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Who should get a flu vaccine? | Print |

People who should receive flu vaccine include those at risk of complications if they get influenza disease, and adults and children who live, work, or may come in contact with people at high risk. These groups specifically include:

  • All children6-59 months of age
  • Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season;
  • Persons aged 2-64 years with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease (including asthma), kidney disease, or diabetes
  • Children and adolescents (aged 6 months--18 years) who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy, to prevent the risk of Reyes’ syndrome;
  • Persons with certain muscle or nerve disorders (such as seizure disorders or severe cerebral palsy) that can lead to breathing or swallowing problems,
  • Persons with weakened immune systems due to HIV/AIDS or other diseases affecting the immune system, long term treatment with drugs such as steroids or cancer treatment with x-rays or drugs.
  • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities that house persons of any age who have chronic medical conditions; and
  • All persons aged 65 years and older, with or without chronic medical conditions
  • Persons aged 50 - 64 years should be vaccinated because of an increased risk for influenza-associated clinic, emergency department, or hospital visits, particularly if they have a high-risk medical condition


Flu vaccine is strongly recommended for:

  • Healthy household contacts and caregivers of children aged 0--59 months and persons at high risk for severe complications from influenza and
  • Health care workers.
  • The CDC has not recommended any prioritization of flu shots this year, so anyone can receive flu vaccine from Public Health centers or other flu vaccine providers, whether you are healthy or you have long-term medical conditions. You may call any of our Public Health centers now for appointments beginning October 30, 2006. For Flu information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), please click here.

This is also a good time to check your immunization record for the date of your last tetanus-diphtheria (or Td) booster. A pertussis containing vaccine, Tdap, was licensed in September, 2005 and is available for anyone 11-64 years old who has not had a Td booster in at least 2 years. This can be given at the same visit as you flu shot if possible. Td vaccine was in short supply in 2001 and 2002, and many people were unable to get the dose they needed at that time. Now that the Td supply has returned to normal, you should be able to get the Td or Tdap dose you missed.

Important Reminder: Persons at high risk for influenza-related complications may also need immunization against pneumococcal pneumonia. This vaccine is given only once to most people, with a one-time revaccination recommended for people with certain medical conditions. For information about the pneumococcal vaccine, go to http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pneumo/default.htm