MONTREAL -- Quebecers looking to get vaccinated against the flu will be able to do so as of Nov. 1, according to the Quebec government.

"Vaccination is still the best way to protect against the flu, mainly for people with a chronic disease and for seniors aged 75 and over," the province's health ministry states. "These people have a much higher risk of complications, hospitalization or death related to the influenza virus."

Simple hygiene measures, such as washing hands, are also good ways to protect yourself and your family against the flu and other respiratory viruses.

The ministry has outlined certain vulnerable groups to receive the flu shot for free:

  • People aged six months to 74 years with certain chronic diseases;
  • People aged 75 and over;
  • Children and teens (six months to 17 years) on long-term acetylsalicylic acid therapy;
  • Residents of all ages in long-term care centres (CHSLD) and intermediate resources (IR);
  • Pregnant women with certain illnesses or chronic conditions, regardless of their stage of pregnancy;
  • Healthy pregnant women, in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of their pregnancy (13 weeks or more);
  • People living in remote and isolated communities, with priority given to those who have a high risk of complications;
  • Travellers with chronic illnesses or conditions who will be travelling to an area where influenza viruses are prevalent;
  • People living in the same household as people in the above-mentioned high-risk groups and those who care for them at home (family caregivers);
  • Health care workers, especially those who administer care and treatment at hospitals or long-term care centres (CHSLD).

The flu vaccination is also free of charge to healthy children from six to 23-months-old, as well as healthy people from 60 to 74-years-old.

The ministry notes if you are not one of the target groups but still want to be vaccinated against the flu, you can contact your pharmacy, doctor or private vaccination clinic.

Quebec's flu vaccination campaign starts Nov. 1.

Appointments, which are mandatory, can be made either by selecting "seasonal flu vaccine" on Clic-Santé, or by telephone at 1-877-817-5279.