Sign In
Group of people smiling


Flu Shot

Everyone is vulnerable to influenza (the flu). The flu shot is free, and available to anyone 6 months of age and older who lives, works, or goes to school in Ontario. The flu shot is your best defense against the flu.  You can get a flu shot through your family doctor, local participating pharmacies, or local Public Health Unit. The flu shot is available to the general public at the beginning of November each year.

Important notes:

  • National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) now recommends that COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time, or any time before or after, other vaccines, such as the flu vaccine.

  • Co-administration with COVID-19 vaccine is NOT currently recommended for individuals 6 months to under 5 years of age. Individuals of this age group should wait a period of 14 days before or after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, prior to receiving the flu shot.

  • Individuals with suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19 infection, and those who are close contacts of a COVID-19 case, should not attend flu immunization appointments or clinics during their period of isolation.


  • Influenza is a respiratory (lung) infection caused by the Influenza virus and can cause serious illness, especially in young children and the elderly.  It is NOT a common cold.
  • Influenza is among the top 10 leading causes of death in Canada.
  • COVID-19 and Influenza are different viruses, although they are both very contagious and have many of the same symptoms. If you develop symptoms of Influenza, follow the same precautions taken for COVID-19.
  • Influenza is a reportable disease and must be reported to the Local Medical Officer of Health under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.   
Influenza Vaccine

Who should get the flu shot:

Everyone six months of age or older should get a flu shot each year. Even healthy people can spread the flu virus if they are not vaccinated.

As per the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), individuals in the following four groups are particularly recommended to receive the flu shot:

1.Individuals at high risk of influenza-related complications or who are more likely to require hospitalization: 

  • Pregnant women
  • Adults or children 6 months of age and over with the following chronic health conditions:

    • Heart, kidney, or lung/respiratory problems

    • Morbid obesity (BMI > 40)

    • Diabetes

    • Cancer or other conditions that lower the immune system

    • Anemia or blood diseases

    • Neurologic or neurodevelopment conditions

  • Children and teens who have had long term treatment with aspirin
  • People 65 years of age or older
  • People who live in long-term care homes, retirement homes or other chronic care facilities
  • Indigenous peoples

2. Individuals at increased risk of transmitting influenza to those in the high-risk groups listed above and/or to infants under 6 months of age:

  • Health care workers and other care providers

  • Those who live with individuals at increased risk of influenza related complications

  • Those who live with or take care of children aged zero to 4 years

  • Those who live with pregnant women who are expecting a newborn during the flu season

  • Those who provide services within closed settings to those at risk (e.g. crew on a ship)

3. People who provide essential community services (Example: EMS, firefighters, police

4. Poultry industry workers

Who should NOT get the flu shot:

  • People under six months of age

  • People who have had a serious reaction to a flu vaccine or to an ingredient in the vaccine

  • People with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome (muscle pain and weakness, or loss of muscle function) within six weeks of a previous flu vaccine

  • People with a history of Oculo-respiratory syndrome with lower respiratory symptoms (wheeze, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, throat constriction or difficulty swallowing) within 24 hours of a previous flu vaccine should see their doctor before getting the vaccine

Note: People who have a serious illness should wait until they are better before getting the vaccine. People who have a mild illness can get the vaccine even if they have a fever.