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For every flu shot administered at London Drugs, a life-saving vaccine will be donated to a child in another part of the world



For every flu shot administered at London Drugs, a life-saving vaccine will be donated to a child in another part of the world

Survey: Amid COVID-19, Flu Shot Importance and Intentions Spike
Among British Columbians

Vast majority in the province:

  • Say they plan to get a flu shot this year: 72%, up ten points from 2019.
  • Agree that the flu shot is more important than ever this year: 71%
  • Think the flu shot is important now to lessen the potential burden on healthcare resources: 79%
  • Feel it is important to do whatever they can to prevent illness during the pandemic: 79%
  • Are concerned about their health and the health of their family right now given the unpredictability of COVID-19 circulating at the same time as flu: 84%
  • Are more aware of the importance of protecting the most vulnerable from viruses/flu: 86%.
  • Believe that mask-wearing, proper hand-washing and social distancing should lead to fewer cases of flu as well, but they are not substitutes for the flu vaccine: 86%

The unpredictability of COVID-19 circulating at the same time as the flu has changed perceptions about the importance of vaccination and has far more British Columbians planning to get an influenza immunization this year. A new survey conducted by Insights West on behalf of London Drugs, finds that seven in ten (72%) say they will roll up their sleeve – a whopping ten-point increase compared to last year – with most (69%) planning to get immunized as soon as the vaccine becomes available. A majority (84%) in the province indicate that they are concerned about their health and the health of their family right now given the unpredictability of flu season occurring amidst the pandemic.

“The unique circumstances surrounding the approaching influenza season have many more people focused on protecting themselves, their families, and vulnerable members of the community from the double threat of the flu and COVID-19,” says Chris Chiew, General Manager of Pharmacy at London Drugs. “The flu shot is safe, and it is the most effective tool we have in protecting against influenza, preventing the spread and, ultimately, it can save lives.”

The survey, found that almost nine in ten (86%) in the province say that as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, they are now more aware of the importance of protecting the most vulnerable members of the community from viruses like the flu. Eight in ten (79%) agree that it is important to do whatever they can to prevent illness during the pandemic, including getting the flu shot. Given that flu symptoms are similar to COVID-19, seven in ten (71%) say the flu shot is more important than ever.

To help support public health maximize vaccination rates in the province while keeping patients safe, London Drugs has implemented a new appointment system. Patients must now book a flu shot appointment online. The new system allows patients to complete the consent form online and sends an appointment confirmation email. It is designed to help control patient flow, provide an opportunity to screen for illness/exposure to COVID-19, and ensure that pharmacists can administer the vaccine efficiently. To ensure physical distancing and eliminate wait times or line ups, flu shots will not be available on a walk-in basis this year.

“Patients need to book an appointment online and, when coming into the pharmacy, take the same precautions they take when they run other essential errands – wear a mask, physically distance from others while at the pharmacy, and wash your hands frequently. Particularly as flu season approaches, we are urging anyone experiencing flu-like or respiratory symptoms to stay home. Even mildly ill patients should not visit the pharmacy,” says Chiew.

Even more reasons to get immunized at London Drugs: Get a flu shot, give a life-saving vaccine

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends the flu shot for everyone over the age of 6 months, including those who are healthy. This year London Drugs is providing added incentive to get immunized: For every flu shot administered at any London Drugs location, a life-saving vaccine will be donated to UNICEF Canada to help vaccinate children in developing countries against tetanus, polio or measles. The vaccination donation campaign is in partnership with I Boost Immunity (IBI), an online immunization advocacy network.

“Flu and coronavirus share common symptoms but there’s one big difference:  a vaccine exists to prevent the flu – which is reason enough to get one. On top of that, by getting vaccinated at London Drugs, you will not only be protecting yourself and your local community during this critical time, but you will be helping to provide a life-saving vaccination to children in need in another part of the world,” says Chiew.

