It’s Flu Season: Protect yourself. Protect Others. Get a Flu shot.

The arrival of fall means flu season is just around the corner. The flu shot is your best protection against the flu and is available to anyone aged 6 months and older who lives, works, or goes to school in Ontario. 

It’s important to get your flu shot. With the presence of COVID-19, you can do your part to help reduce the demand on the healthcare system by getting vaccinated against the flu. Getting the shot will also reduce your chances of getting the flu and having to go to the hospital.

Where can I get my flu Vaccine? 

Call your local THU office:

  • New Liskeard office: 1-866-747-4305
  • Kirkland Lake office: 1-866-967-9355
  • Englehart office: Call 1-877-544-2221

To get your free flu vaccine outside of a community clinic, book an appointment with:

  • your primary care provider (i.e., doctor, nurse practitioner)
  • a participating pharmacy (2 years of age and older)

6 months- 2 years old:  Primary care provider and community clinics

2 years of age and up: Primary care providers, community clinics and pharmacies

Note:  High-dose flu vaccines and adjuvanted flu vaccines are recommended for people aged 65 years and over. The high-dose vaccine is only available through your primary care provider after October 23. Participating pharmacies also carry the high-dose vaccine and adjuvanted flu vaccines. 

All flu vaccines protect against the flu, and the most important thing is for older adults to be vaccinated. Do not delay vaccination to wait for a particular product.

How many doses of the flu vaccine do I need?

Children 6 months to under 9 years of age – Not previously immunized with any influenza vaccine in their lifetime require 2 doses at least 4 weeks apart. 

Children 6 months to under 9 years of age – Previously immunized with at least one dose of any influenza vaccine in their lifetime require 1 dose. 

Individuals 9 years of age and older previously immunized or not previously immunized require 1 dose.

What is the flu (influenza):

The flu (influenza) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person from droplets released in the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people close by and can be inhaled into the lungs. They can also live on hard surfaces for 24 to 48 hours, infecting those who touch the surface and then touch their nose or mouth.


  • Typical flu symptoms include the sudden onset of fever, cough and muscle aches. Other common symptoms include headache, chills, loss of appetite, fatigue and sore throat.

Children can also get:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

How to prevent the transmission of the flu

Stay home if you are sick or until all the following apply:

  • you do not have a fever
  • your symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours
  • you do not develop additional symptoms 

Who can get the flu shot?

In Ontario, anyone aged 6 months and older who lives, works, or goes to school in Ontario is eligible to get the flu shot. 

Can I get the flu from the flu shot? 

No. You can’t get the flu from the flu vaccine. The flu shot is made with non-active viruses, so it can’t give you the flu. 

Do I need to get the flu shot every year?

Yes. Everyone who is 6 months and older should get a flu shot each year. 

Can I get the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?

Yes, COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time, or any time before or after other vaccines like the flu shot.

Will the flu shot protect me against COVID-19?

No. However, getting the flu shot will help protect you and those around you from getting the flu. By getting your flu shot, not only are you reducing the chance of spreading infection, you are also helping to reduce the burden of hospitals and the health care system 

How do I know if I have the flu or COVID-19?  

The best way to know whether you have the flu or COVID-19 is to isolate, and arrange for a COVID-19 test. 

What are the side effects of the flu shot?  

The most common side effects are mild and can include soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot was given. Low-grade fever, fatigue, headache, loss of appetite and muscle aches may also occur. If they do, they usually begin 6 to 12 hours after getting your flu shot, and last one to two days.

How long does it take for the flu shot to take effect?

It takes about two weeks to develop protection. 

Who can get the flu shot?

In Ontario, anyone aged 6 months and older who lives, works, or goes to school in Ontario is eligible to get the flu shot.

Do I have to pay for my flu shot?

No, the flu shot is available free of charge to individuals who live, work or attend school in Ontario.

How long does it take to recover from the flu? 

Most people recover from the flu within 1 week to 10 days (National Advisory Committee on Immunization), however the very young, the elderly, and people with underlying health conditions could develop serious life-threatening complications. Sometimes the cough and fatigue can go on for several weeks, making the return to full activity difficult.

How can I prevent myself from getting the flu? 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Stay home if you are experiencing symptoms
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve
  • Clean high-touch surfaces regularly with disinfectant
  • Get your flu shot each year

For more information visit

Health Care Provider Q&A

2021/2022 Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP) 

Information for individuals 6 months to 64 years of age

Information for individuals 65+ years of age