It is important for everyone who can to get their flu shot this year. The flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19, but it will protect you from the flu or reduce the severity of illness from the flu. It will also prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed with additional patient visits, and it may even reduce the need for you to get tested for COVID-19, as the symptoms are very similar.
Updated October 21, 2020

Children

Flu vaccine is available to anyone over six months of age. Children under nine years of age, with no previous flu vaccination, will need a second dose.

Adults 65+

Older adults are at greater risk for serious complications from the flu. The burden of illness in adults 65+ are mainly from influenza A (H3N2). High-dose flu vaccine provides better protection against influenza A-strains and is the preferred choice for older adults. This vaccine is free at doctors’ offices, long-term care homes, medical walk-in clinics and local pharmacies.

In Pregnancy

Flu vaccine is recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding people to reduce risk of severe illness from the flu. Vaccination can also pass on the mother’s antibodies to the fetus, protecting the newborn.

Flu Vaccination Clinics

Flu vaccine, including high-dose flu vaccine, is available in early October at doctor’s office, pharmacies and Toronto Public Health (TPH) flu clinics. TPH clinics will be by appointment only.

How to Get Your Flu Shot Safely During COVID-19:

  • Make an appointment for each family member getting their flu shot.
  • Self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 on the day of the clinic.
  • Stay home if feeling unwell, even with mild symptoms.
  • Bring a mask and pen.
  • Read the flu vaccine fact sheet
  • Print and complete the flu consent form before the clinic. If you do not have a printer, there will be consent forms available at the clinic.
  • Do not bring family and friends if they do not have an appointment.

Flu Infection Can Cause Severe Illness

Flu illness can weaken our immunity, giving opportunity for other infections, like bacterial pneumonia. The illness can also aggravate existing health conditions making it harder to manage, such as diabetes, lung and heart disease. Flu virus can also cause severe inflammation of vital organs, requiring critical hospital care.