Protect Against the Flu
The flu (influenza) is a contagious virus that can infect anyone. However, there are several things you can do to protect yourself from catching it or avoid spreading it to others. More information available in Frequently Asked Questions.
The Flu Shot Is Your Best Defence
The flu shot is:
- safe (including for kids and if you are pregnant or breastfeeding)
- available from your doctor or nurse practitioner, and at participating pharmacies and Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
- proven to reduce the number of doctor visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to the flu
- different each year because the virus changes frequently – so you need to get it every fall
Flu season runs from late fall to early spring. Be sure to get your shot as soon as it is available because it takes two weeks to take effect.
This year, the influenza vaccine will be offered by Public Health through community clinics at a variety of locations throughout Hastings and Prince Edward counties as well as through booked appointments. The vaccine is available at no cost to any person over the age of 6 months who lives, works or attends school in Ontario. The influenza vaccine is also available through participating pharmacists (except for children under age 5), and your health care provider. There are two types of flu shots available for individuals over age 65, the standard flu shot, and the high dose. While the high dose is not available at pharmacies, any individual aged 5 and over can receive the standard dose flu shot at a participating pharmacy. To receive the higher dose flu shot (available to those over aged 65 only), individuals must visit a primary care provider, or Public Health.
Wellington: Wellington & District Community Centre (Lehigh Arena), 111 Belleville Street - Thursday, Oct. 24, 10:00am – 3:00 pm
Batawa: Batawa Community Centre, 81 Plant Street - Friday, Nov. 1, 9:00am - 2:00pm
Stirling: St. Paul’s United Church, 104 Church Street - Monday, Nov. 4, 1:30pm – 6:30pm
Belleville: Maranatha Church, 100 College Street West - Tuesday, Nov. 12, 1:30pm – 6:30pm
Trenton: NEW LOCATION - Royal Canadian Legion, 19 Quinte Street - Monday, Nov. 18, 1:30pm – 6:30pm
Picton: Salvation Army, 46 Elizabeth Street - Wednesday, Nov. 20, 1:30pm – 6:30pm
Tweed: Tweed Agricultural Society White Building, 617 Louisa Street - Friday, Nov. 15, 10:00am - 3:00pm
Marmora: Marmora and Lake Community Hub, 37 Forsyth Street - Monday, Nov. 25, 1:00pm - 6:00pm
Madoc: Trinity United Church, 76 St. Lawrence Street East - Thursday, Nov. 28, 10:00am - 3:00pm
If unable to attend a community clinic, call to book an appointment:
To book an appointment in Belleville please call 613-966-5500 x 221
To book an appointment in Trenton please call 613-394-4831
To book an appointment in Bancroft please call 613-332-4555
To book an appointment in Picton please call 613-966-5500 x 221
The influenza or “flu” vaccine helps protect children and adults from getting the flu and spreading it to others.The vaccine is changed every year depending on which flu strains are expected to cause the most illness. The vaccine helps protect against the 3 or 4 worst strains.
What is the flu?
- The flu is a virus that infects the nose, throat and lungs
- The virus is spread very easily by coughing and sneezing, releasing it into the air where it can be breathed in by others. It can also be passed when an infected person shakes hands or touches surfaces like doorknobs or shared toys
- Flu symptoms are: coughing, fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, runny nose, sore throat, weakness and fatigue
- For most people, the flu virus will not cause serious illness
- In the elderly, those with chronic health problems, or infants and young children, the flu may cause pneumonia, and result in hospitalization, or even death
Who should get the flu vaccine?
- It is recommended and available for free in Ontario to everyone 6 months of age and older
- The flu vaccine is especially recommended for the following high risk groups:
- anyone 65 years of age and over
- all children between 6 months and 5 years of age
- pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- Indigenous peoples
- anyone at high risk for flu-related complications including those with heart, kidney or lung disorders, neurologic or neurodevelopmental conditions, diabetes, cancer, immune problems or obesity
- residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities
- anyone who provides care to children under 5 years of age
- anyone who may give the flu to those at high risk, including health care providers
- anyone who provides essential community services, e.g., police
Who should not get the flu vaccine?
- Infants under 6 months of age
- Anyone with a high fever or moderate to severe illness should wait until they feel well
- Anyone who has:
- had a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of flu vaccine or a vaccine component, with the exception of eggs - even individuals who had severe reactions to eggs in the past may be vaccinated for flu, including FluMist, the live nasal spray vaccine
- previously developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome within the first 6 weeks after a flu shot
- previously developed Oculo-Respiratory Syndrome (ORS) within 24 hrs of a flu shot, with severe lower respiratory symptoms, e.g., wheezing, tight chest or difficulty breathing
What are the common side effects of this vaccine?
- If you receive an injection, you may feel sore for a few days where the needle was given
- Some people may have general muscle aches, fever and feel tired for a day or two - Tylenol® or ibuprofen may be taken as directed to reduce discomfort or fever afterwards
**Children under 19 years of age must not be given ASA, Aspirin® or salicylates.
What else do I need to know?
- Children aged 6 months to less than 9 years receiving flu vaccine for the first time in their lives should have two doses at least 4 weeks apart. If they missed the second dose in a previous year, one dose annually is enough
- The influenza vaccine cannot give you the flu
- Because the flu virus changes often, it is necessary to get a flu shot every year
- The flu vaccine works best if you get it in the fall because it takes about 2 weeks before the vaccine is effective against the flu
- It is still possible to catch a different strain of flu that the vaccine does not protect against
- To reduce the spread of the flu, sneeze or cough into a tissue or into your elbowor upper sleeve, and wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 15 seconds
When should I seek medical help after immunization?
- If you, or your child, experience any unusual side effects, such as a high fever, please seek medical attention and notify us
- Call 911 or go to Emergency at a hospital right away if you, or your child, have any of the following symptoms after immunization:
- swelling of the face and neck, red itchy eyes
- problems breathing, wheezing or tightness in the chest
- hives and itchy, reddened skin