Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza (flu) vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. Different influenza vaccines are approved for different age groups. Some people (for example, pregnant people and people with some chronic health conditions) should not get some types of influenza vaccines, and some people should not receive flu vaccines at all (though this is uncommon). Everyone who is vaccinated should receive a flu vaccine that is appropriate for their age and health status. For people younger than 65 years, there is no preference for any one vaccine over another. Beginning with the 2022-2023 flu season, there are three flu vaccines that are preferentially recommended for people aged 65 and older. These are Fluzone High-DoseQuadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent recombinantflu vaccine or Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine.
On This Page
- Influenza (Flu) Shot
- Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine:
- Who Should be Prioritized for Flu Vaccination During a Vaccine Shortage
This page includes information on who should and who should not get a flu vaccine, and who should talk to a health care professional before vaccination. Talk to your health care provider if you have any questions regarding which influenza vaccines are best for you and your family.
All persons aged 6 months of age and older are recommended for annual flu vaccination, with rare exception.
Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications.
Influenza (Flu) Shots
People who can get the flu shot:
Flu shots are appropriate for most people.
- Different flu shots are approved for people of different ages. Everyone should get a vaccine that is appropriate for their age.
- There are standard-dose inactivated flu vaccines that are approved for people as young as 6 months of age.
- Some vaccines are only approved for adults. For example, the recombinant flu vaccine is approved for people aged 18 years and older, and the adjuvanted and high-dose inactivated vaccines are approved for people 65 years and older.
- Pregnant people and people with certain chronic health conditions can get a flu shot.
- People with egg allergycan get a flu shot
People who SHOULD NOT get a flu shot include:
- Children younger than 6 months of age are too young to get a flu shot.
- People with severe, life-threatening allergies to any ingredient in a flu vaccine (other than egg proteins) should not get that vaccine. This might include gelatin, antibiotics, or other ingredients. See Special Considerations Regarding Egg Allergyfor more information about egg allergies and flu vaccine.
- People who have had a severe allergic reaction to a dose of influenza vaccine should not get that flu vaccine again and might not be able to receive other influenza vaccines. If you have had a severe allergic reaction to an influenza vaccine in the past, it is important to talk with your health care provider to help determine whether vaccination is appropriate for you.
People who should talk to their health care provider before getting a flu shot:
If you have one of the following conditions, talk with your health care provider. He or she can help decide whether vaccination is right for you, and select the best vaccine for your situation:
- If you have an allergy to eggs or any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Talk to your doctor about your allergy. See Special Considerations Regarding Egg Allergyfor more information about egg allergies and flu vaccine.
- If you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a severe paralyzing illness, also called GBS). Some people with a history of GBS should not get a flu vaccine. Talk to your doctor about your GBS history.
- If you had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of any other flu vaccine, talk to your health care provider.
- If you are not feeling well, talk to your doctor about your symptoms.
Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine
People who can get a nasal spray flu vaccine:
The nasal spray vaccine is approved for people 2 years through 49 years of age. Many people in this age group can receive the nasal spray vaccine, including people with egg allergies. The nasal spray vaccine is not recommended for some groups.
People who SHOULD NOT get a nasal spray vaccine:
- Children younger than 2 years of age.
- Adults 50 years of age and older.
- People who have had a severe or life-threatening allergic reaction to any ingredient in the nasal spray vaccine (other than egg proteins). SeeSpecial Considerations Regarding Egg Allergy for more information about egg allergies and flu vaccine.
- People who have had a severe allergic reaction to any flu vaccine.
- Children and adolescents 2 through 17 years of age who are receiving aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications.
- People with weakened immune systems (immunosuppression) due to any cause, including (but not limited to) immunosuppression from medications, congenital or acquired immune disorders, HIV infection, or asplenia.
- People who care for or are close contacts of severely immunocompromised persons who require a protected environment (or otherwise avoid contact with those persons for 7 days after getting the nasal spray vaccine).
- Pregnant people.
- Children 2 years through 4 years who have asthma or who have had a history of wheezing in the past 12 months.
- People with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks (communication and leakage of fluid between the space surrounding the brain and the nose, throat, ear, or any other place in the head).
- People with cochlear implants.
