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When should you get a flu vaccine?

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Flu vaccine

How you get it: As a shot, or sometimes a nasal spray is recommended

How often and when: Once a year, usually starting in September through the end of the flu season, which can last as late as May. The earlier you get it, the better your protection.

Who should get it: All adults should get the vaccine in some form, unless they have a medical reason not to. The shot is the most common type. The nasal spray version has often been available for healthy adults up to age 49 who aren’t pregnant, but it wasn’t recommended in the 2016-17 flu season.

There is an egg-free vaccine in case you have severe egg allergies. And if injections make you nervous, you can also get a shot that uses a smaller needle and doesn't pierce as deeply. People who have a greater chance of getting the flu, like those over 65, can get high-dose injections that give them better protection.

SOURCES:

News release, FDA.

CDC: ''Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine,'' ''Pneumococcal Disease In-Short,'' ''Hepatitis A In-Short,'' ''Hepatitis B In-Short,'' ''HPV Vaccine - Questions & Answers,'' ''Meningococcal: Who Needs to be Vaccinated?'' ''Shingles Vaccination: What You Need to Know,'' ''Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine Q&A.''

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report : ''Updated Recommendations for Use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2010,'' ''Adult Immunization Schedules, United States, 2013.''

Immunization Action Coalition: ''Vaccinations for Adults.''

CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on August 7, 2019

SOURCES:

News release, FDA.

CDC: ''Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine,'' ''Pneumococcal Disease In-Short,'' ''Hepatitis A In-Short,'' ''Hepatitis B In-Short,'' ''HPV Vaccine - Questions & Answers,'' ''Meningococcal: Who Needs to be Vaccinated?'' ''Shingles Vaccination: What You Need to Know,'' ''Varicella (Chickenpox) Vaccine Q&A.''

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report : ''Updated Recommendations for Use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2010,'' ''Adult Immunization Schedules, United States, 2013.''

Immunization Action Coalition: ''Vaccinations for Adults.''

CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on August 7, 2019

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