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Do you Need a Flu Shot?

Do you Need a Flu Shot?

Do you Need a Flu Shot?

The Center for Disease Control has very specific guidelines on who should and who should not be vaccinated; it's very important that you read both sections (presented below) completely before getting a shot.

Who Should Get Vaccinated

In general, anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu can get vaccinated. However, certain people should get vaccinated each year. They are either people who are at high risk of having serious flu complications or people who live with or care for those at high risk for serious complications. People who should get vaccinated each year are:

People at high risk for complications from the flu:

People 65 years and older

People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that house those with long-term illnesses

Adults and children 6 months and older with chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma

Adults and children 6 months and older who needed regular medical care or were in a hospital during the previous year because of a metabolic disease (like diabetes), chronic kidney disease, or weakened immune system (including immune system problems caused by medicines or by infection with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV/AIDS)

Children 6 months to 18 years of age who are on long-term aspirin therapy. (Children given aspirin while they have influenza are at risk of Reye syndrome.)

Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season

All children 6 to 23 months of age

People with any condition that can compromise respiratory function or the handling of respiratory secretions (that is, a condition that makes it hard to breathe or swallow, such as brain injury or disease, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other nerve or muscle disorders.)

People 50 to 64 years of age. Because nearly one-third of people 50 to 64 years of age in the United States have one or more medical conditions that place them at increased risk for serious flu complications, vaccination is recommended for all persons aged 50– 64 years.

People who can transmit flu to others at high risk for complications. Any person in close contact with someone in a high-risk group (see above) should get vaccinated. This includes all health-care workers, household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children 0 to 23 months of age, and close contacts of people 65 years and older.

Who Should Not Be Vaccinated

There are some people who should not be vaccinated without first consulting a physician. These include:

People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs

People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past

People who developed Guillain-Barr syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously

Influenza vaccine is not approved for use in children less than 6 months of age

People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get vaccinated until their symptoms lessen

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