Among those who say they will get a flu shot this year, about half (51%) plan to visit a pharmacy. The next most common locations are a doctor (19%) or the workplace (9%) though this number was down significantly compared to last year (16% in 2019), perhaps a reflection of fewer people working in offices due to pandemic-related closures.

Other Survey Highlights: Lingering misconceptions about the flu shot among British Columbians

Despite the willingness of most to get one, there are some lingering concerns and misconceptions about the flu shot in the province, with a small majority (62%) indicating they feel the flu vaccination can have negative side effects. One-quarter (23%) still mistakenly believe you can catch the flu from the vaccine.

Among those unlikely to get a flu shot this year, four in ten (37%) say they are healthy, so don’t think they need one.  One in three don’t believe it is effective or only works for previous strains (34%). About a quarter (24%) say they prefer to use “natural” or homeopathic or alternative treatments instead. One in five (22%) say they tend to forget or don’t get around to it, don’t feel the flu is serious (17%) or don’t think they need one because they are not around a lot of people or vulnerable people (17%).

COVID-19 is also playing a role among those who are unlikely to get a flu shot this year, with three in ten (29%) indicating they won’t get one because they feel the current social distancing and mask-wearing practices in place this year make them less concerned about getting the flu.

“Even healthy individuals – even those taking precautions like wearing masks and washing hands  –  should get a flu shot because the higher the rate of vaccination, the greater the protection for the most vulnerable individuals like the elderly and young children who are more susceptible to flu-related complications that can lead to serious health problems or death,” says Chiew.

Overall, eighty-five per cent (85%) of British Columbians feel that mask-wearing, proper hand-washing and social distancing should lead to fewer cases of flu as well. Still, they agree that the precautions are no substitution for getting the flu vaccine.

This year’s flu season presents an added challenge for frontline healthcare workers, especially if a jump in COVID-19 cases overlaps with a flu outbreak. British Columbians recognize their responsibility to help reduce this risk, with eight in ten (79%) indicating they feel it is important to get a flu shot this year to prevent flu-related burden on healthcare resources. Still, one quarter (24%) say they are personally afraid or are afraid to bring their child for a flu shot because they are concerned about potential exposure to coronavirus.

“The pandemic has emphasized the importance of working together to protect each other and the most vulnerable from illness, including flu. That will be a lasting legacy of the health crisis we’ve all faced with COVID-19,” says Chiew.

Patients can visit to sign up to be notified by email as soon as flu shot appointments are available at London Drugs. Flu shot appointments must be booked online due to COVID-19 transmission prevention practices and physical distancing measures.



Results are based on an online study conducted by Insights West from September 8-14, 2020 among a sample of 638 British Columbian adults 18 years of age and older. The data has been weighted according to 2016 Canadian Census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error (which measures sample variability is +/3.9%, 19 times out of 20. Any discrepancies between totals are due to rounding.



Founded in 1945, B.C.-based London Drugs has 80 stores in more than 35 major markets throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba including its online store London Drugs offers consumers a range of products from digital cameras and cosmetics to computers and televisions. Renowned for its creative approach to retailing, the company employs more than 7,500 people with pharmacy and health care services being the heart of its business. Committed to innovation and superior customer service, London Drugs has established itself as a reputable and caring company and continues to position itself for future growth and development.


Surrey Hospitals Foundation Funds 3D Ultrasound Machine for Surrey Chronic Pain Clinic



Innovative technology supports clinic’s pelvic pain specialty to improve diagnosis for women’s health conditions

The Surrey Hospitals Foundation has invested $128,000 to help purchase a new 3D ultrasound machine for the Surrey Chronic Pain Clinic at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre.

The Surrey Chronic Pain Clinic is the only clinic in the Fraser Health region with a specialty in treating pelvic pain and endometriosis.

Dr. Claudine Storness-Bliss is an obstetrician-gynecologist (OBGYN) and pelvic pain specialist at the Surrey Chronic Pain Clinic, and she explains that 3D ultrasound technology can improve the physician’s ability to accurately diagnose certain gynecological concerns compared to the traditional 2D ultrasounds.

