Survey finds only half of Canadians will get a flu shot this year

HALIFAX — Figures from a recent online survey suggest only half of Canadians plan on getting a seasonal flu shot this year.

More than 1,200 people aged 18 and older took part in a Narrative Research poll, conducted from Sept. 12 to 14.

“Results … indicate that uptake of regular seasonal flu vaccinations is far from robust,” said Narrative Research COO Margaret Chapman in a news release.

Figures found 50 per cent of respondents plan to get their flu shot in the next three months, while three per cent already have it.

The survey said residents of Prairie provinces, like Alberta and Saskatchewan, are most likely to get the jab.

Canadians also have differing views on whether the seasonal flu vaccine should be mandatory; 52 per cent support the move, while 43 per cent oppose it.

Meanwhile, just over half of Canadians, mostly in Ontario, plan on taking steps to boost their immunity in preparation for flu season.

Common tactics include vitamins and supplements, a healthier diet and nutrition, exercise, sleep. and sanitizing.

Men, especially boomers, are more likely to say they get the flu vaccine and to support mandatory flu vaccines.

Support for mandatory vaccines does not follow the same pattern, with Gen Z being just as likely as Boomers to support mandatory flu vaccines.

“Some differences are also observed depending on employment status,” said Chapman, as homemakers, students and retirees were likelier to make plans on getting the shot.

Those concerned about the new COVID variant were also likelier to get vaccinated every year against the flu.

They also expressed support for mandatory flu shots, and attest to taking steps to boost their immunity.