College of DuPage Nursing Student Christina Kovach wrote for Healthy Lombard that with flu season upon us, it important to understand the importance of receiving the flu vaccine. The flu season begins in October, peaks in December, and may continue through May. During the 2017-2018 flu season according to the CDC (2018), health care personnel and infants who are 6 months and older should get an annual flu vaccine. The strains in the trivalent flu vaccine during 2018 protect against two influenzas A strains—H1N1 and H3N2—and one influenza strain. The influenza outbreak in the early 20th century quickly turned into a pandemic outbreak where millions of people died; influenza may spread quickly simply by an infected person coughing, sneezing, or even talking and exposing another individual.
The types of vaccinations available for influenza include: a live attenuated influenza vaccine, inactivated influenza vaccine, and egg-free vaccinations.
The live attenuated vaccine can be given through an intramuscular (IM) injection or nasal spray. According to the CDC, it is an option for the upcoming season in individual’s ages 2 through 49 years”. This live vaccination should not be administered to a pregnant woman or those who have had a serious reaction to the influenza vaccine in the past. Individuals that receive this live vaccine, may experience symptoms of the flu.
The inactivated influenza vaccination is administered as an IM injection. Individuals with non-severe egg allergies can receive an age-appropriate influenza vaccine and no longer have to be monitored for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine. Influenza vaccinations should begin at about 6 months of age and older. High dose influenza vaccines should be given to anyone who is over 65 years of age. The normal dose influenza vaccine should be given to anyone that is younger than 65 years of age.
The egg-free vaccinations are given to anyone who has an allergy to egg productions or any part of the influenza vaccine. People who have a severe egg allergies should be vaccinated with an egg-free product or in a medical setting and be supervised by a HCP who is able to recognize and managed severe allergic conditions. The personnel administering the vaccine should know the allergy prior and verify about the allergy.
Kaufmann, R. (2015). Save Lives by Getting a Flu Vaccine. ASBN Update, 19(6), 14. Retrieved from