Flu shot flip flops
Published January 12, 2014 - 6:56pm
Last Updated January 12, 2014 - 7:08pm
Most Canadians ignore appeals to get inoculated, except this year

TORONTO ? Influenza is notoriously mercurial, forcing even the experts to guess at which strain will dominate from one year to the next. As Canada is learning this winter, almost as unpredictable as the virus itself is whether the public will be willing to embrace flu vaccination.

Public Health officials regularly plead and cajole, but most years the majority of people pass on getting a shot. Canadian flu vaccination rates sit pretty squarely in the one-quarter to one-third range, Statistics Canada data show.

But occasionally we experience a phenomenon such as what has been happening in Western Canada where, undeterred by frigid temperatures, people embarked on sometimes desperate searches for flu shots ? something they should have done weeks ago to get optimal protection.

While public health authorities are delighted people want to be vaccinated, they are puzzled by the unexpected clamour for flu shots. Going by the numbers, this year?s flu season is active, but not overly severe...