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British Columbians among least likely to get H1N1 shot: StatsCan

British Columbians were vaccinated against H1N1 influenza at one of the lowest rates in Canada, according to a Statistics Canada report released today.

The study, using data from the 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey, found that by last April, an estimated 41 percent of Canadians (not including the territories) had received a flu shot. This was notably higher than the average for seasonal flu shots (32 percent).

But some provinces saw much higher vaccination rates, and B.C. came in second from last, just ahead of Ontario. In Newfoundland and Labrador, 69 percent got the jab and 62 percent in Prince Edward Island.

By contrast, only 32 percent on Ontarians got the H1N1 shot, with B.C. at 36 percent. Alberta and Manitoba were barely ahead of us, with 37 percent vaccinated.

In its socio-demographic analysis, StatsCan found only 33.3 percent of B.C. males got the shot, compared to 37.9 percent of females.

In Canada overall, 42 percent of those with postsecondary graduation received the vaccination, but so did 49.9 percent of those with less than secondary graduation. Those with some postsecondary were least likely to have received the shot.

In its news release on the study, StatsCan said high-risk populations were immunized at much higher rates than other Canadians: Two-thirds of healthcare workers, for example, and 55 percent of those with chronic health conditions.

The release also said males were more likely than females to say they didn't think the vaccination was necessary, and more likely to say they "had not gotten around to it yet."

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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