3D ultrasound technology is more accurate and sensitive in defining and mapping abnormalities like uterine lesions and adhesions, congenital uterine anomalies, fibroid tumors and endometrial polyps in the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries.

“Pelvic pain in women is often complex and particularly difficult to diagnose because the cause can be a result of many complicated health conditions and abnormalities,” says Dr. Claudine Storness-Bliss, an OBGYN and pelvic pain specialist at the Surrey Chronic Pain Clinic.

“As the only chronic pain clinic specializing in pelvic pain in the Fraser Health region, it is crucial that we are equipped with the latest technologies to help specialists better diagnose and treat these health conditions. The 3D ultrasound technology has already helped hundreds of women at our clinic in the last 12 months, and it’s thanks to the Surrey Hospitals Foundation for their generous contribution.”

Chronic pelvic pain can be a disabling, chronic, persistent pain lasting more than three to six months, within the pelvis in women.[i]
A Canadian study demonstrated that chronic pelvic pain represents a considerable economic burden to Canada’s health care system, amounting to an average cost of $25 million per year within a four-year period when the study was conducted.[ii]
Chronic pelvic pain is a common condition that affects an estimated 15 to 20 percent of women, ages 18 to 50 in the U.S.[iii]
Additionally, endometriosis is a difficult, painful, and complicated disease that affects approximately one million women in Canada. The disease can involve multiple organ systems, often resulting in debilitating chronic pain and infertility, carrying an estimated annual healthcare cost of $1.8 billion.[iv]

Photo: Dr. Storness-Bliss using the new 3D ultrasound machine at the Surrey Chronic Pain Clinic. The Surrey Hospitals Foundation funded the $128,000 technology to help treat patients with pelvic pain and endometriosis, amongst many other health conditions.

Jennifer Marchbank is a 56-year-old patient of Dr. Storness-Bliss who was diagnosed with ovarian adhesion caused by endometriosis (her ovary was attached to the pelvic side wall) with the help of the 3D ultrasound technology.

Jennifer has suffered from debilitating pain caused by endometriosis since her youth, and has gone through a number of medical diagnoses and procedures in the last 20 years. It wasn’t until Dr. Storness-Bliss diagnosed her and she underwent minimally invasive surgery that she became pain free.

“Many women like me who have chronic pelvic pain and endometriosis suffer in silence for years because often times doctors attribute this as a ‘normal’ part of female reproductive health,” says Jennifer Marchbank, a patient of Dr. Storness-Bliss.

“What people don’t realize is that this pain is often debilitating and impacts our daily lives greatly. I encourage all women who have health concerns to be proactive in seeking medical help and to push to see specialists. If it wasn’t for Dr. Storness-Bliss and the Surrey Chronic Pain Clinic and the innovative technologies they have, I would still be suffering in pain.”

“One of our most important missions at the Surrey Hospitals Foundation is to support our medical experts by equipping them with life-changing medical equipment to deliver the highest quality health care possible,” says Jane Adams, President and CEO of the Surrey Hospitals Foundation.

“Jennifer’s incredible story with the help of highly-skilled specialists like Dr. Storness-Bliss, are great examples of how we can positively impact someone’s life with the support of donors and our community.”

About Surrey Hospitals Foundation:

Surrey Hospitals Foundation is the largest non-government funder of health care for families in Surrey and surrounding Fraser Valley communities.

The Foundation supports the major health facilities in the region, Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) and Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC), as well as numerous specialized programs for newborns, children, adults and seniors.

The Foundation invests in the future of health care by funding innovative research in Surrey that can lead to medical breakthroughs.

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Self-Care Strategies to Help Stay Healthy This Holiday Season



With the COVID-19 pandemic added to the typical cold and flu season, many are wondering what they can do to protect themselves and others this holiday season and how to respond if they get sick.

