Vaccination is the best protection against the flu and its complications. The flu vaccine does not protect against the common cold and respiratory infections caused by other viruses.
The intranasal flu vaccine must be administered once every fall. It is given via a nasal spray, one squirt in each nostril. In most cases, this type of vaccine can be administered even in the presence of nasal discharge.
People aged 2 to 59 can receive the intranasal vaccine unless otherwise contraindicated.
For a child younger than 9 years, 2 doses of the vaccine, given 1 month apart, are required when it is a first vaccination against the flu.
For the 2018-19 season, the intranasal vaccine offered under the Québec Flu Vaccination Program contains the following strains:
- A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)
- A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)
As the viruse contained in the vaccine may be found in nose secretions, avoid close contacts with severely immunosuppressed people requiring protective isolation, for 2 weeks following vaccination.
Symptoms after vaccination
Some symptoms may be caused by the vaccine. Other problems may occur by chance and are not related to the vaccine, such as cold, gastro or headache.
The intranasal flu vaccine is safe. In most cases, it does not cause any reaction.
|Frequency||Known Reactions to the Vaccine|
(less than 1 person in 1,000)
What to Do after Vaccination
Tips to follow immediately after receiving vaccine
Wait 15 minutes before leaving premises where vaccine is received. If an allergic reaction occurs, the symptoms will appear a few minutes after the vaccination.
If you feel side effects, immediately inform the person giving the vaccine. That person will be able to treat you immediately.
Tips to follow at home
Use medication for fever or discomfort if needed.
Do not give medication containing acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) to people under 18 years of age in the 4 weeks following their vaccination.
When to seek medical help
See a doctor if one of the following applies to you:
- You experience serious and unusual symptoms
- Your symptoms get worse instead of improving
- Your symptoms last over 48 hours
Last update: September 14, 2018