CALGARY -- A survey of Albertans conducted last month has found the COVID-19 pandemic and its unpredictability has led the way for more people to feel more favourably about the seasonal flu shot.

Insights West, which conducted the poll for London Drugs, found 67 per cent of Albertans are planning to line up for their flu shot and 68 per cent of respondents found the flu shot is more important than ever, given the current circumstances.

"The unique circumstances surrounding the approaching influenza season have many more people focused on protecting themselves, their families, and vulnerable members of the community from the double threat of the flu and COVID-19," says Chris Chiew, general manager of pharmacy at London Drugs.

"The flu shot is safe, and it is the most effective tool we have in protecting against influenza, preventing the spread and, ultimately, it can save lives."

The survey also indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in 79 per cent of Albertans becoming more aware of the vulnerabilities of certain groups to viruses such as influenza.

Approximately seven in 10 Albertans said they would do whatever they could to prevent getting sick during the pandemic and 68 per cent say they are convinced to get the flu shot because of the symptoms of that illness being so similar to COVID-19.

In order to handle this perceived increase in demand for the flu vaccine, London Drugs says it has implemented a new appointment system aimed at streamlining the process for patients and pharmacists.

Patients will only be admitted through that system as walk-ins will not be permitted in order to ensure proper physical distancing and lower wait times.

Full details on how to book an appointment at the pharmacy when the flu vaccine becomes available is online.

Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from Sept. 8-14, 2020 among a sample of 628 Albertan adults 18 years of age and older. The data has been weighted according to 2016 Canadian Census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error (which measures sample variability is +/3.9%, 19 times out of 20. Any discrepancies between totals are due to rounding.