Seasonal Influenza (Flu) Vaccination Coverage Survey Results, 2017-2018

The flu season usually lasts between November and April each year. Anyone can get the flu, which can sometimes lead to serious complications or even death. Some people are at higher risk for health problems due to the flu, including:

  • Young children
  • People with certain chronic medical conditions
  • Seniors
  • Pregnant women

The influenza vaccine, also known as the flu shot, is the best way to prevent the flu. Every Canadian aged six months or older should get their flu shot every year.

The Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Coverage Survey is a yearly telephone survey that collects information about the flu shot in Canada. Each flu season, the survey estimates how many people get the flu shot as well as knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about the flu shot. This page presents some of the key results from the 2017-2018 flu season.

Key Results:

Figure 1. Seasonal flu vaccine coverage, 2015-2016 to 2017-2018 flu seasons.
Figure 1. Seasonal flu vaccine coverage, 2015-2016 to 2017-2018 flu seasons. Text description follows.
Figure 1: Seasonal flu vaccine coverage, 2015-2016 to 2017-2018 flu seasons - Text Description
Seasonal flu vaccine coverage, 2015-2016 to 2017-2018 flu seasons.
no data All adults (18+) Age 18-64 without chronic medical conditions Age 18-64 with chronic medical conditions Seniors (65+)
Flu Season 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018
Percent vaccinated
(%)
34.3 35.8 38.3 24.4 25.1 26.5 37.2 37.0 39.4 64.6 69.5 70.7

Canadians who got their flu shot

  • Too few Canadian adults (38%) got vaccinated in the 2017-2018 season.
  • More females (41%) than males (35%) got vaccinated.
  • Vaccination in seniors (71%) and adults with chronic medical conditions (39%) fell short of the national goal of 80%.

Place and month of vaccination

  • Most adults were vaccinated in October or November (79%).
  • Most adults were vaccinated at pharmacies (34%) or doctor's offices (30%).

Why Canadians got their flu shot

  • The most common reason was to prevent infection or avoid getting sick (38%).
  • Adults most commonly encountered messages promoting the flu shot on TV (60%), printed posters (40%), and radio ads (36%).
  • Adults aged 18-64 years without chronic medical conditions were more likely to get the flu shot after encountering multiple sources of messaging promoting the flu shot.

Stay healthy!

  • Get your flu shot
  • Clean your hands often
  • Cough and sneeze into the bend of your arm, not your hand
  • Stay home if you're sick
  • For more information on flu prevention and the flu shot, visit: Canada.ca/flu

A full report of the survey results is available through the Government of Canada Publications website.

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