The Government of Canada strongly recommends the vaccine for anyone 6 months of age or older. When it comes to the flu vaccine, there are many misconceptions and myths. Some people think the flu shot can make you sick. In reality, the injected flu vaccine is your best defence against the flu.
The flu vaccine can give you the flu
The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. It contains inactivated virus
The flu is a minor virus
Influenza and its complications cause approx. 4500 deaths in Canada each year
You don't need to get the flu shot each year
Flu viruses are always changes - You need to be vaccinated each year
You will still get the flu after getting a flu shot
While a flu shot does not guarantee you won't get the flu, it lowers your risk, and if you do get the flu, you will likely be less sick
Vaccine Myths & Facts
The flu vaccination is especially recommended for people who are at higher risk and those who have regular contact with people at higher risk. People at higher risk from the flu include:
People with health conditions such as lung diseases (e.g., chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis)
Very young children and seniors
Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities
Flu Shot Options
The standard influenza vaccine is available from most family physicians, family practice nurses, nurse practitioners and pharmacists.
If you’re 5 and older, it’s safe to get an influenza vaccine before, after, or at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine. As a precaution, children 6 months to 4 years (or those aged 5 who receive a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine) need to wait 14 days between their influenza vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine.
High dose flu vaccine
The High Dose Influenza Vaccine is a Quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine that is licensed specifically for people 65 years and older. The high dose vaccine has four times the concentration of influenza virus antigen as the standard inactivated influenza vaccine which is intended to give the older people a stronger immune response, and therefore, better protection against influenza.
This vaccine is available free to to anyone 65+ in Prince Edward Island. In Nova Scotia, the high dose vaccine is only available free to residents in long-term care facilities (it can also be purchased through select pharmacies. Call your pharmacy for availability)