What You Should Know About the Flu Vaccine

It’s flu season! With the season fast approaching, make sure you have the information to keep you healthy and flu – free.

Doctor making senior woman patient an arm subcutaneous insulin

What is the Flu?

The “flu”, short for influenza, is a contagious respiratory illness. Unlike the common cold which might make you feel lousy for a few days, the flu is more severe can potentially lead to complications, especially in older folks. The flu is most frequent during winter and early spring.


  • Fever
  • Upset stomach, nausea or diarrhea
  • Cough/Sore throat
  • Tiredness
  • Runny nose
  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Chills


How Does the Flu Vaccine Work?

Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop which provide protection against 3 of the projected most common strains of the flu coming up this season. You will be less susceptible around 2 weeks after getting vaccinated. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.


Should I get the flu vaccine?

We are not in a position to recommend to people whether they should or should not get the flu vaccine, as that is a personal decision.  The vaccine does however seem to be recommended by a majority of those in the health profession.  The flu vaccine can help you stay healthy throughout the flu season also help prevent the spread to others.

  • The following are common groups at risk for complications from the flu:
  • Children under 5, especially those under 2
  • Adults over 65
  • Pregnant women

For a complete list of those that receive free flu vaccines, visit: http://www.immunizebc.ca/diseases-vaccinations/influenza/who-should-get-the-influenza-vaccine


Where can I get the flu vaccine?

You can get your vaccine at a public health clinic, physician offices, travel clinics and pharmacies (pharmacies can only provide vaccinations for people 5 years and older).

You can also use the BC Flu Clinic Locator  to find a clinic near you.

If you’re interested in learning more about the flu, visit http://www.immunizebc.ca/diseases-vaccinations/influenza