Influenza Vaccine (Surface Antigen)

Influenza Vaccine (Surface Antigen) Overview

Reviewed: January 17, 2013
Updated: 

Influenza vaccine is a prescription medication used to protect people from the influenza virus, also known as "the flu."

Influenza vaccine belongs to a group of drugs called vaccines, that work by strengthening the immune system to better protect itself.

This medication comes in an injectable form, that is administered by a doctor, nurse or pharmacist. 

Common side effects include fatigue, muscle ache, and pain at the injection site.

 

Patient Ratings for Influenza, Inactivated, Split Virus Or Surface Antigen

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Uses of Influenza Vaccine (Surface Antigen)

Influenza vaccine is a prescription medication used to protect people from the influenza virus, also known as "the flu."

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Influenza Vaccine (Surface Antigen) Drug Class

Influenza Vaccine (Surface Antigen) is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Influenza Vaccine (Surface Antigen)

The most common side effect is pain at the site of the injection.

Other influenza vaccine side effects include:

  • fatigue (tiredness)
  • headache
  • muscle ache

This is not a complete list of side effects. Ask your healthcare provider for more information.

Influenza Vaccine (Surface Antigen) Precautions

Do not receive influenza vaccine if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to a flu shot without talking to your doctor.

 

Inform MD

Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a serious allergic reaction to a previous flu shot.

Tell the doctor if you have ever experienced Guillain-Barrè syndrome (severe muscle weakness) within 6 weeks of a previous dose flu shot.

Influenza Vaccine (Surface Antigen) and Pregnancy

Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Influenza vaccine has been studied in animals and showed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, no studies have been performed in pregnant women. Because the safety and effectiveness of influenza vaccine have not been established in pregnant women, you will need to discuss the risks of this vaccine with your healthcare provider.

The CDC warns that pregnant women are more likely to suffer severe complications related to influenza infection than women who are not pregnant. Additionally, there is a greater risk of premature labor and delivery in pregnant women with influenza.

Women who receive influenza vaccine while pregnant should be registered in the pregnancy registry by calling 1-888-855-7871. Flu shots have not been shown to cause harm to pregnant women or their babies.

Influenza Vaccine (Surface Antigen) and Lactation

Tell your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding. Influenza vaccine has not been studied in breastfeeding mothers. It is not known if influenza vaccine is excreted in human milk or if it will harm your nursing baby.

Influenza Vaccine (Surface Antigen) Dosage

Influenza vaccine is given as a single dose (0.5 ml) by intramuscular (IM) injection into the upper arm.