Our office just received our first batch of influenza vaccines, so it’s time for the annual flu shot post.

The seasonal flu vaccine does not protect against novel H1N1 (swine) flu.  Availability of the swine flu vaccine is still at least a couple of months away, and I’ll write about it in more detail when it becomes available.

This year the CDC is recommending flu vaccination for the following people:

  • Children aged 6 months up to their 19th birthday,
  • Women who will be pregnant during this flu season,
  • People 50 years of age and older,
  • People of any age with certain chronic health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease),
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities,
  • Household contacts of person at high risk for complications from influenza,
  • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age,
  • Health care workers, and
  • Anyone else who wants to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with flu or infecting others with flu.

The following people should not receive the vaccine:

  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs,
  • People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination,
  • People who have developed Guillian-Barré syndrome within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine,
  • Children less than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group), and
  • People who have a moderate to severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated).

So if you should receive the vaccine call your doctor’s office (or your local pharmacy or your workplace vaccination program) and get your flu shot.

Learn more:

CDC patient information for the flu shot