Vaccination may be given to anyone wishing to reduce the chance of getting the flu. For optimal protection, the vaccine must be repeated each year since it may contain different strains than previous years.
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The vaccine is usually given by injection into a muscle by a health care professional. Some brands may also be given by deep injection under the skin. Adults and children usually receive the injection in the upper arm, and infants receive it in the upper thigh.
The vaccination is usually given in the time from September to November when the number of cases of influenza virus begins to increase (the start of "flu season"). Only one dose is required for people aged 9 years and older. Children under 9 years of age may receive a second dose depending on when the first dose was given. Discuss the dose schedule with your health care professional.
Soreness/redness/swelling/bruising at the injection site may occur and may last for up to 1-2 days. Fever, muscle aches, headache or weakness may also occur. If any of these effects continue beyond 2 days or become bothersome, tell your health care professional.
Rarely, some people have symptoms such as fainting, dizziness, vision changes, or ringing in the ears just after getting a vaccine injection. Tell your health care professional right away if you have any of these symptoms. Sitting or lying down may help, since these symptoms usually don't last long.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your health care professional has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your health care professional right away if you have any serious side effects, including: mental/mood changes, numbness/tingling, seizures.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, severe dizziness, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your health care professional.
Contact the health care professional for medical advice about side effects. The following numbers do not provide medical advice, but in the US you may report side effects to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967. In Canada, you may call the Vaccine Safety Section at Public Health Agency of Canada at 1-866-844-0018.
Before receiving this vaccination, tell your health care professional if you are allergic to it; or to any other vaccines; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as latex, eggs/chicken products found in some brands), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your health care professional for more details.
Before you receive this vaccine, tell your health care professional your medical history, especially of: any fever, uncontrolled seizures or other nervous system disorder (such as encephalopathy), history of Guillain-Barre syndrome, immune system disorders (such as due to HIV infection, certain cancers such as leukemia/lymphoma, cancer or radiation treatment), seizures (such as epilepsy controlled by medication, febrile seizures) or history of other nervous system disorders, vaccination history including previous reactions to any vaccines.
During pregnancy, flu vaccination is usually recommended. Discuss the risks and benefits with your health care professional.
Consult your pharmacist or physician.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your health care professional. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Store in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Protect from light. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.