Afexa Life Sciences Inc.
TSX : FXA

Afexa Life Sciences Inc.

September 17, 2009 08:14 ET

New COLD-FX® Flu Fighter Survey Reveals Many Canadians Show Little Concern About Passing H1N1 Strain On to Others

Expect to Drastically Change Spending and Living Habits in Event of an H1N1 Outbreak

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2009) - Afexa Life Sciences Inc ("Afexa")(TSX:FXA) today released the results of the COLD-FX® Flu Fighter Survey on the attitudes of Canadians towards H1N1. The phone survey was conducted by Harris/Decima among 1,519 Canadian adults from September 2nd through 9th, 2009. Results are considered accurate +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results follow.

The latest and most comprehensive survey of Canada's thoughts on the H1N1 virus has revealed that 74 per cent of Canadians believe an outbreak may be the same or even get worse than it was this spring, yet almost half (48 per cent) are still hesitant to protect themselves with the H1N1 shot. But the most surprising findings in the COLD-FX® Flu Fighter Survey include some distrust of the flu shot; a "me-first" attitude and belief it's the responsibility of others to prevent the spread of H1N1; and the potential impact on the economy should an H1N1 outbreak occur in Canada.

One of the most compelling findings of the COLD-FX® Flu Fighter Survey is the fact that 67 per cent of Canadians who are undecided about taking the H1N1 shot say they are unsure of the H1N1 vaccine and indicate that they will likely continue to refuse it even after being reminded that it will be available to them at no cost, and that the strain is highly contagious and they could make others sick. Among those who are likely to get the shot, when asked whom they are primarily trying to protect 47 per cent said it was for self-protection. Taking the vaccine to protect their children and/or family members ranked second at 29 per cent; and 16 per cent of Canadians would take the H1N1 shot to protect the general public from the spread of the virus.

Major Flu For Thought

"When nearly half of Canadians are saying they are hesitant to get the H1N1 shot, knowing the flu is highly contagious and they could infect others - it's a bit alarming," says Sherry Torkos, pharmacist and author of The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. "It's fascinating because these are some of the same people that believe the threat of H1N1 will either stay the same, or escalate."

"Whether Canadians think the issue is overblown, or have other hesitations, the reality is we are in a high-risk situation right now," Torkos continued. "People should be taking every precaution to protect themselves and their families. Certain high risks groups should consider vaccination. And everyone should look at strategies to boost immune function."

The survey asked Canadians about their current perceptions of H1N1, and its potential impact on day-to-day life in Canada. The results are fascinating, and indicate there could be some potentially serious economic and societal consequences impacting how we work, live and play.

Here's what we had to say...

The Economic Impact

Just as we are coming out of the recession, the COLD-FX® Flu Fighter Survey indicated a red-flag, with H1N1 presenting a potential set-back to Canada's recovering economy. Restaurants, shopping centres, and businesses where large numbers gather will all feel the effect. When asked what they would do if there were an H1N1 outbreak in Canada, a consequential number of Canadians indicated they would be likely to drastically change their day-to-day spending and living habits:

- 46 per cent said they would be likely to refrain from visiting shopping malls and going to the movies

- 48 per cent said they would be likely to refrain from eating out

- 49 per cent said they would be likely to rethink their travel plans

- 27 per cent said they are likely to reduce or change their use of public transit

To view the accompanying graph, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/afexagraph.jpg

"The survey suggests that many Canadians are willing to consider fairly drastic changes in behaviour in the event of an H1N1 outbreak," says Harris/Decima Co-President, Michel Lucas. "Interestingly, respondents who are most likely to seek vaccination are also the most likely to consider reducing human interaction. We could end up in the potentially dangerous situation where those most likely to be infected, the un-vaccinated, are also the least likely to quarantine themselves."

A potential H1N1 outbreak also appears to have many working Canadians concerned about their financial situation and job security:

- 44 per cent of employed Canadians say they would lose pay if they stayed home from work due to H1N1

- Nearly one in five employed Canadians are concerned they might even lose their job because of lost time due to H1N1

The Social Impact - "Me-first"

The survey also uncovered a clear contradiction in our attitudes to the responsibility for taking preventative measures. Nearly half of Canadians indicated that they themselves will likely not get the H1N1 shot, while the strong majority believe it should be mandatory for some front-line workers to be vaccinated against H1N1.

Here are the proportions of Canadians who agreed people in the following professions should be required to get the shot:

- Nurses, 79 per cent

- Doctors, 78 per cent

- Paramedics, 75 per cent

- Police Officers, 55 per cent

- Firefighters, 47 per cent

Canadians also had strong opinions about the restaurant industry: 64 per cent believe the H1N1 shot should be mandatory for all food service workers and servers.

62 per cent believe pharmacists should be compelled to get vaccinated against the virus.

The Impact on Education

With respect to schools, Canadians again indicated the response to H1N1 should be swift and thorough:

- 69 per cent said it should be mandatory for teachers and support staff to receive the H1N1 shot

- 88 per cent said a child should be quarantined and not allowed to attend school if they are showing any signs of H1N1

- A full 51 per cent said a school should be closed and disinfected if a student is confirmed to have the H1N1 virus.

To view the accompanying graph, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/afexaimpact.jpg

The Olympic Impact

With the Olympics just around the corner, Canadians overwhelmingly want the rest of the world to keep H1N1 out of our country:

- 73 per cent support preventing infected people and athletes from other countries from entering the country

- 77 per cent want all Olympic athletes screened for H1N1

- 91 per cent support the idea of having the H1N1 vaccination available to the public and athletes in the Olympic Village

The COLD-FX® Flu Fighter Survey was conducted by Harris/Decima among 1,519 Canadian adults from September 2nd through 9th, 2009. Results for the full sample are considered accurate +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

ABOUT AFEXA LIFE SCIENCES INC.

Afexa Life Sciences Inc. (formerly CV Technologies), founded in 1992, strives to transform people's lives to be healthier and happier by focusing on prevention and recovery through the use of evidence-based naturally-derived health products. The Company's lead product COLD-FX® strengthens the immune system and is widely used as a leading over the counter remedy ("OTC") for helping to prevent and relieve cold and flu infections.

Contact Information

  • For more information, or to arrange an interview with a
    spokesperson, please contact: Strategic Objectives
    David Weinstein or Sara Beckford
    (416) 366-7735
    (416) 366-2295 (FAX)
    davidw@strategicobjectives.com
    or
    Afexa media contact:
    Warren Michaels
    Vice President Communications
    (780) 432-0022
    (780) 432-7772 (FAX)
    wmichaels@afexa.com