- People who have recently taken influenza antiviral drugs. This depends on the specific influenza antiviral medication that was taken, and how recently the last dose was taken.
People who should talk to their health care provider before getting a nasal spray vaccine:
If you have one of the following conditions, talk with your health care provider.He or she can help decide whether vaccination is right for you, and select the best vaccine for your situation:
- People with asthma 5 years and older.
- People with other underlying medical conditions that can put them at higher risk of developing serious flu complications.These include conditions such as chronic lung diseases, heart disease (except isolated hypertension), kidney disease, liver disorders, neurologic and neuromuscular disorders, blood disorders, or metabolic disorders (such as diabetes).
- People with moderate or severe acute illness with or without fever.
- People with Guillain-Barré Syndrome after a previous dose of influenza vaccine.
Who Should be Prioritized for Flu Vaccination During a Vaccine Shortage
When vaccine supply is limited, vaccination efforts should focus on delivering vaccination to the following people (no hierarchy is implied by order of listing):
- Children aged 6 months through 4 years (59 months);
- People aged 50 years and older;*
- People with chronic pulmonary (including asthma) or cardiovascular (except isolated hypertension), renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus);
- People who are immunosuppressed due to any cause, including immunosuppression caused by medications or by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection;
- People who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season and people up to two weeks after delivery;
- People who are aged 6 months through 18 years who are receiving aspirin or salicylate-containing medications and who might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection;
- People who are residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;
- American Indian or Alaska Native persons;
- People with extreme obesity (body-mass index [BMI] is 40 or greater);
- Health care personnel;
- Household contacts and caregivers of children under 5 years and adults aged 50 years and older; and
- Household contacts and caregivers of people with medical conditions that put them at increased risk for severe illness and complications from influenza.
*Among adults, complications, hospitalizations, and deaths due to influenza are generally most common among people 65 years and older. However, adults 50 years and older are a priority group for vaccination because they may be more likely to have chronic medical conditions that put them at higher risk of severe influenza illness.
People with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza (flu) vaccine (IIV4, RIV4, ccIIV4, or LAIV4) that is otherwise appropriate. People who have a history of severe egg allergy (those who have had any symptom other than hives after exposure to egg) should be vaccinated in a medical setting, supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions. Two completely egg-free flu vaccine options are available: Flublok Quadrivalent recombinant flu vaccine and Flucelvax Quadrivalent cell-based flu shot.
Vaccines do have some risk for adverse reaction, the most common being redness and soreness at the injection site or fever and allergic reactions.Why is it important for everyone to be vaccinated? ›
Getting children and teens vaccinated against COVID-19 can help keep them from getting very sick if they do get COVID-19.What vaccines do to your body? ›
Vaccines help your immune system fight infections faster and more effectively. When you get a vaccine, it sparks your immune response, helping your body fight off and remember the germ so it can attack it if the germ ever invades again.What are the risks of vaccines? ›
Some vaccines cause a temporary headache, fatigue or loss of appetite. Rarely, a child might experience a severe allergic reaction or a neurological side effect, such as a seizure. Although these rare side effects are a concern, the risk of a vaccine causing serious harm or death is extremely small.Do vaccines save lives? ›
In the no-vaccination scenario, the authors estimated that vaccination in the U.S. prevented more than 14 million cases, 1,133,617 hospitalizations, and 240,797 deaths. In their scenario in which vaccination uptake in the U.S. was halved, vaccines prevented 336,000 hospitalizations and 77,283 deaths.How do vaccines protect us? ›
Vaccines give you immunity to a disease without you getting sick first. They are made using killed or weakened versions of the disease-causing germ or parts of the germ (called antigens). For some vaccines, genetic engineering is used to make the antigens used in the vaccine.How long does Covid vaccine stays in your body? ›
Even before Omicron and its subvariants, there was concern about how long the protection from COVID-19 vaccines would last. Earlier research from the CDC suggested that protection from the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines could start to fade around 4 months after a booster dose.How long do Covid vaccines last? ›
We don't know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people.What are eight diseases which vaccines can prevent? ›
- Flu (Influenza)
- Hepatitis B.
- Hepatitis A.
