Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza (flu) vaccine every season, with rare exceptions.For the 2021-2022 flu season, three main types of influenza vaccines will be available. Two kinds—the inactivated influenza vaccines (IIV4s) and the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV4)—are injectable (flu shots). The third type, the live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV4), is given by nasal spray. Different influenza vaccines are approved for different age groups. Some people (for example, pregnant people and people with some chronic health conditions) should not get some types of influenza vaccines, and some people should not receive influenza vaccines at all (though this is uncommon). Everyone who is vaccinated should receive a vaccine that is appropriate for their age and health status. There is no preference for any one vaccine over another.

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This page includes information on who should and who should not get an influenza vaccine, and who should talk to a health care professional before vaccination. Talk to your health care provider if you have any questions regarding which influenza vaccines are best for you and your family.

All persons aged 6 months of age and older are recommended for annual flu vaccination, with rare exception.

Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications.

Influenza (Flu) Shots

People who can get the flu shot:

Flu shots are appropriate for most people.

Different flu shots are approved for people of different ages. Everyone should get a vaccine that is appropriate for their age.There are standard-dose inactivated influenza vaccines that are approved for people as young as 6 months of age. Some vaccines are only approved for adults. For example, the recombinant influenza vaccine is approved for people aged 18 years and older, and the adjuvanted and high-dose inactivated vaccines are approved for people 65 years and older.Pregnant people and people with certain chronic health conditions can get a flu shot.

People who SHOULD NOT get a flu shot include:

Children younger than 6 months of age are too young to get a flu shot.People who have had a severe allergic reaction to a dose of influenza vaccine should not get that flu vaccine again and might not be able to receive other influenza vaccines. If you have had a severe allergic reaction to an influenza vaccine in the past, it is important to talk with your health care provider to help determine whether vaccination is appropriate for you.

People who should talk to their health care provider before getting a flu shot:

If you have one of the following conditions, talk with your health care provider. He or she can help decide whether vaccination is right for you, and select the best vaccine for your situation:

If you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a severe paralyzing illness, also called GBS). Some people with a history of GBS should not get a flu vaccine. Talk to your doctor about your GBS history.If you had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of any other flu vaccine, talk to your health care provider.If you are not feeling well, talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

People who SHOULD NOT get a nasal spray vaccine:

Children younger than 2 years of age.Adults 50 years of age and older.People who have had a severe allergic reaction to any flu vaccine.Children and adolescents 2 through 17 years of age who are receiving aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications.People with weakened immune systems (immunosuppression) due to any cause, including (but not limited to) immunosuppression from medications, congenital or acquired immune disorders, HIV infection, or asplenia.People who care for or are close contacts of severely immunocompromised persons who require a protected environment (or otherwise avoid contact with those persons for 7 days after getting the nasal spray vaccine).Pregnant people.Children 2 years through 4 years who have asthma or who have had a history of wheezing in the past 12 months.People with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks (communication and leakage of fluid between the space surrounding the brain and the nose, throat, ear, or any other place in the head).People with cochlear implants.

People who should talk to their health care provider before getting a nasal spray vaccine:

If you have one of the following conditions, talk with your health care provider.He or she can help decide whether vaccination is right for you, and select the best vaccine for your situation:

People with asthma 5 years and older.People with moderate or severe acute illness with or without fever.People with Guillain-Barré Syndrome after a previous dose of influenza vaccine.

When vaccine supply is limited, vaccination efforts should focus on delivering vaccination to the following people (no hierarchy is implied by order of listing):

Children aged 6 months through 4 years (59 months);People with chronic pulmonary (including asthma) or cardiovascular (except isolated hypertension), renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus);People who are immunosuppressed due to any cause, including immunosuppression caused by medications or by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection;People who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season and people up to two weeks after delivery;People who are aged 6 months through 18 years who are receiving aspirin or salicylate-containing medications and who might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection;People who are residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;American Indian or Alaska Native persons;People with extreme obesity (body-mass index is 40 or greater);Health care personnel;Household contacts and caregivers of children under 5 years and adults aged 50 years and older; andHousehold contacts and caregivers of people with medical conditions that put them at increased risk for severe illness and complications from influenza.

*Among adults, complications, hospitalizations, and deaths due to influenza are generally most common among people 65 years and older. However, adults 50 years and older are a priority group for vaccination because they may be more likely to have chronic medical conditions that put them at higher risk of severe influenza illness.

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People with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza vaccine (IIV4, RIV4, or LAIV4) that is otherwise appropriate. People who have a history of severe egg allergy (those who have had any symptom other than hives after exposure to egg) should be vaccinated in a medical setting, supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions.Two completely egg-free (ovalbumin-free) flu vaccine options are available: quadrivalentrecombinant vaccineand quadrivalentcell-based vaccine.