Influenza vaccine is the most effective method we have to prevent getting sick from influenza or passing it on to others.
Am I eligible for a free flu shot?
In British Columbia, the seasonal flu vaccine is provided free of charge to many people:
- people 65 and older and their caregivers
- children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts
- health care workers
- emergency responders
- healthy children from six months of age to less than five years old
- Household contacts and caregivers of children from birth to less than 5 years of age
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities
- Owners and operators of poultry farms
- Aboriginal peoples
- People who are very obese (those with a body mass index of 40 or greater)
- Corrections officers and inmates in provincial correctional institutions.
- Those who provide care or service in potential outbreak settings housing high risk persons (e.g. crew on ships)
- Visitors to healthcare facilities
Visit HealthLinkBC for more information about who should get the vaccine.
All other British Columbians are able to receive a flu vaccine for a fee. Contact your family physician or pharmacist to find out about the cost and book an appointment.
Nasal spray vaccine (FluMist®)
The nasal vaccine will be available in limited quantities from public health clinics and physicians. Please check with your flu shot provider to see if it will be available when you plan to get vaccinated.
Who is eligible for FluMist® vaccine:
- People 2-17 years of age.
People who should not get FluMist®:
- children less than two years of age
- women who are pregnant
- adults over the age of 59
- people with an immune system weakened by disease or medical treatment
- people with severe asthma or active wheezing
- those who have an egg allergy
- health care workers working with immunocompromised individuals
- people who will have contact with anyone who has a very weak immune system, such as a bone marrow transplant patient, within two weeks of being immunized should not receive Flumist