VANCOUVER – The Public Health Agency of Canada expects a surge in demand for influenza vaccines as the seasonal flu season hits the coronavirus that causes the pandemic this winter. COVID-19.
It, therefore, recommends that provinces and territories consider alternative means of deploying their immunization program.
Canadian public health spokeswoman Maryse Durette says the agency has ordered 13 million doses of the flu vaccine, up from 11.2 million doses last year.
A University of British Columbia study published recently in The Journal of Pediatrics suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic is prompting more parents to get their children vaccinated against the flu this year.
According to the study, this was the intention of 54% of parents surveyed, up 16% from last year. The survey was carried out among 3,000 families in Canada, the United States, Spain, Israel, Japan and Switzerland.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), part of the Public Health Agency of Canada, recommends that influenza vaccination strategies be adapted to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
On its website, NACI emphasizes that “it would be better to offer vaccination when it can be combined with another medical examination, and to offer several vaccines if necessary to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19 and reduce the number of meetings with health services ”.
Countries in the southern hemisphere, such as Australia, are currently exploring alternative ways of administering influenza vaccines, such as outdoor or drive-thru vaccination clinics, and their experiences may be instructive for Canada.
Alternative models also suggest vaccination done in pharmacies or by paramedics, or even in seniors’ residences, where legislation does not already allow it.
In addition, these countries are seeing a drop in the number of influenza infections, most likely due to COVID-19 prevention measures which focus in particular on wearing a mask and physical distancing.