What Is Influenza?
- Type A
- Type B
- Age younger than 5 years old or age 65 years and older
Having certain conditions, including:
- Chronic lung condition, such as asthma
- Cardiovascular disease
- Kidney or liver disease
- Neurological, blood, or metabolic condition, such as diabetes
- Having a suppressed immune system, such as HIV
- Being pregnant
- Being a child or teen who receives long-term aspirin therapy
- Being American Indian/Alaska Native
- Being severely obese
- Fever and chills
- Severe muscle aches
- Severe fatigue
- Decreased appetite, other gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting
- Runny nose, nasal congestion
- Sore throat
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Cough suppressants
- Antiviral medications
What Is the Influenza Vaccine?
- Regular flu shot (the most common type)—for people aged six 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
- Note: The vaccine is safe for people with a hives-only allergy to eggs.
- Have had a severe reaction to the flu vaccine in the past
- Have had Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)
- Currently are very sick
- 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
- 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?
Flu—United States Department of Health and Human Services http://www.flu.gov
Vaccines & Immunizations Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines
Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca
Vaccines, Blood & Biologics United States Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov/cber/vaccines.htm
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Prevention and control of influenza with vaccines: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), 2013. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013;62(18):356.
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 July 31, 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.
Influenza in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 16, 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.
Influenza in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 23, 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.
Influenza vaccine in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 18, 2014. Accessed August 28, 2014.
Influenza vaccine in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 6, 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.
Key facts about seasonal flu vaccine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm. Updated March 6, 2014. Accessed August 12, 2014.
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 November 7, 2013. Accessed August 12, 2014.
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;357:1373-1381.
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. Published Updated March 15, 2012. Accessed August 12, 2014.
2/11/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Bridges C, Coyne-Beasley T. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended immunization schedules for adults aged 19 years or older: United States, 2014. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160(3):190-197.
8/28/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Prevention and control of influenza with vaccines: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)—United States, 2014-2015 influenza season. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63(32):691-697.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 08/28/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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