Influenza vaccine (flu vaccine)

It's important to get your flu vaccine to protect yourself during the fall and winter.

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Last updated: December 11, 2022

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Protect yourself from respiratory illness

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Everyone 6 months and older needs a flu vaccine

All B.C. residents 6 months and older can get a free flu vaccine. Most people will get the flu vaccine as a shot in your arm. Kids and young people ages 2 to 17 can get the flu vaccine as a spray that you breathe in through your nose.

It's especially important to get a flu vaccine if you're:

  • Under 5 years or over 65 years
  • Pregnant
  • Living in long-term care or assisted living
  • Immunocompromised or have a chronic illness

Enhanced vaccines are available for seniors

To help create a stronger immune response, enhanced vaccines are available for people 65 years and older. 


Get a flu vaccine

The best way to get a flu vaccine is to book an appointment. 

You can book your flu vaccine through the Get Vaccinated systemIf you've received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in B.C., you're already registered with the Get Vaccinated system. No action is required. We'll send you an email or SMS text when it's time to book your next appointment.

You should have received a notification to book your appointment. If you haven't received a notification, contact us


Flu is causing serious illness in kids

Younger kids are at higher risk from respiratory illnesses like flu. To prevent serious illness, get your child a flu vaccine as soon as possible.

It's safe for your child to get their flu vaccine at the same time as other vaccinesKids 2 to 17 can get a nasal spray if they prefer.

The vaccine is usually given as 1 dose. Children under 9 who have never had a flu vaccine need 2 doses. The second dose is important to raise their level of protection. ​Your child will receive a notification to get their second dose from the Get Vaccinated system.

I want my child to get a flu vaccine 

You have multiple options to get a flu vaccine for your child. 

  • Book an appointment at a health authority clinic or pharmacy
    • Online using the Get Vaccinated booking link you received for your child by email or text message (re-send your booking link)
    • Call 1-833-838-2323. We'll help you get the next available appointment
  • Book an appointment with your primary health care provider, if they offer flu shots

I need help

 

I've never registered with the provincial Get Vaccinated system

Register online To register online you must provide a Personal Health Number (PHN). 

If you don't have a PHN, you need to register by phone. A PHN will be created for you.

Call: 1-833-838-2323

 

I need personal health information and advice

If you still have questions about immunization in B.C, consult your doctor or health care provider. 

If you don't have a family doctor, call 811.

 

I need help booking my appointment

Call: 1-833-838-2323Seven days a week, 7 am to 7 pm. Translators are available.

Telephone for the Deaf: Dial 711

Video Relay Services (VRS) sign language interpretation is free for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-impaired.

You can book a flu vaccine at a pharmacy for a fee. 

I want my COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine at the same appointment

Use the booking link in your email or SMS text to book an appointment to get both vaccines at the same time in pharmacies or health authority clinics.

If you can't find your booking link, you can get a new one.

I want to book separate appointments

Currently the Get Vaccinated system won’t allow you to book two different vaccine appointments. You can only do one at a time.

If you prefer to get your COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine on different days, choose which vaccine you want to get first and book that one now.

At your appointment, you still have the option to ask your immunizer for the other vaccine (based on your eligibility and vaccine supply). 

When your first appointment is complete, the system will then allow you to book your next appointment. 

I only want a flu vaccine

Use the booking link in your email or SMS text to book an appointment.