The Upcoming Flu Season and Flu Vaccination

Everything you wanted to know about them...

The influenza or flu vaccine is available free of cost to all individuals six months of age and older in Ontario.

As per National Advisory Committee on Immunization or NACI, the flu vaccine may be taken at the same time as, or any time before or after the Covid vaccine.

Persons who are at high risk of flu related complications or hospitalization are especially recommended to get vaccinated.

High Risk Individuals:

  • Pregnant women
  • Residents of nursing homes or long-term care facilities
  • People over 65 years of age
  • Children between the ages of 6 months to 4 years
  • Indigenous peoples
  • People with chronic health conditions including but not limited to diabetes, cardiac and pulmonary diseases, cancer, conditions/medications that compromise the immune system, renal disease etc.
  • Persons that provide care to high risk individuals, those that work in nursing homes or senior residences, those that are in community service or those that have children below 6 months are highly recommended to get vaccinated against the flu.

Fluzone HD (high dose) for individuals above 65 years will be available in pharmacies this year.

Any component of a vaccine may produce an allergic reaction. It is recommended to stay on site after receiving a vaccine, for at least 15-20 minutes. While egg protein is a component of most flu vaccine products, the NACI indicates that egg allergy is not a contraindication for influenza vaccination and that egg-allergic individuals may be vaccinated against influenza using the full dose of any age-appropriate product.

The flu vaccine should be available in most pharmacies and doctors’ offices by mid-October. Some pharmacies have made it possible to register online so that you will be notified as soon as they receive the vaccine.

It is especially important to get the flu vaccine this year because of Covid-19 cases still seen in the community. Preventing flu will not only protect us, our families and the community but will also help reduce the burden on the healthcare system during the pandemic.

About the author…
Veena Shanbhag is a practicing pharmacist and owner of Streetsville Shoppers Drugmart. In her spare time Veena loves to teach yoga….