Friday, May 18, 2012

Flu Friday: Canada fails its first Flu Report Card

Happy Flu Friday!

For the first time, some of America’s northern neighbors scored themselves on the flu — and they didn’t make the grade.

Image: Flu Report Card,
courtesy The Lung Association
The British Columbia and Quebec Lung Associations created a Flu Report Card to see how well prepared their provinces were compared to the rest of the country.

Released this week, the report card showed the percentage of adults that received a seasonal flu vaccination during the 2011-2012 flu season. They compared the rate to the percentage of people who reported getting the flu this year. Not surprisingly, provinces where more adults got flu shots reported lower rates of the flu.

Canada’s two most populated provinces, Ontario and Quebec, received the worst grades: D- and F, respectively. Quebec failed because its vaccination rate was the lowest — only 27 percent of adults got the flu shot this year, so one in four people living there got the flu. This is especially bad news considering the weak flu season we’ve had in North America this year.

“Clearly, Quebeckers are not ready for a severe flu season," said Dominique Massie, executive director of the Quebec Lung Association, in a news story.

The report found some good news: 52 percent of British Columbians received the flu vaccine this year, and they reported the lowest rates of the flu, at 10 percent. And overall, more Canadians are getting the flu shot every year. The researchers also found that more people said they would get the flu shot if it was delivered with a smaller needle.

What does this mean for the U.S.? Well, the biggest lesson is that if more people get the flu shot, fewer people get the flu.

We here at Get Ready think it would be really cool to have a Flu Report Card in the U.S. What do you think? If your state was failing at the flu — or passing with flying colors — would that change your flu shot behavior? Let us know in the comments!

1 comment:

Nancy Haberstich RN MS said...

The report card concept can empower public health officals to document need to improvement in compliance and maybe een leverage additional funding. Anyone in North America looking for novel tools for improving compliance: go to and check out the Flu Prevention KIt featuring the nanobugs.