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More than half of Albertans prefer pharmacies for flu shots

WATCH: Although numbers are up from last year, some Albertans still think of it getting the flu shot as an inconvenience and don’t plan on getting vaccinated this year. As Tiffany Lizée explains, the ones who do, prefer pharmacies to clinics.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) start their flu clinics the week of Oct. 21, however some pharmacies in the province have already started immunizing.

Luckily for Albertans, the flu shot is now more convenient and accessible than ever.

Insights West conducted a survey on behalf of London Drugs to find out where Canadians are going to get their flu shot and 616 Albertans were polled.

Cody Coates/Global News
Cody Coates/Global News Cody Coates/Global News

READ MORE: Flu vaccine available to Albertans starting Oct. 21

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The poll found that more than half of Albertans plan to get immunized at a pharmacy, one in five will go to a public flu clinic and one in 10 plan on visiting their doctor.

“Online appointment booking and walk-in options at the pharmacy make it easy for people to get immunized just down the street from where they live and while they are out doing other errands or picking up prescriptions,” Gianni Del Negro, a pharmacist at London Drugs, said.

“We’re trying to reduce any hindrances so that more people will get their flu shot this year.”

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London Drugs pharmacist, Vaneet Chahal, administers a flu shot. London Drugs hopes to increase flu immunization rates this year with increased convenience, vaccination donation campaign and a new ‘ouchless’ flu shot option.
London Drugs pharmacist, Vaneet Chahal, administers a flu shot. London Drugs hopes to increase flu immunization rates this year with increased convenience, vaccination donation campaign and a new ‘ouchless’ flu shot option. Courtesy: London Drugs

READ MORE: Alberta prepares for flu season despite delays in vaccine shipments

Although those numbers are up from last year, some Albertans still think of it as an inconvenience and don’t plan on getting vaccinated this year.

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According to the survey, nine per cent of respondents still think it’s too much hassle and 21 per cent said they just won’t get around to it.

“Getting the flu vaccine is the simplest and single-most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community against the flu,” advises Del Negro.

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The poll also found that about one in ten people in our province are afraid of needles and this year the option of getting the flu vaccine in nasal spray form is no longer available.

These are the reasons why Canadians aren’t getting a flu shot this year: poll
These are the reasons why Canadians aren’t getting a flu shot this year: poll

READ MORE: Waiting for the flu shot? Here’s how to stay healthy in the meantime

As an alternate option, pharmacies like London Drugs are offering a painless option.

Without charge, your pharmacist can apply an anaesthetic that desensitizes the skin and can help lessen any potential pain from the injection.

AHS does provide a list of local clinic locations and schedules and suggest calling pharmacy or physician office to confirm they are offering influenza vaccine.