The influenza vaccine is given by an injection (needle).
Yes. In Canada, vaccines are tested in the laboratory and in actual settings they are designed for. This is called field-testing. Vaccines must pass a strict licensing process with the federal government before they can be used. Once a vaccine has been approved for use, every batch that is made at the same time (called a lot) is tested for safety and quality.
can’t get influenza disease from the influenza vaccine.
Yes. You need to get influenza vaccine every year. Influenza viruses change from year to year. It’s not unusual for new influenza viruses to appear each year. When viruses change, so do the vaccines.
The World Health Organization identifies the strains of influenza that they predict will be the most common during the upcoming season. This information is used to develop the vaccine to protect against these strains.
The immunity you get from your vaccine gets lower over time. This means you need to get immunized every year to stay protected even if you've been immunized against the same strain before.
If you live, work, or go to school in Alberta, you can get immunized for free at any of the Alberta Health Services influenza immunization clinics. For example, you can get the vaccine for free if you:
You can find an immunization clinic near you at Immunization Clinic Schedule.
Getting immunized is one of the best ways to prevent influenza. It’s a good idea for everyone in Alberta to get immunized, even healthy people that aren’t at risk of complications. If you have influenza, you can be sick for 5 to 10 days, but it can take weeks to fully recover.
By protecting yourself, you help protect people around you who are at risk of complications from influenza. If more people are protected, less people will get sick from influenza.
It’s a good idea for everyone to get immunized for influenza
every year. Influenza vaccine is the best way to lower the chances that you will get influenza and spread it to others.
Even if you’ve had influenza disease (including H1N1) before, it’s still important to get immunized every year. The strains going around this year may be different than the one you had before.
If you’re pregnant (or planning to get pregnant), it’s safe to get immunized with the inactivated influenza vaccine (injection). The live influenza virus nasal spray vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women.
If you’re breastfeeding, both the injectable and the live influenza virus nasal spray vaccines are safe.
If you have a latex allergy, it’s safe to get the vaccine. There’s no latex in the vaccine, the packaging, or the syringe.
Yes, it’s safe to get the inactivated vaccine (injection) with most types of medicine. Talk to your healthcare provider at the immunization site about the medicines you’re taking.
Yes, the inactivated influenza vaccine (injection) can be given at the same time or any time before or after other inactivated or live vaccines.
If you get the inactivated influenza vaccine (injection), you will have to wait
48 hours (2 days) before you can donate blood.
If you’ve already donated blood, you don’t have to wait to get the influenza vaccine.
It takes about 2 weeks after getting the vaccine to be protected from influenza. You can be protected for up to 1 year. The vaccine won’t protect you from colds or other respiratory illness that’s not caused by influenza.
How well the influenza vaccine works can change widely from season to season. It can also depend on the age and health of the person being immunized. When the influenza strains in the vaccine are the same as the strains in the community, influenza illness can be prevented in healthy adults and older children.
Research shows that the vaccine can lower:
Current as of: September 15, 2020
Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
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