Vaccination: Who Should Do It, Who Should Not and Who Should Take Precautions
Note: For the 2016-2017 season, CDC recommends use of the flu shot (inactivated influenza vaccine or IIV) and the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-2017. The 2016-2017 influenza vaccination recommendations are now available.
Everyone 6 months and older is recommended for annual flu vaccination with rare exception. For the 2016-2017 season, CDC recommends use of injectable flu vaccines--inactivated influenza vaccine (or IIV) or the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV). The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2016-2017. This page lists all people recommended to get a flu vaccine, who can and can’t get the flu shot and who should take precautions or talk to their doctor or other health care professional before vaccination. Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have any questions regarding which flu vaccine is best for you and your family.
Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk for serious flu complications from influenza.
People who can get the flu shot:
People who can't get the flu shot:
People who should talk to their doctor before getting the flu shot:
Note: There are certain flu shots that have different age indications. For example, people younger than 65 years of age should not get the high-dose flu shot or the flu shot with adjuvant, and people who are younger than 18 years old or older than 64 years old should not get the intradermal flu shot.
When vaccine supply is limited, vaccination efforts should focus on delivering vaccination to the following people (no hierarchy is implied by order of listing):
- Children aged 6 months through 4 years (59 months);
- People aged 50 years and older;*
- People with chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus);
- People who are immunosuppressed (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by Human Immunodeficiency Virus);
- Women who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season and women up to two weeks after delivery;
- People who 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;
- People who are residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities;
- American Indians/Alaska Natives;
- People with extreme obesity (body-mass index [BMI] is 40 or greater);
- Health care personnel;
- Household contacts and caregivers of children 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
- Household contacts and caregivers of people with medical conditions that put them at higher risk for severe complications from influenza.
*Among adults, complications, hospitalizations, and deaths due to influenza are generally most common among those 65 years old and over. However, adults 50 years old and over are a priority group for vaccination because this group may be more likely to have chronic medical conditions that put them at higher risk of severe influenza illness.
The recommendations for vaccination of people with egg allergies have changed for 2016-2017.
People with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza vaccine and no longer have to be monitored for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine. People who have severe egg allergies should be vaccinated in a medical setting and be supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.
- Page last reviewed: November 4, 2015
- Page last updated: September 7, 2016
- Content source:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD)
- Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication, Digital Media Branch, Division of Public Affairs