About the influenza vaccines

  • Influenza vaccines protect against viruses that cause influenza, often called the flu.
  • These vaccines do not protect against other viruses or bacteria that cause colds or “stomach flu”.
  • In the Yukon, there are 3 different types of flu vaccines offered based on age
    • Live, weakened nasal vaccine for people ages 2 to 17 (Flumist®)
    • Inactivated high dose vaccine for people ages 65 and older (Fluzone® High Dose)
    • Inactivated vaccine for people ages 6 months and older (Fluzone®)
  • The flu shot is free and available to Yukoners ages 6 months and older.

  • Everyone 6 months of age and older is recommended to get the flu vaccine once a year.
  • Children under 9 years of age who have never had a seasonal influenza vaccine need 2 doses for their first time. The 2nd dose of the vaccine is important to raise their level of protection and should be given 4 weeks after the first dose.
  • During pregnancy, the risk of complications from influenza is much higher. The inactivated influenza vaccine is very safe and highly recommended for pregnant people. Babies less then 6 months of age are too young to be vaccinated and have a higher risk of complications as well.
  • There are only small amounts of egg protein in certain flu vaccines. Egg allergic individuals may be vaccinated against influenza using any influenza vaccine.
  • Influenza (flu) is a respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs.
  • Some people, such as young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with certain health conditions, are at are at especially high risk of severe influenza illness.
  • Most people recover from influenza in 7 to 10 days, while others may have severe symptoms that can result in hospitalization or death. In Canada, between 2,000 and 8,000 people die from influenza every year.
  • Flu season generally runs from October to April. Due to the speed with which influenza viruses evolve, flu vaccines need to be continually updated to keep up with emerging strains of influenza viruses.
  • Influenza is spread through respiratory droplets from an infected person coughing or sneezing.
  • It can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces or objects, and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
  • Symptoms usually appear within 1 to 4 days and can include:
    • fever;
    • coughing; muscles pains;
    • chills; and
    • extreme fatigue.
  • A person with influenza is also at higher risk of getting other infections, including pneumonia, an infection of the lungs.
  • This vaccine is safe and very effective.
  • Vaccination is the best way to protect against influenza and its complications.
  • When you or your child get vaccinated, you help protect the spread to others too.
  • This vaccination is free in the Yukon to people 6 months of age and older. 
  • Most children and adults have no reactions to this vaccination.
  • Some people have minor reactions that do not interfere with day-to-day activities and go away on their own in 2 to 3 days. Other symptoms can include fever, headache, aching muscles and fatigue that may last 1 to 2 days. These mild symptoms are not dangerous and show that the vaccine is working effectively to build immunity.
  • With the Fluzone vaccine, infants and toddlers may also experience irritability, loss of appetite and vomiting.
  • Fewer than 1 in 20 people may develop oculo-respiratory syndrome (ORS). Symptoms include red eyes, a cough, a sore throat or hoarseness.
  • You cannot get the flu from the influenza vaccine. It contains killed influenza viruses that cannot cause infection.
  • Serious side effects are rare. If you develop serious side effects or a severe allergic reaction, including hives, swelling of your face, tongue or throat or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention or call 911 right away.
  • If you received the vaccine and experience symptoms of COVID-19 you should stay home and self-isolate.

Find out how to get immunized