Recent 'awful' flu seasons may have spurred vaccine uptake, pharmacist says

Henrietta Strickland
September 25, 2019

More Saskatchewan residents are aware that the flu shot helps prevent hospitalizations and save lives, according to a survey commissioned by London Drugs.

That figure is now at 81 per cent, an eight point rise over past year. "Specifically, I applaud the establishment of the National Influenza Vaccine Task Force who will be focused on implementing updates to our influenza vaccine enterprise so that it is highly responsible, flexible, scalable and more effective at preventing the spread of flu viruses". Skepticism sometimes declines following a year where the vaccine is a good match.

The flu season in the US usually starts in October each year, and last year there were eight flu-associated deaths of people under 65 years old in Santa Clara County.

Flu vaccines have been approximately 45 percent effective over the past decade and only 20 percent effective some years.

"A lot of people think they're immune to getting sick or haven't had an issue with getting sick from the flu".

Among those most at risk are children. "Flu season generally begins in late October and runs through April, so getting vaccinated early in the season is best defense to keep yourself and those around you flu free". Rhame says that's because the effectiveness against the H3N2 wore off early a year ago.

The online survey was conducted by Insights West from August 22 to 28 among a representative sample of 264 Saskatchewan adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3.95 percentage points.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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