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Influenza Immunization (Flu Shot)

Influenza, also called the flu, is a serious, highly contagious viral infection of the nose, throat and lungs. Illness from the flu can last two to seven days. It may last longer in people with chronic diseases or the elderly. Some people get very ill, develop complications and are admitted to hospital. Some people will die from getting the flu.

Huron Perth Public Heath (HPPH) encourages everyone six months of age and older to get the influenza vaccine (flu shot) each fall to protect against the virus and stop the spread of influenza in our community.

The flu shot helps to prevent influenza in children and adults. Some people who get the flu shot may still get influenza but it will usually be a milder case than if they had not been vaccinated.

With multiple respiratory viruses circulating over the fall and winter (respiratory illness season), vaccination is important to protect the health of individuals, families and communities. In addition, vaccination lowers the impact these viruses have on our healthcare system.

Anyone six months of age and older who lives, works or attends school in Ontario can get the flu shot for free. It takes about two weeks after getting the flu shot to be protected. The vaccine is needed every year because the circulating flu strains may be different. Children under nine years of age need two flu shots the first year they get the vaccine. They need one flu shot each year after.


Individuals aged two years and older can get their flu shot from a participating pharmacy. Call your local pharmacy to find out if they offer flu vaccine and to book an appointment.

Primary care providers

Individuals aged six months and older can can get their flu shot from a doctor or nurse practitioner.

Community clinics

Some family health teams may host community vaccination clinics that are open to the general public to attend. These clinics may offer flu and COVID vaccines. It is safe and encouraged to get the flu and COVID vaccines at the same time (if it has been at least six months since a person's last dose of COVID vaccine or confirmed infection). This will provide excellent protection against respiratory illness. Call a family health team near you or visit their website for information on vaccination clinics. 

Preparing for your appointment at a community clinic:

  • Bring a valid Ontario Health Card with you if you have one, or another piece of identification
  • Arrive at your scheduled appointment time, not earlier
  • Wear a short sleeved or loose-fitting shirt
  • Masks are strongly encouraged at clinics 
  • Do not attend the clinic if you are feeling unwell or have a fever.

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