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In-store flu shots catch on in Canada

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TORONTO — Canadians love getting their flu vaccinations at neighborhood pharmacies, according to research released by the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada (Neighbourhood Pharmacies).

Over 95% of those surveyed indicated they were “very satisfied” with the care they received; just 1% were “neither satisfied nor unsatisfied” with the experience.

Canadians also appreciate the pharmacy flu vaccinations because of their speed and convenience benefits — 90% of survey respondents walked in without an appointment, and 88% reported waiting less than 10 minutes for their vaccination. Seventy-one percent of respondents said they chose the pharmacy because of its convenient location.

“The success of the pharmacy flu vaccination program has important public health impacts that result in more Canadians being protected against this underestimated disease,” said Denise Carpenter, president and chief executive officer of Neighbourhood Pharmacies. “That means fewer people suffering, reduced health care costs resulting from hospitalizations and reduced economic losses from time away from work, including deaths.”

Slightly over half of those who received a flu vaccination at a neighborhood pharmacy last season were new to the experience. While 20% of those surveyed didn’t get a flu vaccination last season, even more (29%) switched to a neighborhood pharmacy from another kind of vaccination provider, such as public health clinic, workplace clinic or doctor’s ­office.

Looking ahead to the next flu season, more than 80% said they planned to return to the same pharmacy, while only 5% of respondents indicated they plan to go back to their previous provider. Approximately 10% indicated they are uncertain as to their choice of flu vaccine provider.

The survey was conducted by MPI Research from November 2014 to February 2015. Seventy-three pharmacies in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario participated, by giving the paper-based survey to patients who had just received a flu shot in the pharmacy.


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