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Nearly half of Edmontonians won’t get flu shot: survey

WATCH ABOVE: Flu clinics open Monday and now Alberta Health Services said it's expanding the program. Pharmacist Ashley Davidson shares the details.

As flu clinics opened around Alberta Monday morning, a new survey suggests a little over half of Edmonton residents plan to get a flu shot this year.

London Drugs said it had Insights West conduct the poll to end “common misconceptions” that prevent many Edmontonians from getting vaccinated.

The survey shows 56 per cent of Edmonton residents plan to get a flu shot this year, and 37 per cent of those who do not plan to get a vaccination believe a flu shot is not effective or only effective for previous strains.

READ MORE: What happens to your body when you get the flu, step by step

London Drugs pharmacist Agusia McGrath said that is a “potentially deadly belief.” She said the vaccine is updated to protect against viruses it is believed will be circulating during the upcoming season.

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“By getting the flu shot, you not only protect yourself, but you protect others who could have life-threatening complications from catching the flu,” McGrath said.

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READ MORE: Flu season this year could be mild – but you should still get your flu shot

The survey also suggests 34 per cent of Edmonton residents who do not plan to get the flu shot said they feel it is unnecessary because they are healthy.

“It’s a myth 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,” McGrath said.

Watch below: Flu shots are now available in Alberta. Su-Ling Goh tells us how we can get one. She also has more details of the Kidney Foundation’s Kidney One on One program.

Edmonton Health Matters: Oct. 15
Edmonton Health Matters: Oct. 15

Additionally, the poll found Edmontonians who do not plan to get the shot believe it will make them sick.

READ MORE: With temperature dropping, Alberta prepares for flu season

Pharmacists can now offer the flu shot to people five years and older; previously, pharmacists weren’t permitted to provide the shot to Albertans nine years old or younger.

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Albertans six months of age and older will once again be able to receive a free influenza vaccine.

Alberta Health Services said there were 92 deaths in the province with confirmed influenza during the 2017-18 flu season.

London Drugs said results were based on an online survey conducted from Sept. 21 to Sept. 26 based on 200 Edmonton residents. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 6.93 percentage points.