Flu shots are available to the general public. You only need one dose of the flu shot. If everyone does their best to stay healthy, there is a better chance that people around them can stay healthy too!
Frequently Asked Questions
There may be less flu this fall and winter because public health measures of masking, handwashing, and physical distancing. To avoid becoming very sick with flu and passing it to others, you should get the flu shot. The Public Agency of Canada recommends that all people 6 months and older get a yearly flu shot.
It takes about two weeks after getting your flu shot for your body to be ready to fight off flu. The sooner you get your flu shot, the better protected you will be when there is more flu in the community. Make sure you get your COVID-19 vaccine as COVID-19 continues to spread in the community.
The flu shot reduces your chance of getting very sick, needing to go to hospital, and even dying. Older adults and people with health conditions especially can get very sick with the flu, so it is important they and others who spend time with them get the flu shot. Getting a flu shot can make you less sick and can shorten the time you have the flu.
People who become very sick with flu may need to go to the hospital, which places an extra burden on the hospitals and health care system. Getting the flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine will mean fewer people will need to go to the hospital.
The flu shot will not give you the flu.
Yes. You can get other vaccines, including the flu shot at the same time as, or at any time before or after the COVID-19 vaccine. You do not need to wait a certain number of days before or after getting the COVID-19 vaccine to get your flu shot.
No. Getting the flu shot will not protect you against COVID-19. Flu and COVID-19 are caused by different germs. You still need to get the COVID-19 vaccine to help protect you from COVID-19.
Both flu and COVID-19 are much more serious than a bad cold. Flu and COVID-19 can both make you very sick. Sometimes, people get so sick, they need to be in the hospital. Getting both vaccines will help keep people out of hospital.
No. Getting the flu shot will not increase your chance of getting COVID-19. The flu shot will protect you from getting very sick from flu.
Flu, colds, and COVID-19 are caused by different viruses. Colds will not make you as sick as the flu or COVID-19.
Symptoms of flu and COVID-19 can be almost the same, but COVID-19 can spread more easily. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you need to be tested.
The most common symptoms for flu, a cold or COVID-19 are:
Symptoms can range from mild to severe
Sudden onset of symptoms
Gradual onset of symptoms
|Fatigue||Common||Common||Sometimes (usually mild)|
|Cough||Common (usually dry)||Common||Sometimes (usually mild)|
|Aches & Pains||Sometimes||Common (can be severe)||Sometimes (usually mild)|
|Runny or stuffy nose||Rare||Common||Common|
|Shortness of breath||Common||Common||No|
|Diarrhea||Sometimes (more common in children)||Sometimes (more common in children)||No|
|Loss of appetite||Sometimes||Common||No|
|Loss of smell or taste||Common||Rare||Sometimes|
|Conjunctivitis (pink eye)||Rare||No||No|
Symptoms of COVID-19 and flu can vary from person to person. Symptoms can be mild or severe. Some people with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms, but they can still spread the infection to others.
If you feel sick, even with mild symptoms of flu or COVID-19, stay home from school, work and other activities. Contact your health care provider (doctor) to talk about your symptoms and arrange for COVID-19 testing if appropriate.
If you do not have a family doctor and are looking for one in the Hamilton area visit needadoc.ca
If your symptoms are getting worse, even if your COVID-19 test is negative, contact your health care provider, an urgent care centre or the emergency room. More information about when to go to an emergency room as well as wait times for emergency departments and urgent care across Hamilton is available at: www.hamiltonemergencywaittimes.ca.
If you need emergency medical attention, call 9-1-1.
Anyone who visits a COVID-19 testing centre will be only be tested for COVID-19.
People who are in hospital with flu or COVID-19 symptoms will be tested for both viruses. Some people may be tested for flu and COVID-19 for specific reasons, such as during an outbreak in a long-term care home. Testing decisions will be made based on Ontario’s guidelines.
Contact your health care provider if you have symptoms of either flu or COVID-19 to talk about your symptoms and arrange for testing if necessary.