Some frequently asked questions about the influenza vaccine:
At what age can someone get a Flu Shot from a Pharmacist?
In Ontario, pharmacists may provide the flu shot vaccination to children 5 years old and over.
In Alberta, pharmacists may provide the flu shot vaccination to children 9 years old and over.
In British Columbia, pharmacists may provide the flu shot vaccination to children 5 years old and over.
In Manitoba, pharmacists may provide the flu shot vaccination to children 7 years old and over.
Who should not get the flu shot?
Individuals who developed an anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of influenza vaccine or to any of the vaccine components (with the exception of egg), or who developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) within six weeks of influenza vaccination, should not receive a further dose.
NACI has concluded that egg allergic individuals may be vaccinated against influenza using TIV (trivalent influenza vaccine) and QIV (quadrivalent influenza vaccine) without a prior influenza vaccine skin test and with the full dose. The vaccine may be given in any settings where vaccines are routinely administered. The pharmacist administering the vaccine should be prepared for and have the necessary equipment to respond to a vaccine emergency at all times. LAIV (live attenuated influenza vaccine) should not be given to egg-allergic individuals, as it has not yet been studied in this group.
Administration of the seasonal influenza vaccine should usually be postponed in individuals with serious acute illnesses until their symptoms have abated. Immunization should not be delayed because of minor acute illness, with or without fever. If significant nasal congestion is present that might impede delivery of to the nasopharyngeal mucosa, inactivated vaccines can be administered or LAIV could be deferred until resolution of the illness.
Can women who are pregnant or breastfeeding get the flu shot?
Yes. The Influenza vaccine is considered safe and may be beneficial for pregnant women at all stages of pregnancy and for breastfeeding mothers.
The flu shot is the most effective and longest lasting protection against the influenza virus and the illness it can cause. As people are vaccinated, the influenza virus has less chance to multiply and circulate. Protecting yourself can also benefit those around you who may be at risk of severe complication from influenza.
Is it possible to get vaccinated too early in the season?
No. Take preventive steps; the best protection is immunization. Last year's flu vaccination won't protect you this year. There are so many reasons you should get immunized - ask your Rexall Pharmacist about it today.