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Survey suggests 4 in 10 Albertans will skip COVID-19, flu vaccinations this fall


New survey data is projecting that fewer Albertans will be rolling up their sleeves for immunizations this fall, suggesting that "vaccine fatigue" is stronger than ever in the province.

The poll, conducted by Abacus Data on behalf of the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA), suggested that 57 per cent of Albertans are tired of the calls to be vaccinated.

The survey said after several consecutive years of intense focus on vaccines during the pandemic, "some Albertans may be inclined to tune out this year."

It also found that four in 10 Albertans aren't interested in receiving the seasonal flu shot this year, with Quebec (52 per cent) being the only other province less interested in getting jabbed.

When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, two in five Albertans say they won't be getting it.

Pharmacists said the data is concerning because being immunized is "critical" for protecting yourself and others from getting seriously ill.

"The threat of respiratory viruses, including influenza and COVID, are still very much a concern," said Christine Antler, veteran pharmacist and regional director of pharmacy for Pharmasave, in a statement.

"Vaccines are the most effective tools we have to help prevent illness and the spread, protecting the most vulnerable in our communities and reducing the potential strain on the health care system."

The survey data comes a few days after both Premier Danielle Smith and Health Minister Adriana LaGrange would not say whether they would be vaccinated.

During a media availability on Wednesday, Smith told reporters that she was "a healthy person" and any decision on immunization would remain between her and her doctor.

LaGrange echoed those comments in her response.

"I'm very healthy as well. I have a very healthy immune system. And you know what? I also believe that this is a personal decision for individuals to make. I will look at that as time progresses and what my journey is," LaGrange said.

Meanwhile, the Government of Alberta's website continues to state that "approved vaccines are safe, effective and continue to play a role in preventing COVID-19 infection and limiting its spread."

The survey results also come as bookings are set to open for Albertans to receive flu and COVID-19 vaccines this year.

Starting Oct. 10, you can call 811 or your clinic to schedule an appointment to have yourself and your family members vaccinated.

You can also book online on the Alberta Health Services' website.

The Abacus survey was conducted among 1,650 adult Canadians between Aug. 3 and Aug. 7. The data was weighted according to age, gender, education and region.

(With files from Top Stories

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