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Influenza vaccine

CDC recommends use of the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine or IIV) and the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-2017. Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people. Factors that can determine a person's suitability for vaccination, or vaccination with a particular vaccine, include a person's age, health (current and past) and any allergies to flu vaccine or its components.

Trivalent flu vaccines include:

  • Standard-dose trivalent shots (IIV3) that are manufactured using virus grown in eggs. Different flu shots are approved for different age groups. Most flu shots are given in the arm (muscle) with a needle. One trivalent vaccine formulation can be given with a jet injector, for persons aged 18 through 64 years.
  • A high-dose trivalent shot, approved for people 65 and older.
  • A recombinant trivalent shot that is egg-free, approved for people 18 years and older.
  • A trivalent flu shot made with adjuvant (an ingredient of a vaccine that helps create a stronger immune response in the patient’s body), approved for people 65 years of age and older (new this season).

Quadrivalent flu vaccines include:

  • Quadrivalent flu shots approved for use in different age groups.
  • An intradermal quadrivalent flu shot, which is injected into the skin instead of the muscle and uses a much smaller needle than the regular flu shot. It is approved for people 18 through 64 years of age.
  • A quadrivalent flu shot containing virus grown in cell culture, which is approved for people 4 years of age and older (new this season).

Who should get vaccinated this season?

Influenza Vaccine

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 when CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices

(ACIP) ( https://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r100224.htm) voted for “universal” flu vaccination in the United States to expand protection against the flu to more people. Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. See People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications( https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/high_risk.htm) for a full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk

While the flu can make anyone sick, certain people are at high risk for serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia and bronchitis, which can lead to hospitalization or even death. The flu can also make long-term health problems worse, even if they are well managed. Groups of people at high risk include the following:

  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • Adults 65 years of age and older
  • Pregnant women (and women up to two weeks postpartum)
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives[729 KB]
  • And people who have certain chronic medical conditions including
  • Asthma
  • Neurological and neuro developmental conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability (mental retardation), moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury]
  • Chronic lung disease (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD] and cystic fibrosis)
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease)
  • Blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease )
  • Endocrine disorders (such as diabetes mellitus)
  • Kidney disorders
  • Liver disorders
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders)
  • Weakened immune system due to disease or medication (such as people with HIV or AIDS, or cancer, or those on chronic steroids)
  • People younger than 19 years of age who are receiving aspirin therapy
  • People with extreme obesity (body mass index (BMI) of 40 or greater)
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