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

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

United Way celebrates seven decades of impact in Southern Interior

Organization sees issues with poverty, mental health and addictions, heighten during the pandemic

Primary Care Networks coming for Okanagan Nation Alliance communities

New partnerships will provide Syilx members with better, culturally-safe primary care

Okanagan rental housing market facing challenges due to COVID-19

The impact on real estate markets remains a wildcard

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Public input sharpens vision of Oyama Ithmus Park

Proposed project to shape the long-term future of waterfront land in Lake Country

COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna church service

Attendees of Calvary Chapel Kelowna’s Sept. 13 morning service may have been exposed

Kelowna man injured during arrest sues RCMP

Supreme Court civil claim alleges Dustin Blondin was the victim of an ‘unprovoked attack’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

PHOTOS: Ghost sighting in Vernon’s Polson Park

Mom and daughter photoshoot brings joy and laughter to bystanders

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Parks Canada not responsible for Mount Kobau blockade

Nearby residents have been vocal about plans to turn the area into a national park

Most Read