Flu also known as influenza is an extremely contagious illness attacks the upper and lower respiratory tract. Flu is typically seen in the winter and spring months. Flu symptoms come on abruptly and include body aches, high fever, fatigue, and weakness. Severe cases of flu can lead to pneumonia which can be life threatening.
The flu vaccine is safe. The vaccine contains an inactive dose of the flu virus; you can’t get sick from the vaccine. The vaccine triggers the body’s immune system to grow antibodies against the flu virus. Typically it takes two weeks for the vaccine to effectively prevent the flu.
The flu vaccine protects for up to one year against the top three strains of the flu virus expected to circulate during the flu season. Each year the expected strains are determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) based on scientific research. Researchers consider which flu strains are making people sick, the effectiveness of last season’s flu vaccine, and how the flu is spreading.
All vaccines are regulated by Health Canada and the vaccine is monitored by Public Health Ontario and reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada.