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Get Your Flu Shot Every Year and Get It Early

News Release

Get Your Flu Shot Every Year and Get It Early

Getting the Flu Vaccine Protects You and Your Kids

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Everyone is susceptible to getting the flu. It can cause serious health complications and even death, particularly for children under five, pregnant women, seniors and people with underlying health conditions.

That's why Ontario is once again offering a free flu shot for everyone six months of age and older who lives, works or goes to school in the province.  

Starting this week, the free flu vaccine is available at doctors' offices and at community and workplace flu immunization clinics. It is also available for those five years of age and older through trained pharmacists at almost 2,400 pharmacies across Ontario. 

Getting a flu shot is the most effective way to prevent the flu and it's part of a healthy lifestyle. When Ontarians get vaccinated against the flu, they build up immunity, making them stronger and more resistant to the influenza virus. It can take up to two weeks to build up immunity, so it's important to get the flu shot every year and get it early. 

Preventing the flu through immunization helps keep Ontarians healthy and supports Ontario's Action Plan for Health Care by ensuring that patients get the right care, at the right time, in the right place.

Quick Facts

  • Flu germs from a sneeze can travel up to six feet and can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours.
  • The flu vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent illness, hospitalization and even save lives. Serious reactions from the flu vaccine are rare. Most common reactions may include soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site, lasting up to two days.
  • Hand washing, sneezing or coughing into your sleeve and staying home when you are sick reduces the risk of the flu, but it’s not enough. Get the flu shot!

Additional Resources


“We want all Ontarians to stay healthy this flu season. Getting your flu shot is the easiest and most effective way to keep you, your family and your community healthy. It’s easy to get from your doctor or nurse practitioners office, a public health unit clinic, a workplace clinic and for those five and older at a participating pharmacy. Get it every year.”

Dr. Eric Hoskins

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“Influenza is a preventable acute respiratory illness that for some Ontarians can cause hospitalization and even death. I urge all Ontarians to protect themselves and get the flu shot – particularly children and seniors who are the most vulnerable to serious complications.”

Dr. David Mowat

Interim Chief Medical Officer of Health

“We know that accessibility is key to the decision to get a flu shot. Through more than 800 convenient Loblaw grocery store pharmacies and Shoppers Drug Mart locations, our pharmacists are proud to be part of the effort to help Ontarians stay healthy.”

Galen G. Weston

Executive Chairman and President, Loblaw Companies Limited

Media Contacts



Government Health and Wellness