The Afluria vaccine is made with inactivated influenza viruses grown in chicken eggs. Those allergic to eggs or any other component of the vaccine should not receive the vaccine, officials said.
The most common side effects are tenderness, pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, and headache, fatigue and muscle aches.
Flu season in the United States can start in October and last until May. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized with influenza each year in the country, and about 36,000 people die annually from complications from the disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC recommends that people should get their flu shot starting in September, but it's worthwhile to get a shot as late as January.
The CDC says anyone looking to avoid the flu should get vaccinated. But those at high risk for complications from the flu should get a shot. Those people include: children aged 6 months to 5 years old; pregnant women; people 50 years of age and older; people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions; and people who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
Also urged to get vaccinated are people who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including health-care workers.
To learn more about the flu, visit the CDC.
SOURCES: Sept. 28, 2007, teleconference with Jesse L. Goodman, M.D., M.P.H., director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, Md.; Norman Baylor, Ph.D., director, office of vaccines research and review, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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