Flu Vaccine (Influenza Immunization or Flu Shot)

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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Who should not receive the flu vaccine?

Those who should avoid the flu vaccine include the following:

  • People who have ever had a severe allergic reaction to influenza vaccine
  • People with a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS) that occurred after receiving influenza vaccine and who are not at risk for severe illness from influenza should generally not receive vaccine.
  • People under 65 years of age should not receive the high-dose flu shot.
  • People who are under 18 years old or over 64 years old should not receive the intradermal flu shot.
  • If you are sick with a fever when you go to get your flu shot, you should talk to your doctor or nurse about whether or not you should get your shot at a later date. However, you can get a flu shot at the same time you have a respiratory illness without fever or if you have another mild illness.
  • People who have had an allergic reaction to eggs should discuss this situation with their health-care professional to determine whether the egg-free vaccine may be appropriate.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/20/2015

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