WHO SHOULD GET VACCINATED
On February 24, 2010 vaccine experts voted that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year starting with the 2010-2011 influenza season. CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for "universal" flu vaccination in the U.S. to expand protection against the flu to more people.
While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it’s especially important that the following groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:
1. Pregnant women
2. Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
3. People 50 years of age and older
4. People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
5. People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
6. People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
1. Health care workers
2. Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
3. Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
USE OF THE NASAL SPRAY FLU VACCINE
It should be noted that vaccination with the nasal-spray flu vaccine is always an option for healthy* people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant.
WHO SHOULD NOT BE VACCINATED
There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine 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.
· People who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine.
· Children less than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group), and
· People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated.)
The ability of a flu vaccine to protect a person depends on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine, and the similarity or "match" between the viruses or virus in the vaccine and those in circulation.
VACCINE SIDE EFFECTS (WHAT TO EXPECT)
Different side effects can be associated with the flu shot and LAIV.
The flu shot: The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that could occur are:
· Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
· Fever (low grade)
If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot and usually last 1 to 2 days. Almost all people who receive influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it. However, on rare occasions, flu vaccination can cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. As of July 1, 2005, people who think that they have been injured by the flu shot can file a claim for compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)
The nasal spray (also called LAIV or FluMist®): The viruses in the nasal-spray vaccine are weakened and do not cause severe symptoms often associated with influenza illness. (In clinical studies, transmission of vaccine viruses to close contacts has occurred only rarely.)
In children, side effects from LAIV (FluMist®) can include:
· runny nose
· muscle aches
In adults, side effects from LAIV (FluMist®) can include
· runny nose
· sore throat