One way to protect yourself and others against influenza is to get a flu vaccination each year. There are two kinds of flu vaccines available: the flu shot and the nasal-spray flu vaccine.
In general, all healthy people should get vaccinated. Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and Health Canada now recommend that, in addition to other high-risk groups, all healthy children get a flu vaccination. Flu shots are now recommended for kids 6 months to 5 years old, pregnant women, people 50 years and older, people with certain chronic medical conditions and people living in nursing homes and other long term care facilities.
Health Canada recommends you get vaccinated in October or November before flu season peaks, but the flu shot can protect you even if you get it late in the flu season.
Yes. People with severe allergies to chicken eggs, those who have had a severe reaction to a flu shot in the past, and children under 6 months old should avoid getting vaccinated. If you’re not sure, talk to your doctor.
The viruses in the flu shot are inactivated (killed), so you can’t get the flu from a flu shot. But you can get some minor side effects such as soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given, or low-grade fever and aches.