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Influenza (live) vaccine

Some people should not receive LAIV.

LAIV is not recommended for everyone. The following people should get the inactivated vaccine (flu shot) instead:

  • Adults 50 years of age and older or children from 6 months through 23 months of age. (Children younger than 6 months should not get either influenza vaccine.)
  • Children younger than 5 years with asthma or one or more episodes of wheezing within the past year.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People who have long-term health problems with:
    • heart disease
    • kidney or liver disease
    • lung disease
    • metabolic disease, such as diabetes
    • asthma
    • anemia, and other blood disorders
  • Anyone with certain muscle or nerve disorders (such as seizure disorders or cerebral palsy) that can lead to breathing or swallowing problems.
  • Anyone with a weakened immune system.
  • Anyone in close contact with someone whose immune system is so weak they require care in a protected environment (such as a bone marrow transplant unit). Close contacts of other people with a weakened immune system (such as those with HIV) may receive LAIV. Healthcare personnel in neonatal intensive care units or oncology clinics may receive LAIV.
  • Children or adolescents on long-term aspirin treatment.

Tell your doctor if you have any severe (life-threatening) allergies, including a severe allergy to eggs. A severe allergy to any vaccine component may be a reason not to get the vaccine. Allergic reactions to influenza vaccine are rare.

Tell your doctor if you ever had a severe reaction after a dose of influenza vaccine.

Tell your doctor if you ever had Guillain-Barré syndrome (a severe paralytic illness also called GBS). Your doctor will help you decide whether the vaccine is recommended for you.

Tell your doctor if you have gotten any other vaccines in the past 4 weeks.

Anyone with a nasal condition serious enough to make breathing difficult, such as a very stuffy nose, should get the flu shot instead.

People who are moderately or severely ill should usually wait until they recover before getting flu vaccine. If you are ill, talk to your doctor about whether to reschedule the vaccination. People with a mild illness can usually get the vaccine.

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