How Are Flu Shots Administered?


Quick Answer

Flu shots are administered with a 1- to 1.5-inch needle that contains inactivated vaccine to the intramuscularly in the upper arm or anterolateral thigh, as reported by Patient and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 5/8-inch needle is also recommended by experts for adults who weigh less than 132 lbs. Some flu vaccines can also be administered as a nasal spray.

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Full Answer

Once the syringe draws out the vaccine, it should be used immediately in order to prevent contamination. Experts do not recommend prefilling syringes because it opens up the window for administration errors. In addition, the medical professional who drew out the vaccine should also be the same individual who administers it. Taking these precautions can help reduce the amount of errors that may happen as a result. All syringes should be disposed of immediately after they have been used.

Some young children will require two doses of flu shots instead of one that are placed 4 weeks apart from one another. The amount of inactivated vaccine administered will be dependent on the age of the child.

The most ideal time for anyone to get flu shots is in October. This is when the seasonal flu shots tend to be most effective.

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