Flu 2022

Influenza, commonly referred to as “the flu” or “the seasonal flu,” is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It affects the nose, throat and lungs. Different strains spread quickly and easily every year. Typically, Canada reaches the beginning of flu season from late October to early January.

The influenza vaccine is available for free to all Nova Scotians over six months old from most family physicians, family practice nurses, nurse practitioners and pharmacists in the province.

All Nova Scotians are encouraged to get their annual flu shot, especially those at a high risk of developing influenza-related complications and those who care for them.


As it takes approximately two weeks for the vaccine to provide protection, individuals should get vaccinated as soon as possible to see the full benefit before flu season starts. 

Book your vaccine


Phone appointments:
M-F: 07:00-19:00 
S-S: 10:00-18:00

    Minimize your risks

    ● Stay up-to-date on vaccinations - influenza and COVID-19 boosters

    ● Stay home and limit your contact with others when sick

    ● Wash and sanitize your hands frequently

    ● Cough/sneeze into a tissue or your elbow

    ● Limit touching your eyes, nose and mouth

    ● Disinfect surfaces like taps, doorknobs and counters

    ● Wear a non-medical mask when in close proximity to others

    ● Respect the decisions of those who wish to mask and/or physically distance 

    Signs & Symptoms

    The flu can affect people in different ways. Flu symptoms typically appear within 1-4 days after exposure, beginning with:

    ● High fever

    ● Cough

    ● General aches & pains

    Other symptoms may include:

    ● Headache

    ● Chills

    ● Fatigue

    ● Loss of appetite

    ● Sore throat

    ● Runny or stuffy nose

    Some people (especially children) may experience:

    ● Diarrhea

    ● Nausea or vomiting 

    The flu can be highly contagious at least one day before the onset of symptoms and up to five days after the first symptoms. 

    Cold or flu?

    As flu season reaches us amid the rise of new COVID-19 variants, it can be very difficult to differentiate between a COVID-19 infection, the seasonal flu, and the common cold. A lot of these illnesses have overlapping symptoms, like a runny nose, sore throat, general aches, fatigue and a cough.

    People with any one symptom of the seasonal flu or COVID-19 should complete a COVID-19 assessment to determine if they need a COVID-19 test.

    Keep in mind, it may take 2-3 days or more after the onset of symptoms for rapid tests to detect COVID-19. About 25% of COVID-19 cases will not be detected by tests.

    Regardless of illness – even with a negative COVID-19 test – individuals should take their symptoms seriously and avoid contact with others when sick.

    Im healthy

    Everyone is at risk of getting influenza, even if you are healthy.  By getting the flu shot, you are also protecting others around you who may not be as healthy and are more prone to sickness.

    Dont want the flu

    The inactivated flu shot does not contain a live virus and cannot cause influenza.  The side effects are usually mild, such as soreness where the needle went into the arm and a mild fever or aches for 1-2 days.  If you were exposed to the virus prior to receiving the flu shot, the vaccine cannot prevent you from catching the bug but you are less likely to have severe symptoms.

    doesn't work

    All vaccine-preventable diseases have declined in countries that have successful vaccination programs.  Vaccines have saved many lives and have reduced morbidity and mortality in adults, children and other vulnerable populations.

    Already got it

    The flu shot only lasts up to six months so it is important to keep up with the vaccine yearly to protect yourself.  The strains of flu are constantly changing as well, so chances are the strain from the previous year will not be the same.


    Most people recover from the seasonal flu in 5 to 7 days.

    If you think you have the seasonal flu, you should stay home, get plenty of rest and drink lots of clear liquids. You can also call 811 to speak with a registered nurse who can help you manage your symptoms and give you advice about whether you need to seek additional care.

    For some people, the seasonal flu can be serious. If you’re at high risk of complications, or if your symptoms get worse or last a long time, you should contact your health care provider. Possible complications of the seasonal flu include pneumonia, worsening of chronic conditions, and death.

    CFNU Canadian Labour Congress