Flu Prevention for the 2005-2006 Season (cont.)
Is CDC recommending that flu shots go to "priority groups", as was recommended last season?
To ensure that those who are at highest risk of complications from influenza have access to vaccine this season, CDC recommends that people in certain priority groups receive inactivated influenza vaccine (i.e., the "flu shot") until October 24, 2005:
Beginning October 24, 2005, all persons can get a flu shot.
Use of the nasal spray flu vaccine
It should be noted that vaccination with the nasal-spray flu vaccine is always an option for healthy persons aged 5-49 years who are not pregnant. This vaccine is not subject to prioritization and can be given to healthy 5-49 year olds at any time.
People displaced by hurricane katrina
Influenza vaccination is recommended for all people 6 months of age and older who have been displaced by hurricane Katrina and are living in crowded group settings. See http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/hurricanes/katrina/vaccrecdisplaced.asp
There are some people who should not be vaccinated without first consulting a physician. These include:
The ability of flu vaccine to protect a person depends on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine, and the similarity or "match" between the virus strains in the vaccine and those in circulation. Testing has shown that both the flu shot and the nasal-spray vaccine are effective at preventing the flu.
Different side effects can be associated with the flu shot and LAIV.
The flu shot: The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that could occur are:
If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot and usually last 1 to 2 days. Almost all people who receive influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it. However, on rare occasions, flu vaccination can cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions. As of July 1, 2005, people who think that they have been injured by the flu shot can file a claim for compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). For more information go to http://www.hrsa.gov/osp/vicp/.
LAIV: The viruses in the nasal-spray vaccine are weakened and do not cause severe symptoms often associated with influenza illness. (In clinical studies, transmission of vaccine viruses to close contacts has occurred only rarely.)
In children, side effects from LAIV can include
In adults, side effects from LAIV can include:
Also, antiviral medications may be used to prevent the flu.
Flu Shot Finder
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Last Editorial Review: 10/25/2005