CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting
against flu viruses
Even though the vaccine composition is still the same, everyone needs to get
vaccinated with this season’s vaccine because immunity from last season’s vaccine will
People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women,
people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart and lung disease
and people 65 years and older.
Children 6 months through 8 years of age who did not receive at least one dose of the
2010-2011 vaccine, or for whom it is not certain whether 2010-2011 vaccine was
4 received, should receive 2 doses of the 2011-2012 seasonal vaccine, administered at
least 4 weeks apart.
There are two types of vaccines:
The “flu shot” — an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a
needle, usually in the arm.
There are three different flu shots available:
o a regular flu shot approved for people ages 6 months and older
o a high-dose flu shot approved for people 65 and older, and
o the new intradermal flu shot approved for people 18 through 64 years of
The age indications for the different flu shots vary, but all may be given to people
with chronic medical conditions.
The nasal-spray flu vaccine — a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that
is given as a nasal spray (sometimes called LAIV for “Live Attenuated Influenza
Vaccine”). The viruses in the nasal spray vaccine do not cause the flu. LAIV is
approved for use in most healthy* people 2 through 49 years of age who are not
pregnant. (See http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/nasalspray.htm for a complete list of
those who can and cannot receive the nasal spray flu vaccine.)
For more information, check out CMS.gov and CDC.gov