Updated September 2018

Vaccins contre la grippe pour les enfants

Vaccine Brands

FluMist®, FluLaval Tetra®, Fluzone® Quadrivalent

Influenza Illness

The virus is spread by droplets when talking, sneezing or coughing. The infection can spread before symptoms appear. Flu viruses can live on surfaces for hours, so touching infected door knobs and shared toys can also spread infection.

Young children, seniors, persons with a weak immune system and those with heart, lung and other diseases can get very sick from a flu infection and be hospitalized. The risk of getting Guillain-Barré Syndrome following flu infection is much higher than flu vaccination.

Vaccine Benefits

The vaccine is about 50 per cent effective in healthy individuals to protect from a flu illness. How well the vaccine works, depends on how well the vaccine strains match with what is circulating. The vaccine can provide some cross-protection even when the match is not exact.

Choose the Vaccine for Your Child

  • Flu vaccine by injection, for children ages six to 23 months old
  • Flu vaccine by injection or as a nasal spray, for children ages two to 17 years

Both vaccines work well and will protect against four strains of the flu virus. The vaccine given as a nasal spray is a live, weakened vaccine. Children under 9 years, getting their first flu vaccine ever, need a second dose at least four weeks after the first dose.

Flu vaccine given by injection Flu vaccine given as a nasal spray
Common side effects are:

  • pain, redness & swelling at the injection site
  • fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness
Common side effects are:

  • runny or stuffy nose
  • cough, sore throat, wheezing
  • fever, headache, poor appetite, weakness
Delay vaccination if:

  • your child is sick or has a fever
Delay vaccination if:

  • your child is sick or has a very stuffy nose
  • planning to visit someone within 2 weeks who has a very weak immune condition
Not for children with:

  • allergy to thimerosal (in FluLaval® only)
  • previous severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a flu vaccine
Not for children with:

  • allergy to gentamicin, gelatin or arginine or a previous severe reaction (anaphylaxis)
  • a weak immune system
  • severe asthma or wheezing in last 7 days
  • taking aspirin or antiviral meds in last 2 days

Severe Side Effects

Severe Side Effects such as allergic (anaphylactic) reactions: trouble breathing, rash, swelling of the face and throat are rare and can be treated. The risk of Oculo-Respiratory Syndrome or Guillain-Barré Syndrome after vaccination is very low, about one case in a million flu shots.

Both vaccines are not for children with previous Guillain-Barré Syndrome within six weeks of a flu vaccination. Speak with your doctor first, if your child has a history of Oculo-Respiratory Syndrome.

More Information

Talk to your health care provider or call our Immunization line at 416-392-1250.