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Where can I get a flu shot?

Getting vaccinated is the best protection against certain serious diseases. When a person receives a vaccine, flu shot, his or her defense cells begin to produce antibodies that will be stored in memory if the virus that actually causes the disease enters the body. This is a natural protective reaction that takes effect within 10 to 14 days of administration. Vaccines are the most effective method of preventing certain infectious diseases, such as influenza.


Contrary to some false beliefs, the vaccine does not cause the flu! It's safe, and most symptoms experienced after vaccination are mild and short-lived.


An important annual vaccination

A new vaccine is offered every year, based on the viruses circulating during the winter, as they change every year. The vaccine is effective against the flu shot strains most likely to circulate during the winter.


Who can be vaccinated?

flu shot vaccination is offered free of charge to anyone aged 6 months or over who requests it.


The vaccine is particularly recommended for people at higher risk of complications, such as :

  • people aged 75 and over;

  • people aged 6 months or over suffering from certain chronic illnesses;

  • residents of all ages in residential and long-term care centers (CHSLD) and intermediate resources;

  • pregnant women :

  • regardless of their stage of pregnancy, if they are suffering from certain chronic diseases;

  • who are 13 weeks or more pregnant.


Vaccination is also recommended for people likely to transmit influenza to those at greater risk of complications, i.e. :


  • relatives living in the same household as a child under 6 months of age;

  • close relations living in the same household as a person aged 75 or over, a person suffering from certain chronic illnesses or a pregnant woman;

  • caregivers of a resident of a CHSLD or intermediate resource, a person aged 75 or over, a person suffering from certain chronic illnesses or a pregnant woman;

  • healthcare personnel.

Information sheets

  • Asthma

  • 75+ years

  • Diabetes

  • Immunosuppressed/Immunodepressed

  • Heart disease


How to protect babies?

Although children under six months of age are considered to be at risk, the vaccine is not recommended for them, as their immune systems do not respond well to the vaccine. It is therefore important that parents and close relatives of toddlers, who are likely to transmit the infection to them, are vaccinated. In fact, people who have been vaccinated against the disease protect those who have not, by preventing them from catching the flu.

Prevention and symptoms of influenza

How can I prevent influenza and other seasonal viruses?

Handwashing is an effective way to reduce the risk of contracting influenza and other respiratory viruses, and to avoid contaminating those around you. As often as necessary, you should :


  • Wash your hands with soap and water (antibacterial soap is not necessary).

  • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

  • If a tissue is not available, cough into the crease of your elbow or upper arm.

  • Dispose of tissues in a wastebasket, then wash your hands.

  • Avoid visiting the elderly or chronically ill when ill.

  • Wear a mask in the presence of others to reduce the risk of transmitting the disease.

Symptoms and complications of influenza

Influenza is a highly contagious infection of the respiratory tract caused by a virus. It manifests itself as fever, muscle aches, fatigue, dry cough, sneezing, aches and pains, headache and sore throat - in short, a generalized malaise that lasts several days. The flu is contagious and can seriously affect the health of people, even those who are usually in good physical shape. The flu shot can cause bronchitis or pneumonia. Flu can lead to serious complications for young children, the elderly and people with chronic illnesses, which is why the vaccine is offered free of charge to those groups at higher risk of complications. Every year, influenza is linked to numerous hospitalizations and deaths in Quebec.

Information on the Web

To make the right decision about vaccination, you need the right information! Good information on the Internet is possible, provided you know how to identify websites with reliable content. However, credible websites are often drowned out by sites with no scientific basis. Government sites and the sites of recognized national medical associations are reliable sources of information. Remember that you can also obtain information on vaccination from your doctor or your local Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS). Here are a few suggested sources of information.

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