Seasonal Flu Vaccine Fact Sheet

Seasonal Flu Vaccine 

Who should be vaccinated?

Anyone who wants to reduce their risk for flu should get a vaccine

Priority groups:

  • Children 6 months to 19
  • Pregnant women
  • People 50 and older
  • Patients with chronic medical conditions
  • People living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities
  • Those who care for or live with patients who are in high risk groups (health care workers and family members)
When to get it?


*NOTE – children 6 months to 9 years who are getting a flu shot for the first time will need two doses, with the second dose given at least 28 days after the first. The first shot primes the immune system and the second provides immunity.

Who should NOT be vaccinated?
  • Those who have a severe allergy to eggs
  • People who have had a previous severe reaction to a flu shot
  • Anyone who developed a condition, called Guillain-Barré Syndrome within 6 weeks of getting a flu shot
  • People who have a moderate to severe illness with a fever (wait until recovery)
  • Children under 6 months (no vaccine approved for them)
Why Should You Get It?
  • In an average flu season, 5 to 20 percent of Americans will get the flu
  • Annually, 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu treatment and complications – 20,000 of them are children
  • About 36,000 people in the U.S. die each year from the flu
Available in 2 forms

1).  injection

  • contains an inactivated (killed) virus
  • approved for children older than 6 months and adults, including adults with chronic medical conditions

2).  nasal spray – FluMist®

  • made with a live, but weakened form of the flu viruses
  • sometimes referred to as a live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV)
  • approved for healthy people 2 to 49, not for use in pregnant women

Information compiled from the CDC (, the US Department of Health and Human Services (, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (

Last updated, 9-29-09.