It is important for everyone who can be vaccinated to get their flu shot this year. The flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, but it will protect you from the flu, and reduce your chance of getting very sick from it. Getting the flu vaccine also helps to protect our health care system from being overwhelmed with additional patient visits.
It is not too late to get the flu vaccine. Contact your local pharmacist or health care provider to get vaccinated.
Flu vaccine is no longer being offered in city-run Mass Immunization Clinics as of November 23, 2021, to respond to evolving COVID-19 priorities. Toronto Public Health (TPH) continues to offer flu vaccination to homeless and under housed individuals in shelters and drop-in clinics to protect some of our city’s most vulnerable residents.
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 at least 4 weeks after the first dose. Each of the flu vaccines protects against four strains of influenza virus. Depending on your child’s age, any flu vaccine can be used for either dose.
Influenza can make older adults very sick. Two vaccines are approved just for seniors to give better protection against the flu. A high-dose flu vaccine (Fluzone® QIV-HD) is the preferred choice for adults 65 years and older. If this vaccine is not available, then Fluad® is recommended. This vaccine is an adjuvanted vaccine. An adjuvant is a substance added to a vaccine that helps to boost your immune response to give stronger protection. If neither of these vaccines are available, do not delay in getting vaccinated. All flu vaccines provide good protection.
Getting the flu can be serious during pregnancy. Flu vaccine is safe and recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding people to reduce the risk of severe illness from the flu. Vaccination can also protect the fetus and newborn.
Flu vaccine is available at many local pharmacies and primary care clinics.
Flu illness can weaken our immunity, giving opportunity for other infections, like bacterial pneumonia. The illness can also aggravate existing health conditions such as diabetes, lung and heart disease. Flu virus can also cause severe inflammation of vital organs, requiring critical hospital care.