Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza With Vaccines

Influenza Prevention Recommendations

Download the 2014-2015 recommendations for prevention and control of influenza with vaccines.

Influenza Prevention Recommendations

Download the 2014-2015 recommendations for prevention and control of influenza with vaccines.

The AAFP recommends that physicians offer influenza vaccination as soon as it becomes available each year and continue to provide the vaccine throughout the flu season (i.e., as long as influenza viruses are circulating in the community).

2014-2015 Recommendations

The AAFP has adopted the 2014-2015 recommendations(7 page PDF) for the prevention and control of influenza with vaccines, which are consistent with that of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)(www.cdc.gov).

Routine annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all persons aged 6 months and older.

The AAFP recommends, when immediately available, the preferential use of live attenuated vaccine (LAIV) in healthy children aged 2 through 8 years who have no contraindications or precautions(www.cdc.gov). If LAIV is not immediately available, vaccination should not be delayed, and inactivated influenza vaccine should be used.


Children aged 6 months through 8 years require 2 doses of influenza vaccine, administered ≥ 4 weeks apart, during their first season of vaccination to optimize their immune response. For more information, view the 2014-2015 ACIP Influenza Vaccine Dosing Algorithm for Children Aged 6 Months Through 8 Years.(www.cdc.gov)

Additional Recommendations

Influenza Prevention in Pregnant Women

Read a letter issued by the Department of Health and Human Services in conjunction with the AAFP and other organizations urging health care providers to recommend that pregnant and postpartum women receive the influenza vaccine.

For Pregnant Women

The influenza vaccine is the first step to prevent the flu, and your recommendation can make a difference. Consider the following points in discussions with patients:

  • Pregnant women should receive the seasonal influenza vaccine. The risk of severe illnesses related to the flu is higher in pregnant women than in women who are not pregnant.
  • The influenza vaccine protects the mother and her infant from influenza-related illnesses, hospitalization, and premature labor and delivery.
  • The influenza vaccine is safe for pregnant women in any trimester. The vaccine has been given to millions of pregnant women in the last decade and has not been shown to cause harm to women or their infants.
  • It is safe for postpartum women to get the influenza vaccine (flu shot or nasal spray), even if they are breastfeeding.
  • Antivirus drugs are recommended for pregnant women who get the flu. Antivirus drugs can shorten the length of illness by 1 or 2 days, and can prevent flu complications, such as pneumonia.

For Health Care Personnel (HCP)

The AAFP supports annual mandatory influenza immunization for health care personnel (HCP) except for religious or medical reasons (not personal preferences). If HCP are not vaccinated, policies to adjust practice activities during flu season are appropriate (e.g. wear masks, refrain from direct patient care). (Board Chair approved June, 2011)

For Persons With Egg Allergy

Trivalent recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV3) is considered egg-free and may be given to persons aged 18 through 49 years who have no other contraindications.


Persons who have experienced only hives after exposure to egg should receive the influenza vaccine, either with RIV3 or inactivated vaccines. If the inactivated vaccine is used, the vaccine should be administered by health care providers familiar with the potential signs and symptoms of egg allergy, and the patient should be observed for ≥ 30 minutes after vaccine administration. Persons who have had angioedema, respiratory distress, lightheadedness, recurrent emesis, or have required emergency medical intervention after exposure to egg may receive RIV3 if they are aged 18 through 49 years without contraindications. If RIV3 is not available, or the patient is not eligible for RIV3, inactivated influenza vaccine should be administered by a physician with experience in the recognition and management of severe allergic reactions. For more information, view the 2014-2015 ACIP Recommendations Regarding Influenza Vaccination of Persons Who Report Allergy to Eggs(www.cdc.gov).

AAFP Triage Protocol for Suspected Influenza Infection

This protocol assists physicians and health care professionals in the management of the expected surge of patients during an influenza pandemic. Download the protocol algorithm(2 page PDF).

AAFP Recommendations on Immunizations

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) works collaboratively with the ACIP(www.cdc.gov), which advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(www.cdc.gov) on immunizations.