“As we enter this cold and flu season, it’s so important to practice self-care,” said Dr. Ian Smith, a physician, best-selling author and host of “The Doctors.” “Key preventative measures like washing your hands often and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze can be extremely effective in preventing the spread of germs. With COVID-19 also in the picture, there are a lot of questions on everyone’s mind around how to stay healthy and correctly identify and treat symptoms of the cold and flu or COVID-19.”

Flu vs. Covid-19

If you get sick this season, your first question will likely be whether it’s the flu or COVID-19. Both the flu and COVID-19 are contagious respiratory illnesses caused by viruses. The flu is caused by the influenza virus and COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2.

Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19, like fever and cough, are similar, making it difficult to tell the difference based on symptoms alone. Testing may be required for a proper diagnosis. If you have questions or concerns about your symptoms or about COVID-19, consult your health care professional.

Cold And Flu Treatment

For the common cold or flu, there are a variety of products available that contain several active ingredients commonly used to treat symptoms of respiratory viral infections.

For example, Mucinex DM contains dextromethorphan, which helps to control cough and guaifenesin to help thin and loosen mucus and lasts 12 hours when used as directed. You can identify the right formula to provide relief based on symptoms you are experiencing by using the online tool at, where you can also find more information regarding self-care remedies.

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Surrey Hospitals Foundation Invests in Research with Prestigious Funding from Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research



Investment includes funding COVID-19 clinical research team and study on a virtual rehabilitation clinic

Photo: A healthcare worker at Surrey Memorial Hospital’s ICU unit

Surrey, B.C. The Surrey Hospitals Foundation is supporting COVID-19 medical research in Surrey with an investment of $150,000, and has received a prestigious $150,000 matching grant from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR). The combined funds will go towards enhancing COVID-19 research initiatives and capacity to advance innovative life-saving protocols and interventions in Surrey.

The funding enables the hiring of an essential research team including a Clinical Research Coordinator, Clinical Research Nurse, and a Clinical Research Assistant at Surrey Memorial Hospital, headed by Clinical Research Lead Christopher Condin, under the guidance of Kate Keetch, Director of Evaluation and Research Services at Fraser Health.

With original seed funding of $25,000 from TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, the Surrey Hospitals Foundation is also helping fund a COVID-19 research study on the viability of a virtual rehabilitation clinic.

“We are facing a healthcare crisis with COVID-19 and it is absolutely critical for us to invest in COVID-19 research to improve the health outcomes of patients,” says Jane Adams, President and CEO of the Surrey Hospitals Foundation. “We are so grateful to the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research for this timely grant and we are proud to support COVID-19 research initiatives and the establishment of this COVID clinical research team in Surrey.”

Dr. Greg Haljan is the head of Surrey Memorial Hospital’s critical care department and is also the Regional Medical Director of Research for Fraser Health. He will be leading the COVID-19 research study to examine whether a multi-disciplinary virtual recovery program providing pulmonary rehabilitation for COVID-19 survivors improves rehospitalization, patient quality of life and health outcomes.

He hopes to launch a COVID-19 virtual rehabilitation program at Surrey Memorial Hospital led by critical care physicians and experts. It has the potential to transform outcomes both during recovery from the pandemic and beyond, and to create measurable improvements in the quality of patients’ lives by extending the impact and reach of physiotherapy services and post-discharge care.

“Research has shown that 17 per cent survivors of similar critical illnesses, including SARS and influenza etc., are re-admitted to hospital within one month of discharge, 30 per cent by three months and 40 per cent by six months, and COVID-19 numbers could be very similar,” says Dr. Greg Haljan, Head of the Department of Critical Care at Surrey Memorial Hospital and Regional Medical Director for Research for Fraser Health. “We need to prevent the onset of COVID-19 hospital re-admissions by developing a patient-centric, virtual critical care rehabilitation program led by critical care physicians and experts.”

“In the midst of this second wave of COVID-19, and given that Fraser Health has the highest number of cases, it is essential that we build up our COVID-19 research capacity so that we can contribute to vital evidence-based knowledge needed to combat the pandemic,” says Dr. Kate Keetch, Director, Department of Evaluation and Research Services at Fraser Health. “Our critical care physicians, including Dr. Haljan, are the most experienced in COVID-19 treatment and care, and helping support them to do cutting-edge, patient-centred research and knowledge translation as part of their clinical care, is why I head into work every morning.”

