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2009-2010 Inactivated Influenza Vaccine (cont.)

Some people should talk with a doctor before getting influenza vaccine.

Some people should not get inactivated influenza vaccine or should wait before getting it.

  • Tell your doctor if you have any severe (life-threatening) allergies. Allergic reactions to influenza vaccine are rare.
    - Influenza vaccine virus is grown in eggs. People with a severe egg allergy should not get the vaccine.
    - A severe allergy to any vaccine component is also a reason to not get the vaccine.
    - If you have had a severe reaction after a previous dose of influenza vaccine, tell your doctor.
  • Tell your doctor if you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS). You may be able to get the vaccine, but your doctor should help you make the decision.
  • 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 or nurse about whether to reschedule the vaccination. People with a mild illness can usually get the vaccine.

What are the risks from inactivated influenza vaccine?

A vaccine, like any medicine, could cause a serious problem, such as a severe allergic reaction. But the risk of any vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.

Serious problems from influenza vaccine are very rare. The viruses in inactivated influenza vaccine have been killed, so you cannot get influenza from the vaccine.

Mild problems:

  • soreness, redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • hoarseness; sore, red or itchy eyes; cough
  • fever
  • aches,

If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1-2 days.

If these problems occur, they usually begin soon after the shot and last 1-2 days.

Severe problems:
  • Life-threatening allergic reactions to vaccines are very rare. If they do occur, it is usually within a few minutes to a few hours after the shot.
  • In 1976, an earlier type of swine flu vaccine was associated with cases of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). Since then, flu vaccines have not been clearly linked to GBS. However, if there is a risk of GBS from current flu vaccines, it would be no more than 1 or 2 cases per million people vaccinated. This is much lower than the risk of severe influenza, which can be prevented by vaccination.



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