The flu is a highly contagious illness caused by an influenza virus. The influenza virus causes infections of the nose, throat, and lungs. It spreads easily by coughing, sneezing and direct contact with spit, phlegm or runny nose.

The influenza vaccine is called the flu shot. It is important to get a flu shot each “flu season” every year because the virus changes and, therefore, the vaccine changes. Everyone older than 6 months should receive the influenza vaccine once available. The exceptions are those who have experienced anaphylactic reactions to previous influenza vaccines or have developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of a previous influenza vaccination.


Vaccinations protect you as well as those around you. Vaccines help your immune system to recognize and fight bacteria and viruses that cause diseases, such as the flu and pneumonia – and hopefully soon – COVID-19. There are different ways in which a vaccine can do this. Some vaccines introduce a weakened virus or an inactivated virus into the cells, while other vaccines create a copy of the virus or introduce an empty “shell” without a virus inside it. No matter which approach a vaccine uses, the vaccine itself will not cause the illness or disease it is preventing, but it does provoke the same immune response the disease would have. Vaccines cause the body to use its own immunity to prevent an illness or disease.


In March 2017 Mike Leone’s life changed forever. Read more about the devastating impact the flu is having on seniors.


Put simply, getting vaccinated is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health.


The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends influenza immunization for all individuals six months of age and older, with a particular focus on individuals at high risk of influenza-related complications and hospitalization. In preparation for the upcoming influenza season, Immunize Canada is providing free access to influenza  and pneumococcal immunization awareness resources for the general public as well as tools for health care providers. For more information, please visit https:/ or contact:

Immunize Canada Secretariat
Tel.: 613-725-3769 x 122
Follow us on Twitter: @ImmunizedotCa
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About Immunize Canada
Immunize Canada is a national coalition with the overall aim of increasing awareness about the benefits of immunization and promoting the understanding and use of vaccines as recommended by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI). 
The Flu

JAB, JAB, JAB. Two or three strains of the flu make the rounds every year. Not only is the viral infection vicious, it can be lethal in otherwise healthy people. Experts say the best way to guard against the seasonal scourge and influenza-related pneumonia is to get the flu shot.

THE PNEUMONIA VACCINE: WHO NEW? Each year, pneumonia is responisble for over 12,000 hospitalizations in Canada. Children and those over 65 are hardest hit; those with chonic disease such as asthma and COPD run a serious risk; but no one is immune. 

Click here for more information. Read about how vaccines can help here.
The Facts

Flu or False? Influenza (flu) and pneumonia combine to be the 7th leading cause of death in Canada, and people affected by lung conditions are at higher risk. Luckily one of the most effective ways to help prevent flu and pneumonia infections is with vaccinations.





Article -why older adults are more at risk of catching the flu

Article - A Senior’s Story from Influenza Diagnosis to Long-Term Impact

Supported by an educational grant from Sanofi Pasteur



Page Last Updated: 26/09/2022