standard-title Influenza Vaccination

Influenza Vaccination

Influenza Vaccine Options

  • Injection – This is an inactivated version and does NOT contain any live influenza virus. It is administered by an injection with a needle and is what you commonly hear called a “flu shot.” Most of the population is eligible for this version of the flu vaccine.
  • Intranasal – This is a nasal spray that contains a weakened, live influenza virus. It is also called live, attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV). Because this is attenuated (weakened), the virus doesn’t make you sick, but it actives your immune system to help create immunity to 4 different influenza viruses. Since this version of the vaccine is not right for every person, your health care provider will help determine if you should receive the injection or the intranasal vaccine. This intranasal vaccination is available for those 2 years old through 49 years old.


Below are some common questions regarding the influenza vaccine.

What is Influenza?

Influenza, commonly called the flu, is a contagious disease caused by the influenza virus which can be spread through close contact with those infected, coughing, and sneezing. The flu kills thousands of people each year in the United States. The elderly, young children, pregnant women, people with multiple health conditions, and those with weakened immune systems are much more prone to the flu and the disease can make them much sicker.

What are the symptoms of influenza?

Signs and symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, runny or stuffy nose, or diarrhea. The symptoms begin suddenly and can last several days to over a week.

Who should get the influenza vaccine?

The flu vaccine is recommended each year for most people from 6 months older and older.

Who should not get the flu vaccine?

There are a few contraindications for getting the flu vaccination and those include severe, life-threatening allergies, such as an allergy to eggs. Let your health care provider know of any allergies that you have. If you have ever been diagnosed with Guillian-Barré syndrome (GBS), you should NOT get his vaccine. Also, if you are not feeling well as the time of vaccination, you should wait until you feel better and come back for the vaccine.

Are there risk or side effects of getting the flu vaccine?

There are always risks with getting any vaccination or medication; however, reactions for the flu vaccination are typically mild and rarely serious. Symptoms can last for 1-2 days after administration.

Risks and side effects vary between the two different types of vaccines. the risks / side effects are listed below:

Injection (Inactivated flu vaccine):

  • Dizziness or light-headed feeling briefly after the injection
  • Soreness, redness or swelling at the site of administration
  • Hoarseness
  • Sore, red, or itchy eyes
  • Fever
  • Aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Allergic reactions
  • Other side effects can also occur and vary from person to person

Intranasal (Live attenuated flu vaccine)

(Children/Adolescents 2-17 years old):

  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Wheezing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Occasional vomiting or diarrhea
  • Other side effects can also occur and vary from person to person

(Adults 18-49 years old):

  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Other side effects can also occur and vary from person to person


How long does it take for the Flu Vaccine to work?

You are not protected until about 2 weeks after administration until your immune system develops the needed antibodies against the influenza viruses. This protection only last up to a year.

How often do I need to get the Influenza Vaccine?

It is recommended you receive the Flu Vaccine each year. This is because the vaccines only last up to one year and the influenza strains changes from year to year.

Can you get the Flu form the Flu Vaccine?

No, the Influenza Vaccine does NOT cause you to get the flu. Those who get sick shortly after receiving the vaccine are typically exposed during the two weeks after receiving the vaccine before your body is protected. Additionally, the flu vaccine does not protect you from 100% of the influenza viruses. However, it is our best defense against the influenza virus.

How can I learn more about the Influenza Virus?

If you still have other questions or want to learn more, you can do the following:

  • Contact the Centers or Disease Control (CDC) – 1-800-232-4636
  • Ask your doctor or health care provider during your appointment
  • Call us at Gulf Coast Immediate Care Center – (850) 244-3211
Download the 2013-2014 CDC Vaccine Information Statements:

Influenza Vaccine Injection (Inactivated)

Influenza Vaccine Intranasal (Live, Attenuated)

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