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Flu Vaccine (cont.)

Indications for Intramuscular and Intradermal Flu Vaccines

The CDC recommends that anyone (except for certain groups, see below and people allergic to eggs) over 6 months of age be vaccinated against the flu. This is particularly important for certain people, including those who are at high risk of having serious seasonal flu-related complications or people who live with or care for those at high risk for serious seasonal flu-related complications. During flu seasons when vaccine supplies are limited or delayed, the ACIP makes recommendations regarding priority groups for vaccination. The most recent ACIP recommendations are as follows:

People for whom it is especially important to get the seasonal intramuscular (IM) vaccine each year are

  • people who have certain medical conditions, including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease,
  • pregnant women,
  • people 65 years and older (trivalent, high-dose vaccine),
  • people who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including
    • health-care workers,
    • household contacts of people 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).

Intradermal shots are only recommended for adults aged 18 to 64; the intradermal shot contains the same trivalent killed virus as does the IM dose. In addition, there is a high-dose IM vaccine for people 65 and older (contains more antigen to stimulate the possibly less responsive immune system in people age 65 and older).

These recommendations also apply to the new quadrivalent vaccine.

Intramuscular shots for the recombinant DNA synthesized Flublok are approved for ages 18-49.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/3/2013

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