Afluria

Afluria is a "flu shot" that helps protect most people 5 years of age and older from three common types of the flu virus. Flu viruses change every year, so a yearly shot is the best flu protection.

Afluria Overview

Reviewed: August 10, 2015
Updated: 

Afluria is a "flu shot" that helps protect people who are 5 years of age and older from three common types of "flu" viruses. Afluria is an inactivated vaccine that cannot cause "the flu" but stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies that protect against it. The full effect of the vaccine is generally achieved approximately 3 weeks after vaccination. 

If you are allergic to eggs and egg protein or any ingredients in a flu vaccine, or if you’ve had an allergic reaction to a flu shot in the past, you should talk to your doctor before getting any flu shot, including Afluria. 

For patients who are 5 years of age and older, Afluria is available in an injectable form to be given directly into the muscle by a healthcare professional. For patients who are 18 to 64 years of age, Afluria can be given without a needle, using a special needle-free injector. The device uses a stream of fluid that goes through your skin in about a tenth of a second. This method is proven to provide the same degree of flu protection as a shot that is given with a needle. Afluria is available at many local doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and flu shot clinics.

Common Afluria side effects include pain at the injection site, headache, and fatigue.

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Uses of Afluria

Afluria is a vaccine used to prevent influenza. It is approved for use in persons 5 years of age and older.

Manufacturer

Afluria Drug Class

Afluria is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Afluria

Serious side effects have been reported with Afluria. See the "Afluria Precautions" section.

Common side effects of Afluria include the following:

  • soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • hoarseness
  • sore, red, or itchy eyes
  • cough
  • fever
  • muscle aches
  • headache
  • itching
  • bruising
  • fatigue

This is not a complete list of Afluria side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to VAERS at 1-800-822-7967.

Afluria Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • corticosteroids
  • medicines that suppress your immune system

This is not a complete list of Afluria drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Afluria Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with Afluria including the following:

  • Hives or a bad rash
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of the face, tongue, or throat
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Brief fainting spells can happen after any medical procedure, including vaccination. Sitting or lying down for about 15 minutes can help prevent fainting and injuries caused by a fall. Tell the person giving you the vaccine if you feel dizzy, or have vision changes or ringing in the ears.
  • Severe shoulder pain and reduced range of motion in the arm where the shot was given can happen, very rarely, after a vaccination.
  • Severe allergic reactions from a vaccine are very rare. If one were to occur, it would usually be within a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.
  • Young children who get the flu vaccine and the pneumococcal vaccine at the same time may be at increased risk for seizures caused by fever. Ask your doctor for more information.
  • As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death.

Do not get Afluria if you:

  • have known severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) to any component of the vaccine including egg protein, or to a previous dose of any influenza vaccine
  • ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome (a severe, paralyzing illness, also called GBS). Some people with a history of GBS should not get this vaccine.
  • are not feeling well. It is usually okay to get flu vaccine when you have a mild illness, but you might be advised to wait until you feel better. 

Some inactivated flu vaccines contain a very small amount of a mercury-based preservative called thimerosal. Studies have not shown thimerosal in vaccines to be harmful, but flu vaccines that do not contain thimerosal are available.

Afluria Food Interactions

Medications and vaccines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of Afluria, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving this vaccine.

Inform MD

Before receiving Afluria, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to Afluria or to any component of the vaccine including egg protein
  • have had Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • have a weakened immune system 
  • have problems with your heart, kidneys, or lungs
  • have diabetes
  • are pregnant or nursing

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Afluria and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Afluria falls into category B. There are no well-done studies that have been done in humans with Afluria. Afluria should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed.

Afluria and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known whether Afluria is excreted in human milk. Because some viruses are excreted in human milk, caution should be exercised when Afluria is administered to a nursing woman.

Afluria Usage

Use Afluria exactly as prescribed.

It is available in an injectable form to be given directly into a muscle (IM) by a healthcare professional, and should be administered every year.

Afluria Dosage

The dose your doctor recommends will be based on age:

A single dose of Afluria is 0.5ml. The dose and schedule for Afluria is as follows:

  • 5 years through 8 years old: one dose or two doses at least 1 month apart
  • 9 years and older: one dose

The preferred site for intramuscular injection is the deltoid muscle of the upper arm.

Afluria is an inactivated vaccine that cannot cause influenza but stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies that protect against influenza. The full effect of the vaccine is generally achieved approximately 2 weeks after vaccination, and protection lasts through the flu season.

Afluria Overdose

Since Afluria is administered by a healthcare provider in a medical setting, it is unlikely that an overdose will occur. However, if over dose is suspected, seek emergency medical attention.