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Influenza Vaccine Information

During flu season, an annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you get seasonal flu and lessen the chance that you spread it to others.  When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.

The 2013-2014 influenza vaccines will be available in two formulations: trivalent or quadrivalent.  Trivalent vaccines protect against the influenza A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)-like virus, the influenza A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2)-like virus, and the influenza B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus.  In addition to the three components in the trivalent vaccine, the quadrivalent vaccine also contains influenza B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

A flu vaccine is needed every year because flu viruses constantly change over time.  The flu vaccine is formulated each year to keep up with flu viruses as they change.  Also a yearly flu shot is needed because a person’s immune protection from being vaccinated decreases over a year and yearly vaccination provides the best protection against the flu through the entire flu season.

There are five different vaccines available this season: the regular flu shot for people 6 months and older; a high-dose flu shot for people 65 years and older; an intradermal (given in the skin) flu shot for people 18 to 64 years of age; a recombinant hemagglutinin vaccine for people 18 to 49 years of age; and the vaccine that is given as a nasal spray for healthy, non-pregnant people 2 to 49 years of age.

The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated against flu as soon as the 2013-2014 flu vaccine becomes available in their community and continue throughout the flu season.  Influenza seasons are unpredictable and can begin as early as October.

The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated each year.  Certain people should get vaccinated who are at higher risk of having complications or who are in close contact to those at higher risk.

These people include:

  • Children younger than 5 years old, especially those younger than 2 years old
  • Pregnant women
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease (not including high blood pressure)
  • People who are morbidly obese (body-mass index is 40 or greater)
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
    • Health care workers  
    • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
    • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

Vaccine Fact Sheets and Resources 

Flu Shot Fact Sheet (CDC)

 Flu Shot Hoja Informativa 2013-2014 (CDC)

Flu Mist Fact Sheet (CDC)

 Flu Mist Hoja Informativa (CDC)

Pneumococcal Vaccine Fact Sheet 

 Pneumococcal Vaccine Hoja Informativa

Fluzone High-Dose Fact Sheet (FDA) 

Fluzone High-Dose Information (CDC) 

Fluzone Intradermal Fact Sheet (PR Newswire)

Fluzone Intradermal Information (CDC)


Life is a Delicate Balance Vaccine Poster

You Need a Flu Vaccine: No Excuses Poster 

Who Needs a Flu Vaccine Poster 

 ¿Quién necesita vacunarse? 

No Flu Onboard – Flu Vaccine for Pregnant Women Poster

 Aqui No Hay Influenza 

OSDH Immunizations Information

Health Professionals

Find a location near you to receive a flu vaccine 

External Resources

Influenza Vaccine Information (CDC)

Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Resources for Health Professionals (CDC)

Influenza Vaccines – United States, 2013 – 2014 Influenza Season (CDC)


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