- We strongly encourage individuals who are at a higher risk of complications from the flu to get immunized as soon as possible. It takes up to two weeks to build up your immunity.
- People living in Thunder Bay: Our Thunder Bay Vaccine Clinics will provide flu vaccines on a walk-in basis to anyone aged 6 months or older.
- People living in District communities: Health care providers in your community are organizing flu vaccine clinics for both rostered and non-rostered patients. Please contact the health care provider in your community or a pharmacy to access the flu vaccine. Flu vaccines are also available to those receiving COVID-19 vaccines at TBDHU district clinics.
- See the “Who Gives the Flu Shot?” tab below for additional details.
Information About the Flu Shot
For some people, complications from the flu can be serious and can lead to things like pneumonia. People who are at higher risk of complications from the flu include infants and young children, adults aged 65 and older, Indigenous individuals, as well as those with chronic medical conditions or who are taking medications that impact their immune system.
The annual flu shot strengthens the body's response against the flu by stimulating the immune system and building antibodies against the virus, making the body stronger and ready to fight off the flu. Getting the flu shot decreases your chances of getting the flu, but also protects those around you, especially those at higher risk, from being exposed to the virus.
With two different viruses circulating this fall, both influenza and COVID-19, there is a risk that our health care system will become overwhelmed with cases of respiratory infections. Fewer cases of the flu means fewer people in the hospital, freeing up our health care system to respond to serious cases of COVID-19 or other health emergencies.
The best way that people can protect themselves and our health care system is to get their flu shot this year, as well as a bivalent COVID-19 immunization once they qualify for one. The flu shot does not protect against COVID-19 and the COVID-19 shot does not protect against the flu. That is why people need both. If somebody contracts one of these respiratory infections, it could compromise their body’s immune response if they are then exposed to the other virus.
Anyone over the age of 6 months can receive both the COVID vaccine (including booster doses) and the influenza vaccine at the same time. There’s no concern about increased side effects from both vaccines, nor are there any concerns about them not working as well if you get them at the same time. Overall, the side effects are very minimal with both of these vaccines. They’re both very safe.
All flu vaccines available in Ontario are inactivated vaccines that contain the killed version of the virus that causes the flu. Because of this, you can’t get the flu from the vaccine.
Only one dose of a vaccine is needed, with the exception of any child from 6 months to under 9 years of age who is receiving a flu vaccine for the first time. These children will require a second dose at least 4 weeks after their first for full protection.
For those aged 6 months to 64 years of age
Most people in Ontario will receive a quadrivalent vaccine, meaning the vaccine protects against two influenza A strains of the virus and two influenza B strains. In Ontario, two of the available quadrivalent vaccines are Fluzone® Quadrivalent and FluLaval Tetra. These are available for anyone 6 months to 64 years of age. Afluria® Tetra is also available to anyone 5 to 64 years of age.
NOTE: FluMist® Quadrivalent (nasal spray) is NOT publicly funded in Ontario for the 2022/23 flu season.
For those aged 65 years of age and older
It is important for older adults to get the flu shot.
There are two vaccines that are only available to those 65 years of age and older; Fluzone® High-Dose Quadrivalent (protects against 4 strains) and Fluad® (which protects against 3 strains).
Fluzone® High-Dose and/or Fluad® are available at pharmacies at the start of flu season; however, limited supplies are available each year. Individuals aged 65 and older should receive whatever flu product is available at the time of immunization. If your pharmacy or health care provider has run out of the high-dose vaccine, you should not wait for more to come in. The regular quadrivalent vaccines still offer great protection against influenza.
For those with a severe egg allergy
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) indicates that egg allergy is not a contraindication for influenza vaccination and that egg-allergic individuals may be vaccinated against the flu using the full dose of any age-appropriate product.
This recommendation means that people with egg allergies can safely receive any age-appropriate vaccine this year. All of the publicly funded influenza vaccines for the 2022-23 flu season are egg-based.
An egg-free vaccine (Flucelvax® Quad) had been offered to people with severe egg allergies during previous flu seasons. However, Flucelvax® Quad is NOT publicly funded in Ontario for the 2022/23 flu season.
If you have any concerns about receiving an egg-based vaccine, please speak with your health care provider. You may still be able to order Flucelvax® Quad at a cost. However, any age-appropriate publicly funded vaccine is offered free of charge, provides excellent protection against the flu, and is safe for people with egg allergies to receive.