Previous research indicates that early mobility and rehabilitation, after being discharged from hospital, reduce mortality and acute care utilization in multiple critical illness survivor cohorts. Even 14 days of quarantine without hospitalization impacts fitness and mobility. Pulmonary rehabilitation improves the full spectrum of cardiopulmonary, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, and mental health domains, including surprisingly, depression, anxiety and cognition.

For more information on how the Surrey Hospitals Foundation continues to support research and innovation, as well as their current Children’s Health Centre and Surgical Centre campaigns, visit

About Surrey Hospitals Foundation:

Surrey Hospitals Foundation is the largest non-government funder of health care for families in Surrey and surrounding Fraser Valley communities. The Foundation supports the major health facilities in the region, Surrey Memorial Hospital (SMH) and Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC), as well as numerous specialized programs for newborns, children, adults and seniors.

The Foundation invests in the future of health care by funding innovative research in Surrey that can lead to medical breakthroughs.

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How to Remain Fit and Healthy Amid the COVID-19? A Brief by EJ Dalius



The things that are good for your heart are naturally good for your mind. In light of this, breaking sweat regularly boosts brain health in many ways. Exercise associates with an improvement in cognition rates, including better memory, executive function, and attention.

Moreover, due to aging people are in the vulnerable group forcontacting of the virus.The physical activities of many older adults have entirely stopped which is not good for them. Eric Dalius suggests getting sedentary with the usual lifestyle, and ignoring exercise entirely is a negative step towards remaining fit and healthy.

Exercise and the Brain Functioning

Physical activity is also known to slow down age-related cognitive reduction. With age, a person becomes susceptible to losing memory and thinking skills. In older adults, it aids in retaining the current cognitive function; in your spare time, you can perform a few simple activities. Every activity that increases the physical count can ward off the sedentary lifestyle, making us healthy.

Consult a Professional

Older adults can consult a healthcare professional before beginning an exercise routine. With conditions such as heart diseases and hypertension, the medical professional will help you decide on a safe yet effective practice that can attune your fitness levels and your ultimate goals of staying fit.

Due to several restrictions, many telehealth consultation facilities are available, and EJ Dalius recommends leveraging such moves without physically going to the health center. Several entrepreneurs have rendered their help for the wellbeing of the people, and are incorporating innovative techniques to combat such uncertain times.

When to Start?

Eric J Dalius states that many exercise guidelines public and private authorities publish state that adults should shoot for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 70-75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week. Ideally speaking, the moderate and vigorous-intensity workouts should spread across many days or on alternate days for the body to recover.

  • Examine your schedule and try to remove at least half an hour initially for the workout. It is wise to keep a fixed timing every day, helping better in regularizing your routine.
  • Start with simple exercises and eventually get your hands on the tough ones. Remember that exercises can do wonders; therefore, it is never too late to start exercising as everyone benefits from doing some physical activity.
  • You can also opt for walking down the stairs, swimming, gardening, biking, and dancing. Such activities interest a person and can result in targeting two goals at one time.
  • Activities, such as Zumba, are energizing and can act as a much-needed break from your hassle-loaded routine.
  • For older adults, simple exercises for joints and bones are essential.

Most of us always have the excuse of not having time in hand to pursue a regular exercise routine. However, a simple walk of fifteen minutes is better than no exertion at all. Take baby steps to compile exercise into your daily routine.

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Put Your Back In to It!: How to Strengthen Your Back Muscles



Your back is home to 140 muscles that connect to the rest of your body. That makes your back a central component to whole-body wellness and strength.

If you want to feel strong and have an effective workout, then you must start with a sturdy core and proper posture. This will also reduce stress on your body that causes chronic back, neck, shoulder, and even limb pain.

Use these exercise, stretches, and good habit tips to build your back muscles and start feeling and looking like a new healthy person.

