Quebec's flu season — and vaccination campaigns — are upon us again

Dr. Nicholas Brousseau, who works for the Capitale-Nationale regional health authority, says the goal of the clinics is to prevent the flu’s serious complications, such as hospitalization and death.

Goal of the clinics is to prevent serious complications, which can lead to hospitalization and death

Public health agencies say the shot is the best protection from the flu and its complications. (Radio-Canada)

The flu shot campaign kicked off earlier this week across Quebec, and in the coming months there will be plenty of opportunities for those who want to get immunized to do so.

The province's public health agencies say the shot is the best protection from the flu and its complications.

Some districts are holding vaccine clinics, while others are offering the shots by appointment only.

To find the nearest flu shot clinic or to make an appointment at the right place, look up your local health authority on this website.

Dr. Nicholas Brousseau, who works for the Capitale-Nationale regional health authority, says the goal of the clinics is to prevent the flu's serious complications, which can lead to hospitalization and death.

He said the vaccine is, on average, between 30 to 60 per cent effective any given year.

"That means we can reduce by half the [chances of suffering] complications due to the flu, so that's not nothing."

Who is eligible for a free vaccine?

  • Those six months old and up with certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, immunity disorders, and heart, lung or kidney diseases.
  • Pregnant women with certain chronic illnesses, regardless of stage of pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women in good health, in their second or third trimester of pregnancy.
  • People aged 75 or over.
  • People in close contact with people at higher risk of developing complications.
  • People in close contact with children under six months old.
  • Health care workers, especially those in direct contact with patients in hospitals or long-term care facilities.

The shot is also free for children aged between six and 23 months and adults aged between 60 and 74 who are in good health.

Those two age groups used to be part of the priority population, but Brousseau explained that has changed as a result of research that shows the risk of complications is the same for them as it is for the general population.

With files from Radio-Canada's Fanny Samson.