1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Do You Need a Flu Shot?

Flu Shots - Your Best Option for Flu Prevention


Updated March 03, 2013

For your best chance at flu prevention, most people can benefit from getting a flu shot every year, but certain groups of people need it more than others. Currently, the recommendations are that everyone over the age of 6 months should have an annual flu vaccine. It is especially important for people in certain high risk groups, including:

  • Children ages 6 months to 18 years
  • Adults over the age of 50
  • Anyone with a chronic illness such as asthma, heart disease or HIV and those with weakened immune systems
  • Family members or caregivers of infants under 6 months old and people with severely compromised immune systems
  • Women who are pregnant or will be pregnant during flu season
  • Health care workers and people who work in direct contact with the public, such as firefighters, police officers and paramedics

A few groups of people should not get a flu shot. These include:

  • People with a severe allergy to eggs - talk to your health care provider or allergist to determine if the vaccine is safe for you. Typical egg allergies are no longer a reason to avoid the flu vaccine.
  • Anyone who has had a serious allergic reaction to a flu shot before
  • Infants under 6 months old
  • People with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome within 6 weeks of getting a flu shot
  • Anyone who has a fever at the time of vaccination
  • Those with severely compromised immune systems (such as after a bone marrow or organ transplant) should speak with their doctor about the benefits and risks of a flu vaccine

If you have any question about whether or not a flu vaccine is right for you, discuss it with your healthcare provider.

For more tips on flu prevention, check:

Top Four Tips for Preventing Colds and the Flu


”Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine.” Seasonal Flu 16 July 08. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 30 July 08.

Related Video
Bird Flu 101
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Cold & Flu
  4. Flu
  5. Flu Vaccine Questions
  6. Do You Need a Flu Shot?
  7. Do You Need a Flu Shot?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.