2016/2017's flu vaccine
This year’s flu vaccine will protect against the following influenza viruses:
- A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
- A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
- B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus
- B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (in quadrivalent vaccines only)
Most flu vaccines are inactivated and given by needle. FluMist is given as a nasal spray and contains a weakened live virus. Although FluMist is approved for people 2 to 59 years of age, it is available for free in B.C. to eligible children between the ages of 2 – 17 years of age (inclusive).
Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has reviewed the most recent data from the United States, United Kingdom, Finland, Canada and the manufacturer and based on this current evidence NACI continues to recommend FluMist as a safe and effective option for children between the ages of 2 – 17 years of age. Find more info on this season's flu vaccines.
Who can get a free seasonal flu shot?
The following people are eligible for a free flu shot
People at high risk of serious illness from influenza, such as:
- children 6 months to less than 5 years of age;
- pregnant women who are at any stage of pregnancy during the influenza season;
- seniors 65 years and older;
- residents of any age living in residential care, assisted living or other group facilities;
- Aboriginal people;
- children and teenagers required to take Aspirin® or ASA for long periods of time due to a medical condition; and
- children and adults with certain medical conditions, including:
- heart or lung disorders that require regular medical care, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or cystic fibrosis;
- kidney disease, chronic liver disease such as hepatitis, diabetes, cancer, anemia, or weakened immune system;
- those with health conditions causing difficulty breathing, swallowing, or a risk of choking on food or fluids, such as people with severe brain damage, spinal cord injury, seizures or neuromuscular disorders; and
- those who are very obese.
People able to transmit or spread influenza to those at high risk of serious illness from influenza including:
- household contacts of people at high risk;
- household contacts, caregivers and daycare staff of children under 5 years of age;
- doctors, nurses and others working in health care settings who have contact with patients;
- visitors to health care facilities and other patient care locations
- people who live or work in confined settings, such as correctional facilities; and
- those who provide care or service to people at high risk in potential outbreak settings such as cruise ships.
Other groups who are also eligible to receive the flu shot for free include:
- people who provide essential community services such as police officers, firefighters and ambulance attendants; and
- farmers and other people who work with live poultry.
All other British Columbians are eligible to purchase and receive the flu vaccine through their family doctor or local immunizing pharmacist.
Where can I get the flu shot?
- Book an appointment with your family doctor or local pharmacist (immunizing pharmacists can immunize clients 5 years of age and older)
- If you're eligible for a free flu vaccine (see eligibility list above), visit one of our drop-in public flu clinics. Check the BC Flu Clinic Locator for clinic locations and times.
- Book an appointment at one of our family flu clinics (for families with children 6 months to 17 years of age inclusive):
- Residents living in Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Agassiz and Hope, call your local health unit.
- Residents in any other areas of Fraser Health, call 604-476-7087
Visitors to health care facilities
This year, visitors are requested to get a flu shot or wear a mask when visiting patients during the flu season (December-March). By following this policy, you will help to protect your loved ones – the people you are visiting – from getting a potentially serious illness. For more information, read our FAQs.
Looking for general information about the flu?
Visit our Influenza page for flu information including flu symptoms.
Spread the word (not the bug)
Getting your flu shot is the best way to protect yourself. Download posters and share videos to help spread the word.