2016-2017 Seasonal Influenza (Flu) Vaccine Coverage Survey results

The flu season usually occurs between November and April each year in Canada. The flu can affect anyone, and can lead to serious complications or death. Some groups at higher risk of complications are:

  • Pregnant women
  • Young children
  • People with certain medical conditions
  • Seniors

The flu vaccine, also known as the flu shot, is safe and remains the best way to prevent the flu. It is recommended that every Canadian, 6 months of age and over, get the flu shot each year.

The National Influenza Immunization Coverage Survey is a yearly telephone survey that collects information related to the flu shot in Canada. This survey measures vaccine coverage, which is the percentage of people who got the flu shot in that year. This page provides some of the results from the most recent survey.

Key results:

Figure 1: Flu vaccine coverage, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 flu seasons

Figure 1 - Text Description
Flu vaccine coverage, 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 flu seasons
  All Adults
Age 18-64 without medical conditions  Age 18-64 with medical conditions Seniors
2015/16 2016/17 2015/16 2016/17 2015/16 2016/17 2015/16 2016/17
Percent vaccinated 34.3 35.8 24.4 25.1 37.2 37.0 64.6 69.5


Who got the flu shot?

  • Vaccine coverage for adults was very similar in the 2016/17 flu season, to coverage in the 2015/16 season.

Canada’s goal is to have 80% of those at higher risk of complications from the flu vaccinated. This includes seniors (65+) and adults aged 18-64 years with certain medical conditions.

  • Not enough Canadian adults get the flu shot. In the 2016/17 season, coverage was:
    • 36% among adults 18 years and older.
    • 37% among adults aged 18 to 64 years with medical conditions.
    • 69% among seniors (aged 65 years and older).

When and where did Canadians get the flu shot?

  • Most adults who got the flu shot received it in October or November (75%). Getting the flu shot early in the flu season helps protect from infection before the flu begins to spread.
  • Doctors’ offices (33%) and pharmacies (28%) were the most common places adults reported getting the flu shot.

Why did Canadians get the flu shot?

  • Preventing infection (45%) was the most common reason adults gave for getting their flu shot.
  • Being at risk due to a health condition was also a commonly reported reason for receiving the vaccine (31%) by adults with medical conditions.
  • Adults who received advice from a health care provider were more likely to get the flu shot.


For more information

A full report of the survey results is available through the Government of Canada Publications website.

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