Who should be vaccinated with the flu shot this season?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, priority groups for vaccination with inactivated influenza vaccine this season are:

  • all children ages 6-23 months;
  • adults ages 65 or older;
  • people ages 2 to 64 years with underlying chronic medical conditions;
  • all women who will be pregnant during influenza season;
  • residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities;
  • children 6 months to 8 years on chronic aspirin therapy;
  • health care workers with direct patient care;
  • out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children younger than 6 months.

Other vaccination recommendations

• Healthy people who are 5-49 years and not pregnant, including health care workers (except those who care for severely immunocompromised patients in special care units) and people who are caring for children younger than 6 months, should be encouraged to be vaccinated with intranasally administered live attenuated influenza vaccine.

• People in priority groups should be encouraged to search locally for vaccine if their usual health care provider does not have vaccine available.

• Many children younger than 9 require two doses of vaccine if they previously have not been vaccinated. All children at high risk of complications from influenza, including those ages 6-23 months, who present for vaccination should be vaccinated with a first or second dose, depending on vaccination status. However, doses should not be held in reserve to ensure that two doses will be available. Rather, available vaccine should be used to vaccinate people in priority groups on a first-come first-serve basis.

Vaccination of people in nonpriority groups

People who are not included in one of the priority groups should be informed about the urgent vaccine supply situation and asked to forego or defer vaccination.

Who should not get flu vaccine

People in the following groups should not get flu vaccine before talking with their physicians:

  • People who have a severe allergy (i.e., anaphylactic allergic reaction) to hens’ eggs.
  • People who previously developed Guillain-Barré syndrome during the six weeks after getting a flu shot.