There are two main types of the flu vaccine, being the shot or the nasal spray.
The high-dose flu shot
This has been approved for people aged 65 and older. It is a more effective vaccine, containing four times more antigens than the normal vaccine dose. Antigens are known as components of the flu vaccine which stimulate the immune system response, resulting in the production of antibodies.
This vaccine is proven to be more effective with older people as their immune systems are often weaker, thus giving them a potentially higher level of immunity.
The intradermal flu shot
Known as Fluzone Intradermal, it is used for people that are between the ages of 18 and 65 years old. As opposed to the typical flu vaccine being injected into the muscles of the arm, this vaccine makes use of smaller needles that are 90% smaller than the needle used for the regular flu shot and enter just under the skin.
It works just as well as other vaccines, however, side effects are often more commonly experienced.
The side effects at the site of the injection are:
Other side effects can include:
- Muscle aches
All of the above side effects should pass in about three days to a week.
The nasal spray flu vaccine
This is recommended under the following conditions:
- The recipient is NOT pregnant
- The recipient is between the ages of two and 49 years old
- The recipient does not have any chronic medical conditions
The nasal spray results are nearly the same as the normal flu shot, but not as effective. However, certain people who should not receive the nasal spray vaccine are:
- People who are older than 50 years of age
- Children who are younger than 2 years of age
- Children who have had a wheezing episode in the past year and are between the ages of two and five
- Pregnant women
- People who have experienced a severe reaction to the flu vaccine
- People who have asthma
- Children and teenagers who are on aspirin therapy
- People who have a severe egg allergy, mildly allergic people might still be able to be vaccinated once they have spoken to their doctor
- People with nerve or muscle disorders that might make swallowing difficult
- People who have a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)
- People who have a weakened immune system