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When The Flu Shot Should be Avoided

  • Category: Blog
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  • Written By: St. John's Medical Center
When The Flu Shot Should be Avoided

One of the best ways to prevent the flu virus is through the flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention (CDC) suggests that everyone six months or older should get vaccinated against the flu every season. However, there are a few exceptions when certain flu vaccines are not recommended, and in even smaller instances, some may not be able to get vaccinated at all. Here’s what you should know:

Those Under Six Months of Age

For parents of infants, your primary care physician will discuss the recommended vaccine schedule for your child. When it comes to the flu vaccine, those six months or younger are unable to receive the option, but their risk for the virus is higher, making proper protection vital. Once your child reaches the six-month mark, especially in the winter months, you should consider getting them a flu shot.

Some Flu Vaccines Vary by Age

There are a variety of flu vaccines out there, and the type you receive could vary depending on your age. According to the CDC. the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV) is approved for people aged 18 years and older, and the adjuvanted and high-dose inactivated vaccines are approved for people aged 65 years and older.

When a Life-Threatening Allergy is Present

For those with severe allergies to specific ingredients that might be in the shot, such as gelatin or other antibiotics, should ask for a full ingredients list before getting vaccinated. However, it is important to note that an allergy to eggs is not generally a reason to skip out on receiving the vaccine.

Who Shouldn’t Get the Live Vaccine

While there are many individuals who would be eligible for the inactivated flu vaccine, they may not be suited for the live vaccine. It is recommended that people who may be pregnant, under the age of 2, or otherwise immunocompromised should not get the live version of the vaccine.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

The best course of action when it comes to getting a flu vaccine is to speak to your doctor about your risk and options. If you have food allergies, are unsure about the type of vaccine to receive, or have ever suffered from Guillain-Barré Syndrome, you should discuss with your primary care doctor if a flu shot is a good option. It is also important to note that having a cold is not a reason to delay getting the vaccine.

Further Preventive Measures

If you are unable to get vaccinated or have family members who can’t, be sure to practice proper prevention so that the illness doesn’t spread. Washing your hands often, avoiding large crowds when feeling ill, and keeping active along with a well-balanced diet can all help you get past flu season with ease.

Primary Care in Jackson, Wilson, and Teton County

From family medicine to internal medicine, our Primary Care Providers (PCP) are here to openly listen to your concerns and work with you to achieve overall better health and wellness. Visit our website to see the types of primary care we provide or to find a doctor today!