The flu vaccine is available to everyone over the age of 6 months. Children 6 months to 9 years of age who have never had a flu shot will need 2 doses of the vaccine, given at least 4 weeks apart.
All adults and children who are 6 months old and older should get the flu vaccine every year, unless there is a medical reason not to.
Those who are at a higher risk of complications, as well as health care workers and those in hospital, are prioritized to receive the flu vaccine in October. These groups are encouraged to get immunized as soon as possible:
- People 6 months of age or older with a chronic illness, such as: heart disease, lung disease (e.g. asthma), liver disease, cancer, morbid obesity or diabetes
- People over the age of 65
- People who live in nursing homes or other chronic care homes
- Healthy children who are 6 months to 4 years of age
- Healthy pregnant women (risk increases with length of pregnancy; higher risk in third vs second trimester)
- Indigenous people
The following groups of individuals who care for someone who is at higher risk for complications are strongly recommended to get a flu shot:
- People who live with or take care of someone who is at high risk from complications (see the above list).
- People who live with or take care of children less than 4 years of age.
- People who live with someone expecting a newborn during flu season.
- People who provide services within a closed or relatively closed setting to persons at high risk (e.g. crew on a ship).
The following groups of people are also particularly recommended to get a flu shot:
- People who provide essential community services
- Poultry industry workers
How to Get a Flu Shot
If you require proof of flu immunization for your work, please let your immunizer know when you get vaccinated.
City of Thunder Bay
Note: Anyone 6 months of age or older can receive both vaccines at the same time.
|Location||Can provide the flu shot to:||Health Card Needed?||Other Details|
|Health Care Providers||Anyone 6 months or older||Yes|
|Pharmacies||People 2 years or older (please contact your local pharmacy directly to confirm what ages they are offering to immunize)||Varies||Please confirm flu shot availability by booking an appointment or calling the pharmacy.|
|TBDHU Vaccine Clinics (in Thunder Bay ONLY)||
On a walk-in basis to anyone 6 months or older.
Anyone 6 months or older getting a COVID-19 vaccine will also be offered the flu vaccine at the same time
Please refer to this page for additional information.
|ONWA Mindimooyenh Health Clinic||Indigenous people 6 months or older and any household members||No||ONWA website|
|Matawa Health Co-operative Vaccine Clinic (Thursdays at Chapples Clinic site)||Matawa members ONLY aged 6 months or older||No||Call 346-2370 to book|
|Other Public Clinics||Eligibility will depend on the clinic; information on specific public clinics will be posted on this page as available||Check clinic details|
Some locations may require an appointment. Please call ahead.
TBDHU is working with local healthcare providers to provide opportunities for flu vaccination. Please contact the health care provider in your community or a pharmacy to access the flu vaccine.
Flu vaccine clinics will be added below as they are shared with TBDHU.
|Clinic Date||Community||Location||Clinic Time||Notes|
Note: Please contact your local healthcare provider to confirm dates and book appointments.
The province of Ontario also funds flu vaccines for people who do not have an Ontario Health Number but who live, work, or study in Ontario. Many pharmacies will immunize people who meet these requirements, such as international students or temporary foreign workers. Please call the pharmacy to confirm their policies before you go. You should also bring valid documentation that you live, work, or study in Ontario, such as a bill with your Ontario address or a letter from your school confirming your enrollment.
If you are working, volunteering, or studying somewhere that requires you to have your flu shot, please let your immunizer know that you require proof of influenza immunization. It is far easier to provide this documentation at the time of your vaccination then to look it up after the fact.
Please take note of the following COVID-19 precautions at TBDHU’s immunization clinics:
- Please do not visit a clinic if anyone attending the clinic is experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or if anyone has been in contact with a positive case of COVID-19.
- Each individual attending the clinic will be actively screened upon arrival.
- Only those who are being immunized (and their parent or guardian if they are a child) should visit the clinic.
- Apply the hand sanitizer provided when you enter and exit.
- We ask everyone attending a clinic to wear a surgical mask. Surgical masks will be provided at the clinic door. However, the clinic will not withhold vaccine services if you refuse to wear a mask or cannot do so because of a medical condition.
- Please maintain physical distancing of at least 2 metres from staff, except during immunization.
- The clinic will promote a one way flow of traffic whenever possible.
Those heading to a TBDHU Immunization Clinic for a flu shot, can download and complete the TBDHU consent form in either English or French before visiting. Copies of the flu consent form will also be available on-site.