Get the information you need about influenza (flu) vaccines.

Influenza vaccination is free for everyone in B.C. six months and older.

The most effective way to prevent the spread of influenza is by getting the influenza vaccine, staying home when sick and washing your hands regularly.

Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of serious illness from influenza (such as young children, pregnant women, people 65 years and older and people with certain medical conditions) and people who live or work with people who are at high risk.

2022/2023 Influenza Vaccines Available

The strain components for the 2022/2023 Northern Hemisphere influenza vaccines are:

  • A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • A/Darwin/9/2021 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B/Austria/1359417/2021-like virus
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (in quadrivalent vaccines only)

The A/Darwin and B/Austria strains were not contained in the 2021/22 season vaccines.

  • What types of influenza vaccines are available?

    For the 2022/23 influenza season, there are three inactivated influenza vaccines and one live vaccine (given as a nasal spray). The four influenza vaccine products that will be available this year for the general public are:

    • FLUZONE® QUADRIVALENT is an inactivated vaccine that is indicated for children and adults 6 months of age and older.
    • FLUAD® is an inactivated vaccine for adults 65 years of age and older residing in the community.
    • FLUZONE® HIGH-DOSE QUADRIVALENT is an inactivated vaccine provided for those 65 years of age and older who are residents of long-term care, assisted living facilities and First Nations communities. It is available for private purchase at some pharmacies and travel clinics.
    • FLUMIST® QUADRIVALENT is a live vaccine given as a nasal spray for children 2-17 years of age. The nasal spray vaccine will be available at public health units, some pharmacies and some primary care providers. People age 18 to 64 years of age who are unwilling to get the influenza vaccine by needle can get the nasal spray vaccine if they suffer from severe needle phobia. It’s important to note that the FLUZONE® QUADRIVALENT vaccine is more effective than the FLUMIST® QUADRIVALENT vaccine for this age group. The Get Vaccinated system will list if a nasal spray vaccine is available at that clinic. The nasal spray vaccine is not approved for use in those younger than two years of age.

    See more information on ImmunizeBC. You can also follow up with your health care provider if you have questions about vaccine products.

    Product 

    Type of vaccine 

    Age indicated for

    FLUZONE® QUADRIVALENT  Inactivated vaccine  Children and adults 6 months of age and older.
    FLUAD®   Inactivated vaccine  Adults 65 years of age and older residing in the community. 
    FLUZONE® HIGH-DOSE QUADRIVALENT  Inactivated vaccine  Adults 65 years of age and older who are residents of long-term care, assisted living facilities and First Nations communities. 
    FLUMIST® QUADRIVALENT  Live vacine  Children 2-17 years of age.

    Adults 18-64 years of age with severe needle phobia. 

    For more information about the inactivated influenza vaccine, visit HealthLinkBC File: Inactivated Influenza (Flu) Vaccine

    For more information about the live attenuated influenza vaccine, visit HealthLinkBC File: Live Attenuated Influenza (Flu) Vaccine

    The influenza vaccine is given annually as one dose. Children under nine years of age who have never had an influenza vaccine need two doses. The second dose of vaccine is important to raise their level of protection and should be given at least four weeks after the first dose.

  • How can I book my influenza vaccine appointment?

    NEW for 2022/23 – provincial Get Vaccinated system to notify people when it’s time to book a flu vaccine. This flu season, anyone who registered with the provincial Get Vaccinated system for their COVID-19 vaccine, will be sent an invitation and booking link for their flu vaccine via text or email.

    If you have not registered previously, visit the Get Vaccinated system to register. Alternately, you can call 1-833-838-2323 to register and book appointments.

    You can also call your primary care provider to see if they have flu vaccines available and then call to book an appointment.

    Pharmacists can administer flu shots to anyone aged four and above, and can administer the FLUMIST® QUADRIVALENT nasal spray vaccine to eligible children aged 2 to 17 years of age as well as adults 18 to 64 years of age with severe needle phobia.

    Everyone who registers for the flu vaccine needs to have a Personal Health Number (PHN). Your PHN can be found on the back of a BC driver's licence, BC Services Card or CareCard. If you don’t have a PHN, you can call the provincial Get Vaccinated call centre to get a PHN in order to register.

  • Can I book my family’s influenza vaccine appointments all at once?

    You can visit the Get Vaccinated website or call 1-833-838-2323 to book appointments for multiple family members.

  • Can I have my COVID-19 and influenza vaccines at the same time?

    Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine can be given at the same time or any time before or after other vaccinations including influenza.

  • When do I need to be vaccinated?

    For the best protection against flu and to stop the spread of flu, get the flu shot each year as soon as it is available. By doing so, you’re protecting yourself and your loved ones from flu each season.

  • Why is it important for me to get my influenza vaccine?

    Influenza (flu) spreads very easily, and can cause serious complications or death in vulnerable people, including young children, hospitalized patients and long-term care residents. You can spread influenza for 24 hours before you have any symptoms, so you can pass influenza on to your family and friends before you even know you are sick.

    The most effective way to prevent the spread of influenza is by getting the influenza vaccine, staying home when sick and washing your hands regularly.

Visitors to health care facilities

Visitors are requested to get their influenza vaccine when visiting patients during the influenza season (November to April). By following this policy, you will help to protect your loved ones you are visiting from getting a potentially serious illness.