Inactivated Influenza Vaccine: What You Need to Know
Health care providers may also recommend a yearly influenza vaccination
- People who provide essential community services.
- People living in dormitories, correctional facilities, or under other
crowded conditions, to prevent outbreaks.
- People at high risk of influenza complications who travel to the Southern
hemisphere between April and September, or to the tropics or in organized
tourist groups at any time.
Influenza vaccine is also recommended for anyone who wants to reduce the
likelihood of becoming ill with influenza or spreading influenza to others.
4. When should I get influenza vaccine?
Plan to get influenza vaccine in October or November if you can. But getting
vaccinated in December, or even later, will still be beneficial in most years.
You can get the vaccine as soon as it is available, and for as long as illness
is occurring in your community. Influenza can occur any time from November
through May, but it most often peaks in January or February.
Most people need one dose of influenza vaccine each year. Children younger
than 9 years of age getting influenza vaccine for the first time – or who got
influenza vaccine for the first time last season but got only one dose – should
get 2 doses, at least 4 weeks apart, to be protected.
Influenza vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines, including
5. Some people should talk with a doctor before getting influenza
Some people should not get inactivated influenza vaccine or
should wait before getting it.
- Tell your doctor if you have any severe (life-threatening) allergies.
Allergic reactions to influenza vaccine are rare.
- Influenza vaccine virus is grown in eggs. People with a severe egg allergy
should not get the vaccine.
- A severe allergy to any vaccine component is also a reason to not get the
- If you have had a severe reaction after a previous dose of influenza
vaccine, tell your doctor.
- Tell your doctor if you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a severe
paralytic illness, also called GBS). You may be able to get the vaccine, but
your doctor should help you make the decision.
- People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they
recover before getting flu vaccine. If you are ill, talk to your doctor or
nurse about whether to reschedule the vaccination. People with a mild illness
can usually get the vaccine.
6. What are the risks from inactivated influenza vaccine?
A vaccine, like any medicine, could possibly cause serious problems, such as
severe allergic reactions. The risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or
death, is extremely small. Serious problems from influenza vaccine are very
rare. The viruses in inactivated influenza vaccine have been killed, so you
cannot get influenza from the vaccine.