Flu Vaccine Dose
By Dona Hill
Each year, nearly 20% of the US population gets influenza. This results in thousands of deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations per year.
Getting a flu vaccine offers a way for you to stay safe against the virus and the serious respiratory disease they cause. However, before getting the shot, it’s critical that you fully understand what you’re getting, like the right flu vaccine dose and the proper flu vaccine administration.
The Recommended Site for the Vaccine
The preferred injection site will depend on different factors like the thickness of the fatty tissue, size of the needle, and injection technique.
In general, however, the deltoid muscle in the upper arm is the most ideal site for adults who are 19 years old and older. If the muscle in the arm can’t be used, the vastus lateralis muscle in your front thigh can be chosen as the injection site.
Since flu vaccines aren’t too viscous, a 22-to 25-gauge needle should be enough for administration. For people who weigh less than 60 kilograms, the preferred needle size would be 5/8 to 1 inch. For women who weigh 70 to 90 kilograms and men weighing 70 to 118 kilograms, a 1 to 1 1/2-inch needle is preferred.
The Right Flu Vaccine Dose for You
This will largely depend on the patient’s age.
Flu Vaccine Dosage for Children
If the patient is between 6 months to 3 years old, 0.25 mL of the vaccine should be administered. For patients who are 3 years old and older, 0.5 mL of the vaccine should be given intramuscularly.
For kids who are 9 years old and receiving the shot for the first time, they’ll need to be given 2 separate doses. They should be administered 4 weeks apart at the minimum.
Flu Vaccine Dosage for Adults
For people with no other health conditions (5 to 49 years old), they may be given a 0.5mL live attenuated influenza vaccine, a vaccine in the form of nasal spray. The dose is divided equally to each nostril.
How To Administer the Flu Vaccine
There are two ways to get the vaccine- the intramuscular and intranasal routes.
With intramuscular injections, you’ll need a needle that’s long enough to reach deep into your muscles. Using your non-dominant hand, pinch the muscle. Then, with your dominant hand, carefully insert the needle at a 90-degree angle. Do it with a quick thrust motion.
Push the plunger and inject the content of the syringe. With the IM route, you don’t need to aspirate. Once you’ve injected the content, carefully remove the needle and apply pressure to the site.
When it comes to intranasal administration of the live attenuated influenza vaccine, all you need to do is take off the rubber tip of the sprayer. The person receiving the vaccine should be in an upright position.
Place the tip inside his nostril. Once inside, press the plunger as quickly as possible. Remove the dose-divider clip you can find at the end of the sprayer. Do the same steps in administering the vaccine to the other nostril.
The Common Side Effects of the Flu Vaccine
Even though you won’t get the flu illness after getting the vaccine, you still have to watch out for other side effects. They are mild and short-lasting so you don’t have to worry that much.
Some of the side effects you have to keep an eye out for include:
- Muscle aches
- Soreness or swelling on the area where the vaccine was administered
- Nasal congestion
- Low-grade fever
Some of these side effects may appear similar to the signs and symptoms of Covid-19. If you aren’t sure what you have, it’s best to see your doctor and get a proper assessment. The flu vaccine is not a cure for Covid-19.