Getting Your Flu Shot

Influenza cases are high and this year's strain is quite severe. Free flu shots for the general public aged six months and older are available at doctor and nurse practitioner offices and participating pharmacies.

Free flu shots available across Niagara

Contact your health care provider to get your flu shot. If you don't have one, find a doctor accepting patients or visit a walk-in clinic.

Flu shots are available at participating pharmacies for individuals two years of age or over. Vaccine product availability may vary by location. Check ahead for vaccine availability.

Learn how to use the CARD system to prepare your child for their vaccination.

The flu can have severe impacts on your health

The flu shot will protect you from the flu and help keep people out of the hospital. Your flu shot may do more than protect you from the flu. Protection from infection and illness caused by the flu may also protect you from:

  • An invasive form of Strep A
  • Worsening of existing chronic illnesses such as heart disease

Remember, the flu shot still prevents and reduces the severity of the flu, even if it's not a perfect match. It could mean the difference between:

  • Staying at home to recover or going to the hospital for treatment
  • Taking a couple of sick days or missing a week or longer from work or school

Getting your flu shot doesn't mean that you won't get sick at all:

  • If you get infected with the flu before your body has had a chance to build immunity, you will get the flu
  • The flu shot doesn't protect you from COVID-19, the common cold or stomach illnesses

Influenza and COVID-19 vaccination

Influenza vaccines can be received at the same time as, or anytime before or after COVID-19 vaccines. For COVID-19 vaccine, see COVID-19 clinic schedule.

Who should get the flu shot

Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu shot each year. Plan to get it as soon as you can, the earlier the better. Your body needs about two weeks to build immunity after getting the flu shot.

When to get your annual flu shot

Flu vaccines are prioritized for health care providers and those at high-risk of complications or hospitalization from the flu. These individuals should receive their flu shot as soon as it becomes available to them each year.

Everyone else can get their flu shot starting Oct. 30, 2023.

Do not delay vaccination to wait for a particular product.

Getting your flu shot

  • Before your flu shot

    Pain from vaccinations is common. Plan ahead for pain management. Find tips for reducing stress, anxiety and pain during vaccination:

    Check with your health care provider or pharmacy about how to prepare for your appointment and discuss next steps if you're not feeling well on the day of your appointment.

  • After your flu shot

    Thank you for getting vaccinated. Getting your flu shot is the most effective way to protect yourself from the flu and flu-related complications.

    If you don't feel well after getting your flu shot, read about what to expect after vaccination.

Flu vaccine for those 65 years of age and older

Adults 65 years of age and older are at high risk of flu complications.

Individuals 65 years of age and older are eligible to receive the Standard Dose Quadrivalent Inactivated Vaccine (QIV-SD), the High-Dose Quadrivalent Inactivated Vaccine (QIV-HD) or the Adjuvanted Trivalent Inactivated Vaccine (TIV-adj). Doctors' offices and pharmacies will receive various flu vaccines. The most important thing is for you to be vaccinated. Don't wait for a particular product. They all protect against flu.

More information

If you have questions about the flu shot, read Immunize Canada's frequently asked questions.

Protecting Children Against Influenza is an educational program created to help parents and guardians protect their children against the influenza virus. The video discusses:

  • What influenza is
  • How influenza affects children
  • How to treat influenza
  • The influenza vaccine
  • Other preventative measures you can take to protect against influenza
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