What is in the flu vaccine?
Seasonal flu vaccines protect against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.
Who should get vaccinated this season?
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year.
It’s especially important that certain people get vaccinated:
- Pregnant women
- Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
- 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
What are the benefits of getting the flu vaccine?
- Protection for yourself.
- Protection for newborns and infants who are too young to get vaccinated.
- Protection for people at high risk for complications from flu.
Are the 2012-2013 seasonal flu vaccines safe?
This season’s flu vaccine is expected to have a similar safety profile as past seasonal flu vaccines. Over the years, hundreds of millions of Americans have received seasonal flu vaccines.
Can I get the flu from receiving a flu shot?
No, the viruses in inactivated influenza vaccine have been killed, so you cannot get influenza from the vaccine.
When should I get vaccinated?
Get the vaccine as soon as it is available. This should provide protection if the flu season comes early. You can get the vaccine as long as illness is occurring in your community.
Why do I need a flu vaccine every year?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an influenza (flu) vaccine every year as the first and best way to protect against getting the flu. The body develops antibodies to protect against the viruses in the vaccine. Studies have shown that the body’s immunity to influenza viruses (acquired either through natural infection or vaccination) declines over time, so it is recommended to receive the flu shot every year.
What are the side effects of the flu vaccine?
Flu shots are safe and cannot give you the flu because they are made from killed or very weakened virus, but there may be some mild side effects from the vaccines. The most common side effects from the flu shot are soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot is given.
Who should not be vaccinated against seasonal flu?
Some people should not be vaccinated without first consulting a physician. They 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 Guillian-Barré syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously.
- Children younger than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for use in this age group).
- People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get vaccinated until their symptoms lessen.
What is the use of the nasal-spray seasonal flu vaccine?
Vaccination with the nasal-spray flu vaccine is an option for healthy people over the age of 2. The nasal-spray vaccine is an option for children receiving a flu vaccine.
Who can be vaccinated with the nasal-spray flu vaccine?
It is approved for use in healthy people 2 through 49 years of age who are not pregnant. People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs or who are allergic to any of the nasal spray vaccine components can not receive the vaccine.
What is the intradermal flu vaccine?
The intradermal flu vaccine is a shot that is injected into the skin instead of the muscle. The intradermal shot uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot, and it requires less antigen to be as effective as the regular flu shot. Antigen is the part of the vaccine that helps your body build up protection against flu viruses.
Who can receive the intradermal flu vaccine?
The intradermal flu vaccine is approved for use in persons 18 through 64 years of age. Ochsner does offer this type of flu vaccine.
If you have questions about whether you should get a flu vaccine, consult your health care provider.