A nurse administers a flu shot in Princeton, Illinois, on Oct. 12, 2017. MUST CREDIT: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

COVID-19 could be driving more parents to plan on immunizing their children with the flu shot this fall, a new study by the University of British Columbia suggests.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Pediatrics, looked at 3,000 families from Canada, Israel, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S. who visited 17 different emergency departments between mid-March and the end of June.

When asked on their willingness to vaccinate their children ahead of the upcoming flu season, 54 per cent said they were – a 16 per cent increase from the same survey conducted in 2019.

Among parents who did not vaccinate their children last year, nearly 29 per cent said they have changed their mind.

Dr. Ran Goldman, the study’s lead author, said in a statement that vaccines for influenza will be a critical piece in protecting children and adults against viral infections as health officials aren’t yet sure on the adverse impacts if someone is to contract COVID-19 and the common flu at the same time.

Overall, parents said they were more likely to plan to immunize their children if they were worried about the child having the novel coronavirus, if they themselves received the flu vaccine last year, or if their child was regularly vaccinated.

“Understanding parents’ plans for the upcoming influenza season will help us respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health needs,” Goldman said.

In an interview with the Canadian Press, the doctor said the magic threshold for a vaccine to be highly effective is about 70 per cent.

Although he believes that goal can be reached, Goldman noted that the media and the scientific community must work harder to help dispel myths and disinformation about vaccine use.

“Vaccination is the world’s greatest public health achievement,” Goldman said, stressing the impact vaccines have had on global mortality rates over the last century.

“If we reach 70 to 80 per cent of the population — not even 100 per cent — I’d be really thrilled.”

– with files from The Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Volunteers step up during pandemic to work on Shuswap trails

New Shuswap Memorial Cemetery Trails loop ready to hike and ride

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

B.C. forestry policy and practices challenged at Shuswap rally

Salmon Arm Rally for the Forests one of 16 similar events held Friday

COVID-19 minimizes Okanagan Regional Library budget increase

Library adapts to pandemic fiscal disruptions

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Okanagan manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read