What Is Influenza?
- Type A
- Type B
- Age younger than 5 years old or age 65 years and older
Certain medical conditions, including:
- Chronic lung condition, such as asthma or COPD
- Cardiovascular disease
- Kidney or liver disease
- Neurological, blood, or metabolic condition, such as diabetes
- Suppressed immune system, such as those with HIV, cancer, or chronic steroid use
- Current pregnancy
- Long-term aspirin therapy in people under 19 years old
- American Indian and Alaskan Native ancestry
- Severe obesity
What Is the Influenza Vaccine?
- Regular flu shot (the most common type)—for people aged 6 months and older, injected into the muscle (usually in the upper arm)
- High-dose shot (Fluzone High-Dose)—for people aged 65 years and older, injected into the muscle
- Intradermal shot (Fluzone Intradermal)—for people aged 18-64 years old, injected into the skin with a smaller needle
Who Should Get Vaccinated and When?
What Are the Risks Associated With the Influenza Vaccine?
- Soreness, redness, and swelling around the injection site
- Low-grade fever
- Muscle aches
- Runny nose
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
Who Should Not Get Vaccinated?
- Have any severe (life-threatening) allergies to chicken eggs
- Have had a severe reaction to the flu vaccine in the past
- Have had Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)
- Are currently are very sick with a fever
- Are aged 24 months or younger
- Have asthma
- Are aged 2-4 years who have had wheezing in the past 12 months
- Have a condition that may increase their risk of flu complications
- Are aged 50 years and older
- Have a chronic condition, such as heart disease, lung disease, asthma, kidney or liver disease, metabolic disease, blood disorders
- Have a nerve or muscle disorder
- Have a weakened immune system
- Are in close contact with others who have a weakened immune system
- Have a nasal condition which makes it difficult to breath
- Have gotten any other vaccines in the last 4 weeks
- Have taken influenza antiviral medication within the previous 48 hours
- Pregnant women
- Children or teens on long-term aspirin therapy
What Other Ways Can Influenza Be Prevented?
- Avoid close contact with people who have respiratory infections.
- Wash your hands often for 15-20 seconds with soap and water. This is especially important to do when you come in contact with someone who is sick. Rubbing alcohol-based cleaners on your hands is also useful.
- Do not share drinks or personal items.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Do not put your hands near your eyes, mouth, or nose.
What Happens in the Event of an Outbreak?
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
United States Department of Health and Human Services http://www.flu.gov
Vaccines & Immunizations Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Vaccines, Blood & Biologics United States Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov
Fluzone high-dose seasonal influenza vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/qa%5Ffluzone.htm. Updated September 3, 2015. Accessed August 10, 2015.
Influenza in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 17, 2015. Accessed August 10, 2015.
Influenza in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 7, 2015. Accessed August 10, 2015.
Influenza vaccine in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 3, 2015. Accessed August 10, 2015.
Influenza vaccine in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 21, 2014. Accessed August 10, 2015.
Key facts about seasonal flu vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm. Updated October 22, 2014. Accessed August 10, 2015.
People at high risk of developing flu-related complications. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high%5Frisk.htm. Updated January 8, 2015. Accessed August 10, 2015.
10/15/2007 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Nichol KL, Nordin JD, Nelson DB, Mullooly JP, Hak E. Effectiveness of influenza vaccine in the community-dwelling elderly. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(14):1373-1381.
3/5/2012 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: FDA approves first quadrivalent vaccine to prevent seasonal influenza. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm294057.htm. Updated March 15, 2012. Accessed August 10, 2015.
8/10/2015 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Grohskopf LA, Sokolow LZ, Olsen SJ, et al. Prevention and control of influenza with vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on immunization practices, United States, 2015-16 influenza season. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015;64(30):818-825.
- Reviewer: David Horn, MD
- Review Date: 08/2015 -
- Update Date: 08/10/2015 -