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Flu is a vaccine-preventable disease

Which Diseases Do Vaccines Protect Against?1

The Canadian publicly funded health care system offers protection against 13 vaccine-preventable diseases, TB protection in certain areas and HPV vaccine for older children.

Influenza (flu)2

Influenza can sometimes be serious, especially in infants and young children. Complications may include breathing difficulties and pneumonia.

In Canada, influenza is most common when the virus is circulating in late fall and winter. It is easily spread through droplets in the air, or through touching infected people or contaminated surfaces.

Although flu symptoms may start off similar to cold symptoms, the flu is much more serious than a cold. A cold is a mild respiratory infection with symptoms like a runny, stuffy nose, cough, and sore throat. Flu symptoms can include headache, fever, muscle aches, nausea, and diarrhea.

Everyone needs to have a new flu shot every year. This is because the major circulating strains of flu change over time, and a new vaccine must be developed each year to match the new strain.

Vaccination is the best way to protect children and all family members from infection with the influenza virus.

  1. Public Health Agency of Canada. Vaccine-preventable diseases. Accessed
    March 17, 2016.
  2. Public Health Agency of Canada. Flu (influenza). Accessed March 17, 2016.