Flu Vaccine Information
Who Should Get Vaccinated?
In general, anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu can get vaccinated. However, it is recommended by ACIP that 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. During flu seasons when vaccine supplies are limited or delayed, ACIP makes recommendations regarding priority groups for vaccination. In accordance with guidelines published by the Centers for Disease Control, The CDC recommends that the following groups receive flu shots:
Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday
People 50 years of age and older
People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including: a. Health care workers
b. Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
c. Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
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.
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.)
Vaccine Side Effects (What to Expect)
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
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).
Flu vaccine is the most effective prevention against influenza and its severe complications, including pneumonia, hospitalization, and death. Complications from flu shot most often occur among those older than 65 years of age, those not yet 65 years of age who have certain medical conditions, and children younger than 2 years of age.
The flu vaccine becomes effective approximately 2 weeks following inoculation.
What can I do to protect myself from getting sick or spreading the flu?
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick and keeping your distance from others if you are sick
- When possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Wash your hands often
More information is available on the Michigan Department of Community Health's