Vaccines are the best tool we have to prevent influenza and to reduce its spread.
The Flu Shot: an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle. The flu shot is approved for use in people 6 months of age and older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
The nasal-spray flu vaccine: a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV - "Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine"). LAIV is approved for use in healthy people 2-49 years of age who are not pregnant.
About 2 weeks after vaccination, antibodies develop that protect against influenza virus infection.
Who Should Get Regular Seasonal Flu Vaccine?
Anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the seasonal flu should get vaccinated.
The flu vaccine is recommended for all individuals 6 months of age and older.
The following groups should get the vaccine once a year:
Individuals 6 months and older
People 50 years of age and older
People of any age with certain chronic conditions
People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
Health Care workers*
Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
*We want to make a special reminder to health care workers to receive the seasonal flu vaccine. It is important to keep health care workers healthy and at work so they are able to care for sick patients and avoid spreading influenza to their patients.