Long-term side effects following any vaccine are extremely rare following any vaccination, including COVID-19 vaccination. Historically, vaccine monitoring has shown that if side effects are going to happen, they tend to happen within six weeks of a vaccine dose.
As soon as the genetic code became available for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), scientists began designing the mRNA for the vaccine, which provides instructions for cells to build the unique spike protein for SARS-CoV-2.How long does Covid last? ›
Most people with COVID-19 get better within a few days to a few weeks after infection, so at least four weeks after infection is the start of when post-COVID conditions could first be identified. Anyone who was infected can experience post-COVID conditions.Can you get COVID after being vaccinated? ›
People who are vaccinated may still get COVID-19. When people who have been vaccinated get COVID-19, they are much less likely to experience severe symptoms than people who are unvaccinated.How many deaths do vaccines prevent? ›
Immunization currently prevents 4-5 million deaths every year. Immunization prevents deaths every year in all age groups from diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), influenza and measles.What are the two major types of immunity? ›
There are two types of immunity: active and passive.Which disease Cannot be prevented by vaccination? ›
Several diseases including cholera, tuberculosis, small pox and hepatitis can be prevented by vaccination. There is no vaccine available for osteoporosis.What vaccines are the most important? ›
- Tdap or Td. Tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) are highly contagious and life-threatening, especially for infants under six weeks of age. ...
- MMR. ...
- Chickenpox. ...
- Hepatitis A and B. ...
- Flu. ...
People with a weak immune system have a higher risk of experiencing frequent infections and severe symptoms. They may be more prone to pneumonia and other conditions. Bacteria and viruses, including the virus that causes the infection COVID-19, can have a devastating effect on a person with a compromised immune system.What are the advantages of COVID-19 vaccination? ›
COVID-19 vaccines are the most effective way to prevent COVID-19. Vaccines can protect us from COVID-19 by preventing us from getting infected at all, and by preventing us from getting sick, ending up in the hospital, or dying – even if we are infected.What was life expectancy before vaccines? ›
People died painfully, mostly in infancy or childhood, primarily from diseases such as tuberculosis, pleurisy, typhus, tonsillitis, cholera and dysentery. With a lack of medical understanding of these ailments, a common treatment was bloodletting. The average lifespan at the time was around 35 years.
Missing a vaccine puts your child at risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases. A delayed vaccination means making them susceptible to infections. The longer your child remains unimmunised, the higher their chances of getting exposed to and contracting diseases.How long do Covid vaccines last? ›
We don't know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated. What we do know is that COVID-19 has caused very serious illness and death for a lot of people.Can you get Covid twice? ›
Reinfection with the virus that causes COVID-19 means a person was infected, recovered, and then later became infected again. After recovering from COVID-19, most individuals will have some protection from repeat infections. However, reinfections do occur after COVID-19.Is Pfizer or Moderna better? ›
Both of the mRNA vaccines available in the US are highly effective against severe COVID-19, but recent studies suggest that Moderna's elicits a stronger immune response and might be better at preventing breakthrough infections.What did people do before vaccines were invented? ›
During the 20th century alone, around 300 million people died from smallpox worldwide. Before vaccination was discovered, a procedure called variolation was used for protection against smallpox. This method involved giving people a mild dose of the disease to make them immune.
Humans have evolved much longer lifespans than the great apes, which rarely exceed 50 years. Since 1800, lifespans have doubled again, largely due to improvements in environment, food, and medicine that minimized mortality at earlier ages.Why are people living so long? ›
Improvements in sanitation, followed by childhood immunisation programmes transformed our life chances. Ever fewer people died in infancy and early childhood and once the dangers associated with those periods of life had been navigated, the chance of living to old age increased.Should I delay vaccines? ›
Children do not receive any known benefits from following schedules that delay vaccines. Infants and young children who follow immunization schedules that spread out or leave out shots are at risk of developing diseases during the time you delay their shots.Which vaccines do babies actually need? ›
- Hepatitis B (2nd dose)
- Diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough (pertussis) (DTaP)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
- Polio (IPV)
- Pneumococcal (PCV)
- Rotavirus (RV)
Yes, vaccine-preventable diseases are not as common as they once were. But that is because of vaccines. Delaying, refusing, or spacing out vaccines only increases the amount of time your child is susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases.