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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Influenza Vaccine Facts

Thursday, June 4, 2009
The influenza shot is an inactivated or killed vaccine and is usually changed each year to keep up with the most common strains of the influenza virus that are circulating and most likely to cause infections.

The influenza vaccine is available for children over the age of six months. To produce a good response, the first year that they get it, children under nine years of age need two doses of the vaccine given at least one month apart. Children over nine years and younger children who have previously had a flu shot only need a single injection each year.

Flu shot reactions or side effects are usually mild, and may include soreness, redness or swelling where the shot was given, fever, and/or aches, and usually only last for 1-2 days. Children under 3 years should receive a 0.25ml dose of inactivated flu vaccine. Children over 3 years and adults should receive a dose of 0.5ml.

More serious side effects can rarely include a life-threatening allergic reaction.