Who Should Get a Flu Shot?

Everyone in Newfoundland and Labrador 6 months old and above should get a flu shot.

Public Health is recommending everyone get the flu shot, especially those people at high-risk of flu-related complications, including:

  • Children aged six months to five years of age;
  • Adults 65 years of age and older;
  • Residents in seniors congregate living;
  • Individuals with certain medical conditions that place them at higher risk of influenza-related complications or hospitalizations;
  • Individuals who are pregnant; and
  • Individuals who identify as First Nation, Inuit or Métis.

Vaccine Appointments

Vaccines for influenza and COVID-19 are available by appointment only. Both vaccines are proven safe and effective in reducing the spread of influenza and COVID-19 and the incidence of severe disease from these viruses. It is safe for individuals to receive both the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time.

Vaccine appointments can be booked online on the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s website at TimefortheShot.ca. Individuals who wish to receive both flu and COVID-19 vaccines should choose a flu vaccine appointment and let the staff know they would also like to receive a COVID-19 vaccine upon arrival at the vaccine clinic. They are not required to book separate appointments for both vaccines. Individuals are encouraged to check the website periodically for appointment times as appointments will be added on an ongoing basis.

Individuals who are unable to book their appointments online also have the option of booking an appointment by telephone at the number listed below. Homebound or frail individuals who cannot travel to a public flu clinic or visit a pharmacist or doctor can arrange a home visit by calling toll-free: 1-833-703-5470.

Residents are reminded to bring their MCP card and to wear a short-sleeved shirt when receiving their vaccine.

Flu and COVID-19 vaccines are also available at no cost through participating local pharmacies and family physicians.

The Shot

Getting the flu shot, as well as ensuring your COVID-19 booster is up to date, are the most effective ways to reduce illness and complications from these diseases and can significantly lower the risk of potentially contracting influenza and COVID-19 at the same time, which could cause severe illness, especially for at-risk individuals.

Getting the flu shot is also an important way to help protect yourself, your family and vulnerable people in your community against seasonal influenza. It will also help to reduce the impact on the health-care system in the event of a potential surge of influenza or COVID-19 cases.

Getting a flu shot is important every year, and particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the flu shot will not protect against COVID-19, it will help reduce the risk of getting the flu which, if combined with COVID-19, could result in a higher risk for severe illness.

Getting vaccinated will also help reduce the spread of influenza in our communities and help reduce the impact on the health-care system.

Group/Family Bookings

Those booking for a group of people, i.e., family members, must book a separate appointment for everyone, regardless of whether the booking is made online or via the toll-free number.

If back-to-back appointments are preferred but not available at time of booking, those with confirmed separate appointments can arrive at the clinic together and will be accommodated wherever possible.

How Can I Protect Myself from Infection?

Individuals are reminded to practice prevention and control measures such as:

•          Washing your hands often;

•          Practicing proper cough and sneeze etiquette;

•          Covering your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing and sneezing and immediately dispose of used tissues in the trash; and

•          Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.

Flu Symptoms

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by many viruses. It affects the nose, throat and lungs. Most people recover from the flu in 5 to 7 days.

Symptoms include:

·         High fever

·         Chills

·         Headache

·         Aches and pains

·         Extreme fatigue and weakness

·         Runny or stuffy nose

·         Sneezing

·         Coughing and chest discomfort

·         Sore throat

If you have the flu, please stay home. Get plenty of rest. Drink lots of clear liquids.

You can speak to your health care provider or call 811 to get advice on what you can do to manage your symptoms or whether you need to seek additional medical care. For some people, the flu can be serious. If you’re in one of the high-risk groups, please monitor your symptoms. If your symptoms get worse or your symptoms last a long time, please speak to your health-care provider. Possible complications of the flu include pneumonia, worsening of chronic conditions, or death.