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

Chilliwack Community Services ends Community Driver program

The volunteer-driven offering helped clients get to important medical appointments

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 27

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

COVID-19 testing centre opens at Fraser Canyon Hospital

30 tests can be done at the collection centre each day, health authority reccommends booking ahead

Expanded COVID-19 testing and collection centre opening at UFV

New Abbotsford service location will now conduct as many as 500 tests daily

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

Permanent fish-passage solutions consdiered at Big Bar landslide

151,000 salmon detected this year north of site

B.C. VOTES 2020: Few solutions offered for ‘out of control’ camping

B.C. Liberals, NDP spend millions as problem keeps growing

Surrey’s Rialto Theatre shutters after 200% rent increase imposed

Owner says he’s devastated by the closure of the 26-year-old business

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

Horgan frustrated as Transport Canada mandate for BC Ferry riders returns

Transport Canada reinstates rule that bans passengers from lower decks

Racist, homophobic graffiti prominent in downtown Maple Ridge

City councillors up late removing hateful message

Most Read