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The vaccine will be available starting Oct. 26. (CBC)

Ontario is introducing a new nasal spray flu vaccine this year as an alternative to an injection in the arm.

The nasal spray, which will be available starting Oct. 26 for children aged 2 to 17, will offer protection against four flu viruses instead of three.

The added protection is against a B-strain of the flu that affects children and youth more frequently than adults.

Parents will still have the option of having their children's flu vaccine delivered via a needle.

Adults will still be given the shot in the arm that the government says will help protect against three flu viruses this year.

The Ministry of Health says up to 20 per cent of Canadians get sick every year with the flu, which sends about 12,000 to hospital and kills about 3,500 people annually.