POLL: Do you get the flu shot?

Story by CBC Kids News • 2018-11-01 12:23

Experts say the flu shot is on point this year — find out why

This year’s flu vaccine is expected to win in the battle against the flu, health officials say.

The vaccine changes every year, in an attempt to match the type of flu that’s going around.

Some years the match is better than others.

“The virus is constantly changing, and it’s very challenging to keep up,” said Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at Toronto General Hospital.

This year it looks like the vaccine is going to be pretty effective, he said.

A gloved hand sticks a needles in a girl's arm.

Getting needles is no fun. But getting the flu is also unpleasant. For some people, it can also be quite dangerous. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

How serious is the flu?

Most people with the flu experience fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose and body aches.

Some kids also have to deal with vomiting and diarrhea.

The virus can be dangerous for some people.

Every year, around 12,000 Canadians end up in hospital and around 3,500 people die, according to Health Canada.

Boys squeezes his eyes shut as a gloved hand squirts the vaccine up his nose.

Not a fan of needles? Health Canada has approved a nasal spray for anybody older than two, so you can get the vaccine without the pain. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Why get the vaccine?

Public health officials say the more people who take the vaccine, the less likely it is that vulnerable people will get sick.

People with chronic health conditions, babies, seniors, pregnant women and even Indigenous people are all considered to be at high risk of being hit harder by the virus.

Is there a way to get the shot without the needle?

According to Health Canada, anybody older than two can use a nasal spray.

Health Canada spokesperson Anna Maddison said it's just as effective as getting the vaccine by needle.

Maddison said the nasal spray has been available in Canada since 2014, although it might not be available in every region.

It's up to the governments in each province or territory to decide whether to make it available, she said.

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