Preventing the Flu

What you need to know about the flu, and how to avoid getting and spreading it


What is the flu (influenza)?

Influenza, also called the flu, is a serious and contagious respiratory illness that's caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, sometimes leading to pneumonia, bronchitis, and ear infections. Some groups are at higher risk than others, including the elderly, young children, and people with certain health conditions.

FluMist Quadrivalent is approved for eligible children and adults, ages 2 to 49. Please scroll down for eligibility information and exclusionary conditions.


Flu facts

Every year in the United States, on average:

  • 5% to 20% of the population get the flu
  • Approximately 4 million children get the flu
  • The flu results in increased missed work days

How serious is the flu?

Each year, more than 200,000 people, primarily the elderly, are hospitalized for flu-related complications.

For more info on the seasonal flu, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm.


What happens when I get the flu?

If you're exposed to influenza, symptoms may appear suddenly. Chills are often the first sign that you have the flu, and fever of over 100°F is very common. You may have a sore throat, dry cough, and headaches, as well as an achy feeling in your legs and back. Sometimes, the flu leaves patients feeling so ill, weak, and tired that they remain in bed for days. Be sure to check with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

What is the "stomach flu" and is it the same as the regular flu?

If you have heard people talk about "stomach flu," we're here to let you know that it is not the same as influenza, or a disease caused by the influenza virus. A disease commonly referred to as the stomach flu, or incorrectly as "the flu," is caused by a virus or bacteria that invade your body, and primary symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. With influenza you may, in rare instances, experience vomiting as well, but the major difference is that influenza or the flu can lead to severe respiratory problems, primarily in the elderly, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions. These may include difficulty breathing and other symptoms associated with pneumonia (or inflammation of the lungs). Be sure to check with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

How do I know if it's a cold or the flu?

It can be confusing, but you may be able to tell them apart. Both have similar symptoms: sore throat, cough, and runny nose. However, children who have a common cold tend to have milder symptoms, while those who have the flu have symptoms that usually appear without warning and include body aches and fever.

Here's a quick list to give you a better idea of the differences.

Adapted from “Is It a Cold or the Flu?” by National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and National Institutes of Health, November 2008.

This table is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for the advice of your healthcare provider. If you have any of the flu symptoms shown here, stay home and call your doctor.


When is flu season?

Surprisingly, flu season can start as early as October and continue as late as May. January and February are generally considered peak flu season—the time when most people get the flu.

Important Safety and Eligibility Information

What is FluMist Quadrivalent?

FluMist Quadrivalent is a vaccine that is sprayed into the nose to help protect against influenza. It can be used in children, adolescents, and adults ages 2 through 49. FluMist Quadrivalent is similar to MedImmune's trivalent influenza vaccine, except FluMist Quadrivalent provides protection against an additional influenza strain. FluMist Quadrivalent may not prevent influenza in everyone who gets vaccinated.

Who should not get FluMist Quadrivalent?

You should not get FluMist Quadrivalent if you have a severe allergy to eggs, gentamicin, gelatin, or arginine; have ever had a
life-threatening reaction to influenza vaccinations; or are 2 through 17 years old and take aspirin or medicines containing aspirin – children or adolescents should not be given aspirin for 4 weeks after getting FluMist® or FluMist Quadrivalent unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise.

Children under 2 years old have an increased risk of wheezing (difficulty with breathing) after getting FluMist Quadrivalent.

Who may not be able to get FluMist Quadrivalent?

Tell your healthcare provider if you or your child are currently wheezing; have a history of wheezing if under 5 years old; have had Guillain-Barré syndrome; have a weakened immune system or live with someone who has a severely weakened immune system; have problems with your heart, kidneys, or lungs; have diabetes; are pregnant or nursing; or are taking Tamiflu®, Relenza®, amantadine, or rimantadine.

Your healthcare provider will decide if FluMist Quadrivalent is right for you or your child.

What are the most common side effects of FluMist Quadrivalent?

The most common side effects are runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and fever over 100°F.

Please see complete Product Information, including Patient Information.

Vaccines Near you

Find FluMist Quadrivalent at a pharmacy near you

Available at doctors' offices and most retail pharmacies

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Select safety information

What are the most common side effects of FluMist Quadrivalent?

The most common side effects are runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and fever over 100ºF.

Click the OPEN tab for Important Safety and Eligibility Information

Important Safety and Eligibility Information

What is FluMist Quadrivalent?

FluMist Quadrivalent is a vaccine that is sprayed into the nose to help protect against influenza. It can be used in children, adolescents, and adults ages 2 through 49. FluMist Quadrivalent is similar to MedImmune's trivalent influenza vaccine, except FluMist Quadrivalent provides protection against an additional influenza strain. FluMist Quadrivalent may not prevent influenza in everyone who gets vaccinated.

Who should not get FluMist Quadrivalent?

You should not get FluMist Quadrivalent if you have a severe allergy to eggs, gentamicin, gelatin, or arginine; have ever had a
life-threatening reaction to influenza vaccinations; or are 2 through 17 years old and take aspirin or medicines containing aspirin – children or adolescents should not be given aspirin for 4 weeks after getting FluMist® or FluMist Quadrivalent unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise.

Children under 2 years old have an increased risk of wheezing (difficulty with breathing) after getting FluMist Quadrivalent.

Who may not be able to get FluMist Quadrivalent?

Tell your healthcare provider if you or your child are currently wheezing; have a history of wheezing if under 5 years old; have had Guillain-Barré syndrome; have a weakened immune system or live with someone who has a severely weakened immune system; have problems with your heart, kidneys, or lungs; have diabetes; are pregnant or nursing; or are taking Tamiflu®, Relenza®, amantadine, or rimantadine.

Your healthcare provider will decide if FluMist Quadrivalent is right for you or your child.

What are the most common side effects of FluMist Quadrivalent?

The most common side effects are runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, and fever over 100°F.

Please see complete Product Information, including Patient Information.