Start With Your Posture

Most people work all day at a desk, commute while sitting in a car and continue to sit at home watching TV or socializing online. That’s a lot of sitting and more opportunities to slouch.

If the muscles of the back aren’t inline then they are putting pressure on your organs, joints, and connecting muscles.

Recognizing your bad posture habits is the first step to understanding the importance of your back. It can affect your whole body in the long-term as it can lead to arthritis and chronic back pain.

So, whether you are sitting, standing, or lying down remember to keep your back straight. This will help with the following exercises and stretches.

Finding the right physical therapist can also help improve your posture through an assessment of your back pain. But, not all therapy is equal. Discover more here to find the proper help you need.


You may think that stretching is only good for back pain, but it can also be a preventative measure. It keeps your back flexible, which helps in everyday activities like bending, lifting, and reaching while making your back stronger.

Try these stretches to keep your back limber.

Lying Lower Back Twist

Lie on your back using a mat. Use your right hand to grab your left knee and pull it across your lower torso toward the floor.

Keep your opposite arm elongated and stretched perpendicular to your back. Your shoulders should continue to touch the floor. Look toward your opposite arm by turning your head.

Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, focusing on lower right back pain. Then slowly come back to the center. Repeat using your left arm and right knee.

Knee to Chest

This stretch uses your legs to lengthen the lower back muscles. It also pulls the pelvis away from the muscles, giving them room to breathe.

Lie on your back with your knee bent and your feet flat on the floor. Use both hands to pull your one knee at a time toward your chest. You can keep your head flat on the floor or bring your forehead to your knee for a deeper stretch.

Hold for 20 seconds before switching knees. Repeat as needed.

Cobra Stretch

You may have seen this stretch in your yoga class. This pose does wonders for middle back pain while strengthening your stomach, shoulders, neck, and of course your whole back.

Lie on your stomach with your palms down close to your ribs. Slowly use your arms to push your chest up while lifting your head toward the ceiling.

Arch your back slowly and to the point where it is comfortable. Your arms will extend as much as possible as you rise to your comfort zone. Hold for as long as you like without any pain.


Stretching prepares your back for more strenuous movements. While stretching gives you more flexibility, back exercises offer you increased strength through gaining mass.

Use these exercises to build back muscle.

Lifting Legs Laterally

Since your back is supported by your pelvis, strengthening your hips can offer grounding stability for back muscles.

Lie on your side with your bottom arm bent and your head rested in your palm. Keep your legs straight and your hips in line with your torso.

Slowly raise your leg about a foot from the ground. Be sure to keep your abdomen tight and your leg straight. Hold the leg in the air for a few seconds and then slowly lower it back to the ground.

Do as many repetitions as desired until your leg feels like it can lift no more. Switch to the other side and repeat.

Superman Hold

Relieve upper back pain while strengthening muscles along the spine in this exercise. This will improve your posture and build a stronger core along your spine and pelvis.

Lie on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you. Keep your legs together and straight.

Lift both arms while keeping your head facing the floor. Slowly raise your legs at the same time. Raise your limbs as high as is comfortable.

Try to bring your chest and eventually your stomach off the floor to slightly arch the back.

Hold this position for several seconds and release. Repeat the exercise as desired.

Plank Arm Raises

Shoulder pain is a direct cause of weak back muscles. By working out your shoulder blades and the muscles in between, the posture of your upper back will improve.

Get into a plank position by lying on your stomach and lifting your body by extending your arms. Your arms should be straight with your elbows locked. And your hands should be in line with your shoulders.

You should be on the tips of your toes with your legs hip-width apart.

Lift one arm at a time toward your chest with the elbow close to your ribs. Alternate moving each arm up and back down to the floor.

Do 8 to 10 reps at a time while taking deep breaths as you go up and down.

Strong Back Muscles Prevent Injury and Illness

Having strong back muscles can keep your whole body free from harm. Better posture will take pressure off of your organs and improve circulation while making you more flexible.

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