Diseases and Conditions > Influenza (Flu) > Who Should Get A Flu Vaccine?
Who Should Get A Flu Vaccine?

In general, anyone who wants to reduce their chances of getting the flu can get vaccinated. However, certain people should get vaccinated each year. They are either people who are at high risk of having serious flu complications or people who live with or care for those at high risk for serious complications. People who should get vaccinated each year are:
 
People who should get vaccinated each year are:
 
 
1.) People at high risk for complications from the flu:

• People 65 years and older;

• People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that house those with long-term illnesses;

• Adults and children 6 months to 18 years with chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma;

• Adults and children 6 months and older who needed regular medical care or were in a hospital during the previous year because of a metabolic disease (like diabetes), chronic kidney disease, or weakened immune system (including immune system problems caused by medicines or by infection with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV/AIDS]);

• Children 6 months to 18 years of age who are on long-term aspirin therapy. (Children given aspirin while they have influenza are at risk of Reye syndrome.);

• Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season;

• All children 6 months through 18 years of age.
 
• People with any condition that can compromise respiratory function or the handling of respiratory secretions (that is, a condition that makes it hard to breathe or swallow, such as brain injury or disease, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other nerve or muscle disorders.)
2.) People 50 to 64 years of age. Because nearly one-third of people 50 to 64 years of age in the United States have one or more medical conditions that place them at increased risk for serious flu complications, vaccination is recommended for all persons aged 50 to 64.
 
3.) People who can transmit flu to others at high risk for complications. Any person in close contact with someone in a high-risk group (see above) should get vaccinated. This includes all health-care workers, household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children 6 to 59 months of age, and close contacts of people 65 years and older.
 
4.) People who are morbidly obese.  Morbid obesity is defined as a Body mass index (BMI) > 40.

 
Persons Who Can Transmit Influenza to Those at High Risk
Persons who are clinically or subclinically infected can transmit influenza virus to persons at high risk for complications from influenza. The following groups should be vaccinated:
 
• physicians, nurses, and other personnel in both hospital and outpatient-care settings, including medical emergency response workers (e.g., paramedics and emergency medical technicians);

• employees of nursing homes and chronic-care facilities who have contact with patients or residents;

• persons who provide home care to persons in groups at high risk; and

• household contacts and out of home care givers of children less than 6 months of age.
 
Who Should Not Get a Flu Vaccine.
 
The following groups should not get a flu shot before talking with their doctor:
 
• People who are have a severe allergy to hens’ eggs;

• People who have had a severe reaction to a flu shot in the past; or

• People who previously developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) in the 6 weeks after getting a flu vaccine.