There were 501 press releases posted in the last 24 hours and 153,766 in the last 365 days.

Poll: Six in ten Albertans plan to get a flu shot this year, common misconceptions prevent many from getting vaccinated

Pharmacist debunks flu shot myths

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct. 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new survey reveals that an overwhelming majority (79%) of Albertans believe that it is important to get the flu vaccination every year in order to help protect those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness. Despite this, only six in ten (61%) Albertans plan to get the flu shot this year.

Conducted by Insights West on behalf of London Drugs, the poll highlights common misconceptions that prevent many from rolling up their sleeves. For example, close to forty per cent (37%) of Albertans who do not plan to get the shot this year say they won’t because they do not believe it is effective or that it is only effective for previous strains. 

“This is an unfortunate and potentially deadly belief. The vaccine is always updated to protect against the viruses that health experts believe will be circulating during the upcoming season and protects against multiple strains. By getting the flu shot, you not only protect yourself, but you protect others who could have life-threatening complications from catching the flu,” says Agusia McGrath, a Pharmacist at London Drugs.

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine protects against multiple strains of both influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and influenza B.

A quarter of Albertans (24%) who don’t plan to get the flu shot said they feel it is unnecessary because they are healthy. 

“It’s a common misconception that if you are a healthy person then you don’t need a flu shot. Even if you are in good health, it’s important to get immunized to prevent the spread of illness to high risk individuals such as newborns, young children, pregnant women, and adults with chronic medical conditions,” says McGrath.  

Those who don’t plan on being immunized also cited concerns about negative side effects (21%) and that the vaccine might make them sick with the flu (16%).

“It is impossible to contract the illness from the vaccine itself because it is made with viruses that have been inactivated and are therefore not infectious. Most people don’t have reactions to the flu vaccine; those who do may have minor soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site,” says McGrath.

While some (17%) Albertans say they aren’t likely to get a flu shot because they tend to forget or don’t get around to it (10%) or find it too much of a hassle (7%), flu shots are now conveniently available seven days a week by appointment or on a walk-in basis at any London Drugs location. Pharmacists are now able to administer flu shots to anyone five years of age or older.

In recent years, longer hours, appointments, as well as flexibility for walk-in patients has allowed pharmacies to significantly improve ease of access to the flu vaccine. In fact, of the 61% of Albertans who say they will get a flu shot this season, the largest number (47%) plan to visit a pharmacy to receive their shot, followed by public flu clinic (14%), work place (11%) and health clinic (10%).

“Since it can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to become effective we recommend people get their flu shot now. Getting the vaccine early helps ensure patients are protected before flu season peaks,” says McGrath.

As an added incentive to get immunized, for every flu shot administered at London Drugs, a lifesaving vaccine will be donated to UNICEF Canada to immunize children in another country. The vaccination donation campaign is in partnership with I Boost Immunity (IBI), an online immunization advocacy network.

“Patients who receive a flu vaccine at London Drugs will not only be protecting themselves and their local community, but they will be making a global impact as well by providing a life-saving vaccination to children in need around the world,” says McGrath.

The poll showed that three quarters (78%) of Albertans feel that getting the flu vaccination each year is a responsible way to take care of both their own health and the health of others.

To learn more about getting the flu shot at London Drugs, visit: 

Other poll highlights include:

  • Nearly all (98%) of those who got a flu shot last year plan to get one this season.
  • Younger Albertans, between the ages of 18 and 34, are more likely to get a flu shot this season (71%), compared to those between the ages of 35-54 (53%) and those age 55 and older (63%).
  • Older Albertans, age 55 and over, are significantly more likely to go to a pharmacy for their flu shot (62%), compared to those between the ages of 35 and 54 years (44%) and those who are between 18 to 34 years old (33%).
  • Eight in ten (81%) Albertans are aware that the flu vaccine helps prevent hospitalizations and saves lives.
  • Awareness among Albertans about accessibility of flu shots is high. Nine in ten (89%) are aware that flu vaccinations are available free of charge for many Canadians (including children, seniors, pregnant women, aboriginal peoples, caregivers, and a number of other employment types). Nine in ten (88%) are aware that Health Canada recommends Canadians protect themselves from the flu by being vaccinated (getting a flu shot) each year in the fall.
  • A strong majority are aware that flu vaccinations are available at most pharmacies (89%), and can be administered by a pharmacist (86%).
  • One third of Albertans believe that healthy people don’t really need the flu vaccination (35%) and that you can catch the flu from the vaccine (33%).
  • Seven in ten (71%) also agree that the flu vaccination can have negative side effects. Those who are unlikely to get a flu shot this year are significantly more likely to agree that the flu vaccination can have negative side effects (86%).

Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from September 21st to 26th, 2018 among a representative sample of 502 Albertan adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 4.37 percentage points. Discrepancies between totals are due to rounding.


Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs has 81 stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba including its online store London Drugs offers consumers a range of products from digital cameras and cosmetics to computers and televisions. Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 7,500 people with pharmacy and health care services being the heart of its business. Committed to innovation and superior customer service, London Drugs has established itself as a reputable and caring company and continues to position itself for future growth and development.

London Drugs pharmacists are available for interviews about the seasonal flu shot, flu prevention and symptom treatment. For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Angela Joyce, Media Relations

Natalie Harper, Media Relations

/EIN News/ -- Ld-blue (1).jpg

Distribution channels: Retail

EIN Presswire does not exercise editorial control over third-party content provided, uploaded, published, or distributed by users of EIN Presswire. We are a distributor, not a publisher, of 3rd party content. Such content may contain the views, opinions, statements, offers, and other material of the respective users, suppliers, participants, or authors.