Intranasal Flu Vaccine


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. However, this vaccine is given free of charge only to some children between the ages of 2 and 17 as part of the Flu Vaccination Program. To learn more, see the List of People Eligible to Receive the Injectable Vaccine for Free.

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 2017-18 season, the intranasal vaccine offered under the Québec Flu Vaccination Program contains the following strains:

  • A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)
  • A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)
  • B/Brisbane/60/2008
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013

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.

Where to get Vaccinated
For information on the Flu Vaccination Campaign for each region of Québec, see the Where to get vaccinated section.


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.

The Nature and Frequency of Known Reactions to this Vaccine

Frequency Known Reactions to the Vaccine

(less than 10% of people)

  • Runny nose or nasal congestion
  • Headache
  • Fatigue or discomfort


(less than 1 person in 1,000)

  • Allergic reaction

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

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Last update: October 5, 2017 2:48 PM


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