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Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory disease. It's most common from October to April. The best way to stay safe from the flu is to get the flu shot, and it's good for everyone over 6 months old.

With COVID-19 around this fall, it's important to get shots for both. Good news! You can get the flu and COVID-19 shots at the same time. Getting these shots helps keep you, your family, and others from getting really sick and going to the hospital.

Flu Vaccines  

Flu shot clinics are available seasonally to help prevent the spread of influenza.

You should get a flu shot as soon as possible. It’s the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Anyone who lives, works, or attends school in Ontario is eligible for a free shot. 

Flu vaccines for high-risk individuals will be available mid to late October followed by all other individuals 6 months and older starting October 30, 2023.

Flu vaccines are available through participating pharmacies and other community health care providers such as family doctor or nurse practitioner offices. 

How to Book an Appointment:

Book your vaccination appointment online 

Other options:

Children 6 months to 2 years old can get their flu shot from a doctor, nurse practitioner or the Health Unit. Children under 2 years old cannot get a flu shot at a pharmacy. 

Dosage Guidelines:

General Population: Only one dose is needed for most.

First-time Vaccination for Children: If your child is between 6 months and under 9 years and is getting the flu shot for the first time, they'll need a second dose about 4 weeks after the first to be fully protected.

Flu Vaccine Types:

  • Ages 6 months to 64 years: Most will get a quadrivalent vaccine, which protects against four flu virus strains. The commonly available vaccines are Fluzone® Quadrivalent and FluLaval Tetra.
    • Note: FluMist® Quadrivalent, Flucelvax® Quad, and Afluria® Tetra are not covered by public funding in Ontario for the 2023/24 flu season.
  • Ages 65 and older: Senior residents are encouraged to get vaccinated. Two special vaccines are tailored for this age group:
    • Fluzone® High-Dose Quadrivalent (guards against 4 strains)
    • Fluad® (guards against 3 strains)
  • Both vaccines are available at the start of the flu season, but supplies might be limited. If a particular type is out of stock, it's advised to get whatever vaccine is available for prompt protection. 


Symptoms usually start one to four days after being exposed to the virus. Most people will recover in seven to ten days. Individuals in high-risk groups could experience more severe complications.

  • You may have the flu if you have: 
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Cough
    • Runny nose
    • Stuffy nose
    • Sore throat
    • Headache
    • Muscle ache
    • Extreme weakness and tiredness 

Influenza is often confused with the common cold. 

If you have symptoms:

  1. Stay Home and Rest: If you believe you have the flu, stay home and rest until your symptoms start to subside.
  2. Practice Good Hygiene: Always cover your mouth and nose with your arm or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  3. Avoid Vulnerable Groups: Do not visit individuals in hospitals or long-term care facilities to prevent spreading the illness.
  4. Seek Medical Advice: Consult your health care provider if:
    • Your condition doesn't improve after a few days
    • Your symptoms worsen
    • You belong to a high-risk group and start showing flu signs
  5. You can visit Health811 online or call 811 to talk to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • You do not need to provide your OHIP number and all information is confidential.