Flu is a disease of all ages, with worst complications and risk of death in babies and the elderly, but people of all ages can get very sick or be hospitalized.

  • I think this question is better suited for health.se.
    – Chris
    Mar 15 '17 at 8:31

The CDC recommends:

Vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for persons who are at increased risk for severe complications from influenza, or at higher risk for influenza-related outpatient, ED, or hospital visits. When vaccine supply is limited, vaccination efforts should focus on delivering vaccination to the following persons who do not have contraindications (no hierarchy is implied by order of listing):

  • ll children aged 6 through 59 months;
  • all persons aged ≥50 years;
  • adults and children who have chronic pulmonary (including asthma) or cardiovascular (except isolated hypertension), renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic, or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus);
  • persons who have immunosuppression (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by HIV infection);
  • women who are or will be pregnant during the influenza season;
  • children and adolescents (aged 6 months–18 years) who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy and who might be at risk for experiencing Reye syndrome after influenza virus infection;
  • residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities;
  • American Indians/Alaska Natives; and
  • persons who are extremely obese (BMI ≥40).


The reasons for this are countless, if you can handle it read the article in the above link.

So in short: people at risk of complications of flu. "Normal" people can handle a "normal" flu very well. An example of how things can go wrong is the spanish flu where healthy mid-aged people where more vulnerable.

This is for the USA. I'm from Holland and we use almost the same criteria, except for the extreme obese and only for persons aged >60 years. Also health professionals get a shot. AND we don't recommend giving the vaccine to children/babies! Only in some cases with bowel disease.

Hope this makes sense.


No you should not unless you are chronically sick. This research proves that. http://flushotcanada.blogspot.ca The CDC will tell you otherwise, and doctors who's training is guided by the Industry will as well.

  • 1
    Some guy's blog is not a credible source. Do you have anything better than that to support such bad advice?
    – Carey Gregory
    Mar 15 '17 at 23:30
  • @CareyGregory Neither does that automatically invalidate it. This is a controversial issue, so it is good to see an answer supporting this answer's point of view which is often not given for fear of being bullied out of the room. I will grant that the "research paper" at that link reads almost like an advertisement in some places, such as its introduction paragraph. It should be taken, just with a grain of salt (or two).
    – Aaron
    Jan 24 '18 at 21:58
  • @Jan Please expand your answer if you are willing. I would be happy to up-vote a "No" answer, except that this answer is way too sparse. Could you summarize some important highlights from your link at least?
    – Aaron
    Jan 24 '18 at 22:01
  • 1
    @Aaron It's not my job to invalidate answers. It's the answer's job to validate them. They have so far failed to do so for almost a full year.
    – Carey Gregory
    Jan 25 '18 at 2:43
  • @CareyGregory I did not ever mean that it was your job, only that the linked article not being what you consider a "credible source" does not invalidate it. But anyway, I commented not realizing that this was not a new answer and hoping answerer could improve it; I later realized it is almost a year old, so I won't hold my breath.
    – Aaron
    Jan 25 '18 at 18:21

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