Flu Shot Information
Since 2001, as part of Ontario’s Universal Immunization Program, Ontario has offered the seasonal influenza vaccine, commonly known as the flu shot, to anyone 6 months of age and older, living, working or studying in Ontario. This program provides FREE flu vaccine to all Ontarians who wish to protect themselves and their loved ones from getting or spreading the flu.
The flu vaccine can prevent the flu in about 70% to 90% of healthy children and adults. Studies have shown that flu shots reduce the incidence of pneumonia, hospital admission and death in the elderly. The flu shot will not protect against the common cold and other respiratory illnesses that may be mistaken for the flu but are not caused by the influenza viruses.
You should receive the flu shot every year. Why?
- This is because the virus types that cause the illness change often. The flu vaccine is updated each year in response to the changes in the viruses. The flu shot helps your body fight the viruses that cause influenza. It does this by teaching your immune system to recognize flu viruses and create a response to them. Protection from the flu takes about 2 weeks to develop after you receive the flu shot and protection lasts up to 1 year.
Children between 6 months of age and younger than 9 years of age require two doses of influenza vaccine at least one month apart if they were never vaccinated with seasonal influenza vaccine before.
- The two doses of seasonal influenza vaccine help the child’s body develop strong protection against influenza; infants younger than 6 months of age cannot get the flu shot.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding mothers
- The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy and breastfeeding mothers receive the flu shot to protect themselves and their baby from the flu. Anyone who will spend time with the baby and the family should also get their flu shot. This is because babies under 6 months old cannot get a flu shot. Their immune system is not yet developed enough for the vaccine to work for them. Click here to learn more about pregnancy and the flu.
Persons with allergy to egg or egg products:
- The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) Statement on Seasonal Influenza Vaccine for 2012-2013, indicates that most persons with a mild allergy to egg or egg products may receive the influenza vaccine, based on assessment of risk.
- If you are not sure if you have a mild or severe allergy, please discuss this with your health care provider or contact Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729 to discuss your symptoms with a public health nurse .
- If you are severely allergic to egg or egg products, the best place to assess whether to obtain the influenza vaccine is from your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, please contact Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729 for more information.
How The Flu Shot Is Made
Where can I get the Influenza (Flu) Vaccine?
Health Department community flu vaccination clinics are completed for 2012/2013.
The seasonal flu vaccine is available to anyone 6 months of age and older during the fall and winter at:
- Most health care providers
- Walk-in clinics and community health centres
- Some workplaces
- Some pharmacies
For more information on influenza and influenza vaccine, please contact Durham Health Connection Line at 905-666-6241 or 1-800-841-2729.
- Facts About... Influenza
- Facts About... Seasonal Influenza Vaccine
- Your Health Information: Your Rights (PDF)
- Facts About... Consenting To Immunization At Durham Region Health Department Influenza Clinics
- Consent and Authority Statement 2012 Influenza Clinic (PDF)