and Rescue was called out for a rope rescue, but the pair were already walking down the road

Lumby is proceeding with Halloween fireworks for 2020, but encouraging everyone to stay in their cars or watch from home. (Dale Eurich Photography - 2019)
Halloween fireworks curbed in all but two North Okanagan communities

COVID-19 forces Lake Country, Coldstream, BX, Armstrong to cancel events

Mara Lake is one of the significant water resources across the Okanagan-Shuswap region that will fall under increasing sustainability pressure as the anticipated population growth for the region continues in this century. (File photo)
Okanagan Valley water supply sustainability reaching a critical point: Global expert

Global expert says Okanagan Basin Water Board offers sustainable path forward

H.O.P.E. Outreach volunteers not only spread support, but thanks to donations they offer makeup, jewelry and clothing to sex trade workers in Vernon and Kelowna. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Warm clothing sought for Okanagan’s most vulnerable

Coat drive at People Place Sunday, Nov. 1 in Vernon and Nov. 7 in Kelowna

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Elijah Beauregard, 16, was stabbed in downtown Kelowna on June 27, 2019. He died of his wounds three days later in hospital. His family is raising money to put a memorial bench at his favourite skatepark in Penticton.
Family of teen fatally stabbed in Kelowna close to getting Christmas wish

A memorial bench in Penticton for Elijah Beauregard is close to meeting its funding goal

The Kimberley Dynamiters' next two exhibition games have been postponed due to an individual testing positive for COVID-19. Paul Rodgers file.
Member of Kimberley Dynamiters tests positive for COVID-19

Exhibition games in Fernie, Creston postponed

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

A full moon rises over Mt. Cheam on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)
Rare full moon, Daylight Saving makes for a uniquely spooky Halloween – despite COVID-19

We can’t host costume parties but this weekend is still one for the history books

Most Read