The arrival of fall rings the return of the flu. Soon the free vaccination clinics will open. Should you get a flu shot this year?
In Quebec, the Ministry of Health and Social Services (DHSS) offers free vaccination against the flu to those who are at risk of complications if they contracted the virus.
High-risk groups include:
- Children from 6 to 23 months
- People aged 2 years and older (including pregnant women) with chronic cardiac or pulmonary disorders severe enough to require regular medical attention or hospital care or other chronic medical condition that place them at high risk of complications (e.g. weakened immune system due to drug therapy or disease)
- Pregnant women in good health, in their 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy (from 13 weeks)
- People aged 60 years old and over
- People living in remote or isolated communities
In order to reduce the risks of contamination, the vaccine is also given free to close relations of high risk people, such as parents and siblings of children less than 6 months old and caretakers.
Many pharmacies also offer immunization services (a fee may be charged for the service).
Beyond the targeted groups, anyone who wants to protect themselves against the flu can be vaccinated (eg travelers). Vaccination is however not free.
Not sure if you should get a flu shot? Talk to your pharmacist. He can help you determine what’s best for you!
To find out where to get vaccinated, click here.