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Who should who should not get a flu shot

Published October 12. 2013 09:00AM

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge everyone to get flu shots, especially those who:

• are aged 6 months through 4 years (59 months);

• are aged 50 years and older;

• have chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus);

• are immunosuppressed (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by human immunodeficiency virus);

• are or will be pregnant during the influenza season;

• are aged 6 months through 18 years and receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who therefore might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection;

• are residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities;

• are American Indians/Alaska Natives;

• are morbidly obese (body-mass index is 40 or greater);

• are health-care personnel;

• are household contacts and caregivers of children aged younger than 5 years and adults aged 50 years and older, with particular emphasis on vaccinating contacts of children aged younger than 6 months; and

• are household contacts and caregivers of persons with medical conditions that put them at higher risk for severe complications from influenza.

Those who should not get flu shots:

• People who have ever had a severe allergic reaction to influenza vaccine.

• People with a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS) that occurred after receiving influenza vaccine and who are not at risk for severe illness from influenza should generally not receive vaccine. Tell your doctor if you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Your doctor will help you decide whether the vaccine is recommended for you.

• People who are moderately or severely ill with or without fever should usually wait until they recover before getting flu vaccine. If you are ill, talk to your doctor about whether to reschedule the vaccination. People with a mild illness can usually get the vaccine.

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