Influenza Vaccine

Influenza Vaccine

Who should get the influenza (flu) vaccine?

  • The flu vaccine is recommended every year for everyone age 6 months or older.

 Who should be vaccinated against influenza because they are at increased risk?

  • Children 6 months of age through 5 years Adults 65 years of age or older
  • Pregnant women
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who have medical conditions including the following:
    • Asthma
    • Chronic lung disease
    • Heart disease
    • Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease)
    • Kidney disorders
    • Liver disorders
    • Weakened immune systems due to disease or medication (such as HIV/AIDS or cancer)
    • People younger than 19 years of age who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
    • People with extreme obesity

What are the common vaccine side effects and risks?

  • Flu vaccines are safe, but some side effects can occur.
  • Minor problems following the flu vaccine include soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the shot, hoarseness, sore, red or itchy eyes, cough, fever, aches, headache, itching, and fatigue.
  • More serious problems may include Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in fewer than 1 or 2 cases per one million people vaccinated, children receiving multiple vaccines slightly increase in fever with seizure.
  • People who should not get the flu vaccine include anyone with severe, life threatening allergies, had GBS before, or not feeling well the day of vaccination.

 Where can I find more information?

  • Ask your doctor.
  • Ask you school nurse.
  • Call the Alabama Department of Public Health, Immunization Division, at 1-800-469-4599.
  • Go to and type influenza in the SEARCH box.


Alabama Department of Public Health
Immunization Division, 201 Monroe St, Montgomery, AL 36104
1-800-469-4599 2/29/16