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Getting Your Flu Shot

Niagara Region Public Health is not holding community flu clinics or offering flu appointments for residents.

Free Flu Shots Available Across Niagara

Physicians and pharmacies are receiving the flu vaccine. Contact your health care provider to get your flu shot. If you don't have one, see a list of family physicians in Niagara who are accepting new patients.

  • Flu shots are available at participating pharmacies (for individuals five years of age or over) and through walk-in clinics
  • Check ahead for vaccine availability
  • If you're having problems accessing the flu vaccine, it's important to know that the flu vaccine comes out in batches. Health care providers can continue to order additional doses, but replenishing supply can take time. You can contact the Ministry of Health directly at uiip.moh@ontario.ca if you have questions or comments about the provincial supply of the flu vaccine.

It's More Important than Ever to Get Your Flu Shot This Year

Plan to get the flu shot as soon as you can. The earlier the better. Your body needs about two weeks to build immunity after getting the flu shot. Health care providers have protocols in place for safe immunizations.

The flu shot won't protect you from COVID-19. The flu shot will protect you from influenza and help keep people out of the hospital. Remember, the flu vaccine still prevents and reduces the severity of the flu, even if it's not a perfect match. Getting the flu shot could mean the difference between:

  • Staying at home to recover or going to the hospital for treatment
  • Taking a couple of sick days from work or missing seven to 10 days

Getting the flu shot won't increase your risk of COVID-19 illness.

Getting the Flu Shot

Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu shot each year.

The most vulnerable are:

  • Young children
  • Pregnant women
  • Indigenous people
  • Adults over 65 years old
  • People with underlying medical conditions

Before You Get Your Flu Shot

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

Remember to wear a loose fitting t-shirt or tank top and a mask. Bring your health card if you have one.

If you're in self-isolation, or not feeling well, you should not attend your flu appointment. Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the flu, and it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone.

If you're feeling unwell before getting your flu shot:

  • Stay home and indoors, even if your symptoms are mild
  • Use our screening for symptoms of COVID-19 tool
    • Adults with any one symptom of COVID-19 will need to contact their health care provider for an assessment and referral for testing. If they don't have a health care provider, they will need to contact the Niagara Health COVID-19 Assessment Centre to book an appointment.
  • If you don't have COVID-19, you may have the flu or another respiratory illness. Wait to get your flu shot until 10 days from when your symptoms started or you have recovered, whichever is later.

Flu Vaccine for Seniors

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

There's an option for individuals 65 years of age and older to get either a high-dose trivalent (TIV) or a standard-dose quadrivalent (QIV) flu vaccine. Both pharmacies and doctors' offices received some doses of high-dose flu vaccine.

If you're unable to access the high-dose flu vaccine, please know that the standard-dose quadrivalent (QIV) is also safe and effective for adults 65 years and older. The most important thing is for you to be vaccinated. Contact the Ministry of Health if you have questions or comments about the provincial supply of high-dose flu vaccines at uiip.moh@ontario.ca.

FluMist

FluMist will not be available as part of the publicly funded program. This means doctor's offices and walk-in clinics will be giving flu shots by injection. However, FluMist is available on the private market. Call your local pharmacist to see if they've ordered FluMist.

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.

You can't get the flu from the flu shot.

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

If you don't feel well after getting your flu shot:

More Information

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

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