Ingredient

Influenza Vaccine, Inactivated

Why is it prescribed?

Influenza vaccination is recommended for all individuals aged 6 months and older - especially people at high risk of influenza-related complications.  These include: infants aged 6 to 23 months; adults and children with chronic heart and lung disorders; people of any age who are residents of nursing homes or chronic care facilities; people over the age of 65; adults and children with chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus, cancer, kidney disease; anemia; immunosuppressed individuals (e.g. HIV infected people); pregnant women; children and adolescents (6 months to 18 years) with conditions treated for long periods with aspirin (e.g. ASA) and people at high risk for complications who are traveling to a destination where the influenza virus will be circulating.

The following people who have potential of transmitting influenza to those at high risk should be vaccinated: health care providers; those who provide services within closed or relatively closed settings to persons at high risk; household contacts of people at high risk; those who provide child care; people who provide essential community services; people in direct contact with poultry infected with avian influenza. 


Influenza vaccine is generally well tolerated and most people will experience only minor unwanted effects. The frequency and severity of these effects depends mainly on the individual's susceptibility. Possible unwanted effects include:

  • soreness at the injection site
  • fever
  • feeling unwell
  • shivering
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • sweating
  • muscle joint pain
  • warmth


Rare:

  • nerve pain
  • numbness and tingling
  • seizures
  • blood disorders
  • allergic reactions

 


The influenza vaccine causes the body to produce antibodies against the virus. This means that when your body is exposed to the influenza virus, your body is able to defend itself. The antibodies stop the attacking virus. Influenza viruses change all the time, so different vaccines are made every year.


Influenza vaccine should not be given to:

  • people who have had an anaphylactic reaction (e.g., throat constriction, difficulty swallowing) to the influenza vaccine
  • people who have had an anaphylactic reaction to any of the vaccine components, with the exception of egg 
  • people who have developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) within six weeks of influenza vaccination

Influenza vaccination should be postponed:

  • in serious acute illness - until symptoms have abated. Immunization should not be delayed because of minor acute illness, with or without fever.

 

Use in pregnancy: recommended
Use while breastfeeding: Evidence indicates that the vaccine is safe for breastfeeding mothers and their infants. 

 


Page Last Updated: 25/11/2015