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There are some people who should not use the vaccines for prevention of the flu, but it is a small minority of people. Most people should be vaccinated annually against the flu. The shot is actually less of a problem than the LAIV (Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine) in most cases, since it is made from completely inactivated virus particles ("dead" vaccine). Some of the contraindications to flu shots are:

  • Infants under 6 months old since their immature immune systems can not handle it.
  • Some people have severe allergic reactions to the vaccines, which is rare, but severe problems from vaccinations are usually due to allergy. The extremely rare deaths after a vaccination are usually due to anaphylaxis caused by an allergy. [However, new evidence shows that those with Allergies to eggs may be able to be safely vaccinated now, according to the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. See the related question below for more information about that.]
  • Anyone who has, in the past, had GBS [Guillain-Barré Syndrome] within 6 weeks of taking a flu vaccine, since they may have the same problems again.

Those are about the only reasons not to get a flu vaccination at all. There are precautions and specifications of situations when the LAIV type of flu vaccines (nasal mist) should not be used since the weakened, but live, virus in the nasal vaccines can cause too strong of a reaction or other problems in some people. This type is to be used only by healthy people aged 2 - 49. Some of the people who should not use the LAIV vaccines are:

  • children younger than 2 and adults 50 years and older,
  • pregnant women,
  • anyone with a weakened immune system,
  • children younger than 5 years with asthma or one or more episodes of wheezing during the past year,
  • anyone with certain muscle or nerve disorders (such as cerebral palsy) that can lead to breathing or swallowing problems,
  • anyone in close contact with a person with a severely weakened immune system (requiring care in a protected environment, such as a bone marrow transplant unit),
  • children or adolescents on long-term aspirin treatment,
  • anyone with a long-term health problem such as
    • Heart disease
    • kidney or liver disease
    • lung disease
    • metabolic disease such as Diabetes
    • asthma
    • anemia and other blood disorders
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โˆ™ 2011-10-24 15:10:14
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Q: Why should some people never get the flu shot?
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