Influenza Vaccine, Inactivated or Recombinant
Why get vaccinated?
The influenza vaccine can prevent influenza (flu).
The flu is a contagious disease that spreads across the United States every year, usually between October and May. Anyone can get the flu, but it is more dangerous for some people. Babies and young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions or a weakened immune system are at higher risk for complications from influenza.
Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications. If you have a medical condition, such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, the flu can make it worse.
The flu can cause fever and chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, and a runny or stuffy nose. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, although this is more common in children than adults.
Every year, thousands of people in the United States die from influenza and many more are hospitalized. The flu vaccine prevents millions of flu-related illnesses and doctor visits each year.
What is inactivated or recombinant influenza vaccine?
CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated each flu season. Children 6 months to 8 years old may need 2 doses during a single flu season. Everyone else needs only 1 dose each flu season.
It takes about 2 weeks for protection to develop after vaccination.
There are many flu viruses and they are always changing. Each year a new flu vaccine is made to protect against three or four viruses that are likely to cause illness in the upcoming flu season. Even when the vaccine does not exactly match these viruses, it can still provide some protection.
The influenza vaccine does not cause the flu.
The flu vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Who should not get or should wait to get the influenza vaccine?
Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:
- You have had an allergic reaction after a previous dose of the flu vaccine, or you have severe, life-threatening allergies.
- You have ever had Guillain-Barré syndrome (also called GBS).
In some cases, your healthcare provider may decide to postpone the flu vaccination for a future visit.
People with mild illnesses, like a cold, can get vaccinated. People who are moderately or severely ill generally should wait until they recover before getting a flu shot.
Your healthcare provider can give you more information.
What are the risks from inactivated or recombinant influenza vaccine?
- Pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, fever, muscle aches, and headache may occur after the flu shot.
- There may be a very small increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) after the inactivated influenza vaccine (the flu shot).
Young children who get the flu shot along with the pneumococcal vaccine (PCV13) and / or DTaP vaccine at the same time may be slightly more likely to have a seizure caused by fever. Tell your healthcare provider if a child receiving the flu vaccine has ever had a seizure.
People sometimes pass out after medical procedures, including vaccination. Tell your provider if you feel dizzy or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.
As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance that a vaccine will cause a serious allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.
What if there is a serious reaction?
An allergic reaction could occur after the vaccinated person leaves the clinic. If you see signs of a severe allergic reaction (hives, swelling of the face and throat, trouble breathing, fast heartbeat, dizziness or weakness), call 9-1-1 and get the person to the nearest hospital.
If you have other signs that concern you, call your healthcare provider.
Adverse reactions should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Reaction Reporting System (VAERS). Your healthcare provider will usually file this report or you can do it yourself. Visit the VAERS website at www.vaers.hhs.gov or call 1-800-822-7967. VAERS is only for reporting reactions, and VAERS staff do not give medical advice.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines.
How can I learn more?
- Ask your healthcare provider.
- Call your local or state health department.
- Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Call 1-800-232-4636 ( 1-800-CDC-INFO) or visit CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov/flu.
Inactivated Influenza Vaccine Information Statement. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Immunization Program. 8/15/2019. 42 U.S.C. section 300aa-26
- Flu Vaccine
Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.