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Most of us plan to get the flu shot this year

A new survey shows more than 60 per cent of Canadians are planning to get their flu shot this year.

The new poll, conducted by B.C.-based retailer London Drugs, found that 37 percent of respondents have decided not to get the vaccine.

While that may seem like an alarming number, 79 per cent of Canadians said they know getting the flu shot every year is important to protect vulnerable people like seniors and infants. And 84 per cent said they are aware the flu vaccine helps save lives.

So why do almost 40 percent of Canadians say they won’t get the shot?

London Drugs pharmacist Gianni Del Negro told Global News that the anti-vaxx movement and disinformation are to blame.

“The anti-vaxx movement disseminates a lot of false information about vaccines,” he said. “They often quote unreliable and unverified scientific studies to back up their claims.”

The poll also found that 29 per cent of Canadians think healthy people don’t need vaccines and 20 per cent believe the flu shot can have negative side effects.

Del Negro said pharmacists have been able to engage with patients to debunk some of the myths about vaccines.

“As healthcare professionals, we need to remain diligent in providing this accurate and important health information to the public about vaccines and other health issues,” he said.