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:
- 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 cdc.gov and type influenza in the SEARCH box.
Alabama Department of Public Health
Immunization Division, 201 Monroe St, Montgomery, AL 36104
1-800-469-4599 www.adph.org/imm 2/29/16