fbpx
Get Help

Call the Lung Health Line

1-888-344-5864

Our certified respiratory
educators are ready to take your questions
(M-F 8:30am-4:30pm)

How can we encourage more Canadians to protect themselves against breathing breakdowns from the flu?

Nov 06, 2019

In Ontario alone, seasonal influenza vaccines eliminate the need for more than 200,000 visits to doctors’ offices, avert approximately 30,000 visits to hospital emergency departments, and prevent approximately 300 deaths each year.1

With stats like these, it is clear that immunization against the flu has a positive effect on people of all ages. But current national and provincial vaccination rates remain far from ideal, despite the human and economic toll of infectious diseases like the flu.

The Ontario Lung Association and its medical societies are working to spread the message that getting vaccinated is one of the most important things that people of all ages can do to protect their lung health, especially if they are at higher risk of serious complications due to their age.

Who is getting vaccinated against influenza, and who is most at risk?

In the 2017/18 season, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) reports that just 38.3 per cent of Canadian adults reduced their risk of developing influenza by receiving the seasonal flu vaccine. Among seniors who are at heightened flu risk due to their advanced age, vaccine coverage reached 70.7 per cent,2 below the age group’s national coverage goal of 80 per cent.3

Why are Canadians hesitant to arm themselves against the flu?

Overall vaccine hesitancy and stubbornly pervasive myths surrounding the flu vaccine itself are issues to watch closely as we work to find innovative solutions to plateauing uptake rates. In 2017/18, PHAC reports that the most commonly cited reasons for avoiding the flu shot were a fear of getting sick from it and simply believing that the vaccine is not necessary, at 38.3 per cent and 22.4 per cent, respectively.4

Who can help Ontarians decide if the flu shot is right for them?

The certified respiratory educators who staff our Lung Health Line are standing by to answer your flu and flu vaccine questions. Call us at 1-888-344-LUNG (5864), email us, or start a livechat session on lungontario.ca.

 


SOURCES

    1. Kwong, Jeffrey C, Stukel, Thérèse A, Lim, Jenny et al. (2008). The Effect of Universal Influenza Immunization on Mortality and Healthcare Use. PLOS Medicine, 5(10), 1440-1452
    2.  Public Health Agency of Canada (2019). Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Coverage in Canada, 2017–2018. Available from http://publications.gc.ca/site/archivee-archived.html?url=http:// publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2019/aspc-phac/HP40-198-2018-eng.pdf
    3. Government of Canada (2019). Vaccination Coverage Goals and Vaccine Preventable Disease Reduction Targets by 2025. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization-vaccine-priorities/national-immunization-strategy/vaccination-coverage-goals-vaccine-preventable-diseases-reduction-targets-2025.html#1.4
    4. Public Health Agency of Canada (2019). Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Coverage in Canada, 2017–2018. Available from http://publications.gc.ca/site/archivee-archived.html?url=http:// publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2019/aspc-phac/HP40-198-2018-eng.pdf