Flu Vaccination by Jet Injector

What is a jet injector and how is it used for vaccination?

A jet injector is a medical device used for vaccination that uses a high-pressure, narrow stream of fluid to penetrate the skin instead of a needle. Jet injectors may be powered by compressed gas or springs. The devices were invented in the 1960s and were used successfully in mass vaccination efforts to prevent smallpox and other diseases. These devices have also been used to vaccinate members of the armed forces.

What flu vaccines are available via jet injector this season?

One flu vaccine, AFLURIA Quadrivalent®, is approved for use with a jet injector this season. AFLURIA Quadrivalent® (i.e., four ingredient) flu vaccine provides protection against an influenza A(H1N1) virus, and influenza A(H3N2) virus and two influenza B viruses. For more information, see What You Should Know for the 2023-2024 Season.

Who can be vaccinated with flu vaccine administered by jet injector?

Flu vaccination with AFLURIA Quadrivalent® via jet injector is approved for use in people 18 through 64 years. AFLURIA Quadrivalent also may be given by needle and syringe, for people 6 months and older.

How effective is flu vaccine administered by jet injector?

Clinical trial data used in FDA’s approval of the jet injector (i.e., the PharmaJet Stratis Needle-Free Injector used with the previous trivalent AFLURIA®) demonstrated that vaccination using this jet injector method provided a non-inferior (i.e., similar) level of immune protection compared to the same flu vaccine administered via traditional flu shot.

What side effects are associated with flu vaccination administered via jet injection?

In adults 18 through 64 years, the most common injection-site reactions observed in a clinical study of the jet injector flu vaccine up to 7 days post-vaccination were tenderness, swelling, pain, redness, itching and bruising. The most common side effects within this period were myalgia (muscle pain), malaise (i.e., the feeling of discomfort or unease like when you are first getting sick), and headache.

Does flu vaccine administered by jet injector contain thimerosal?

Yes. The Afluria Quadrivalent® formulation used for administration by jet injector comes in multi-dose vials, which contain thimerosal. For more information, see Thimerosal Flu Vaccines.

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