TORONTO, Ont. – With the flu shot programs for 2012 kicking off in provinces and territories over the next three to six weeks, a new study has identified a surprising pattern in who gets flu shots in Canada.

The study, done by researchers at Public Health Ontario, found Canadians of different ethnic backgrounds are more likely to get a flu shot than those who describe themselves as black or white.

A dozen ethnic groups, such as Filipino and Korean Canadians, were more likely to get a flu shot than black or white Canadians.

Lead author Susan Quach said the results came as a bit of a surprise and researchers aren’t clear how to explain the findings.

Quach said they need to figure out why different groups of people don’t get flu shots, and how to design better public health campaigns to persuade more people to get vaccinated.

The findings are published in this week’s issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.