Get informed about the flu vaccine

Flu Facts

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The flu

While a mild flu is like a cold, it is usually much worse and complications can be severe.

In Canada, each year 12,000 people are hospitalized and 3,500 people die from complications due to the flu.

The flu vaccine is training wheels for your body

Two weeks after getting the flu vaccine, your body will have created enough antibodies to fight off the strains of the flu it contains.

It can't make you sick

It's not a live vaccine. If you get sick right after receiving the flu vaccine, it's because you already were sick (this is cough and cold season after-all).

Less than 100% is better than 0%

In some years, the flu vaccine has been less than 50% effective. However, that still means your odds of getting the flu are cut in half. More importantly, it means you're less likely to pass the flu along to those who aren't able to fight it.

It's not all about you

While you may be able to fight the flu, those with weaker immune systems may not. For example, children and the elderly, pregnant women, those with diabetes, heart or lung conditions, or those receiving chemotherapy.

No flu yet doesn't mean no flu ever

We don't wear seat belts because we've been in a car accident: we wear them to decrease the severity of future/potential accidents. Seatbelts save lives, just like the flu vaccine.

FluFacts was created in response to frequent questions posed by patients to Family Medicine Residents in Victoria, BC, Canada.

Information was gathered from Health Canada at and from their publication Influenza Immunization Questions and Answers.