Flu & Teens
Flu severity varies each season, but each year millions of adolescents get sick, thousands are hospitalized, and some even die from flu.
Even otherwise healthy teens can fall victim to flu and find themselves hospitalized with flu complications that can lead to lifelong health issues.
A 2017 study shows that flu vaccination significantly reduces a child’s risk of dying from influenza. Among healthy children, flu vaccination reduces risk of death from influenza by 65%. Among children with underlying high-risk medical conditions, flu vaccination reduces risk of death from influenza by 51%.
Getting children vaccinated helps ensure they don’t spread flu to others who are vulnerable to serious flu illness, like infant siblings too young to be vaccinated, immunocompromised classmates, older family members or people with certain chronic health conditions.
There are two different types of vaccines that are recommended for adolescents:
Flu shots are administered as an injection made with inactivated (killed) flu virus and are approved for use in children 6 months and older.
A nasal spray vaccine is approved for use in people ages 2-49, with the exception of people who have certain underlying medical conditions such as asthma. Learn more about precautions against the use of nasal spray flu vaccine here.
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Page last reviewed: November 2021.