Fluvirin is a flu shot that prevents infection with three types of influenza viruses. Some of the most common side effects are flu-like symptoms, but Fluvirin can’t actually cause the flu.
How is Fluvirin given?
Do I need one or two doses?
Can Fluvirin give you the flu?
Can anyone get Fluvirin?
Who should NOT get Fluvirin?
What are the most common side effects of Fluvirin?
What are severe side effects of Fluvirin?
What ingredients are in Fluvirin?
Does Fluvirin have Roundup (glyphosate) weed-killer?
Does Fluvirin have thimerosal?
Where can I get more information?
Fluvirin is an immunization against influenza (“the flu”) for people over 4 years old. It is an inactivated trivalent vaccine against 3 types of flu viruses. Fluvirin was initially approved in the United States in 1988. It is currently made by Seqirus Inc. using an egg-based process.
Fluvirin is given in a single 0.5-mL injection. The preferred injection site is the upper arm (deltoid muscle) on children and adults, but the anterolateral thigh can also be used on children. Fluvirin should not be injected into the gluteal region or areas that might have major nerves.
Children between the ages of 4 and 8 years old can get 1 or 2 doses of Fluvirin. Children who have never had a flu shot before can get 2 doses of Fluvirin, 0.5-mL each, given at least 4 weeks apart. Children who have already had a flu shot can get one dose of Fluvirin.
Adults and children over 9 years old can get one 0.5-mL dose of Fluvirin.
No. Fluvirin contains inactivated (dead) flu viruses that can’t cause the flu. However, many people who get vaccinated with Fluvirin develop mild flu-like symptoms. These are symptoms of the body developing immunity to the vaccine, but it is not the flu.
No. Fluvirin is not recommended for children under 4 years old. There is evidence of a diminished immune response in this age group, which means Fluvirin may not work very well.
Fluvirin is contraindicated in people with a history of severe allergic reactions (e.g. anaphylaxis) to eggs, or any other ingredient in Fluvirin (see below for a list). Fluvirin should not be given to anyone who experienced a life-threatening reaction to a previous flu shot.
Latex-sensitive individuals may have allergic reactions to natural rubber latex in the tip caps of Fluvirin pre-filled syringes.
In people who had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of a previous flu shot, the decision to give Fluvirin should be based on careful consideration of the potential benefits and risks.
The most common side effects of Fluvirin are mild hypersensitivity reactions (such as rash), local reactions where the shot was given, and flu-like symptoms.
In clinical trials of the 2005-2006 vaccine, the most common side effects where the shot was given included:
- Pain (55%)
- Redness (16%)
- Bruising (7%)
- Lump (6%)
- Swelling (5%)
Other common side effects of Fluvirin include:
- Headache (30%)
- Muscle pain (21%)
- Malaise (19%)
- Fatigue (18%)
- Sore throat (8%)
- Chills (7%)
- Nausea (7%)
- Joint pain (7%)
- Sweating (6%)
- Cough (6%)
- Wheezing (1%)
- Chest tightness (1%)
- Other difficulties breathing (1%)
- Allergic asthma
- Allergic reaction
- Anaphylactic shock
- Bell’s Palsy
- Brachial plexus neuropathy
- Breathing problems (dyspnea)
- Chest pain
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Eye pain and nerve damage
- Facial swelling
- Febrile seizures (high fever causing seizures)
- Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
- Hypersensitivity reactions
- Microscopic polyangitis
- Muscle weakness
- Nerve damage
- Neurological disorders
- Optic neuritis
- Pain in muscles and joints
- Partial facial paralysis
- Presyncope (nearly fainting)
- Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration
- Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)
- Swelling of entire arm
- Syncope (fainting)
- Systemic anaphylaxis
- Throat and mouth swelling
- Thrombocytopenia (very severe cases reported)
- Tonic-clonic limb movements (jerking and twitching)
- Transverse myelitis
- Vasculitis (may involve kidneys)
- Vision problems
Fluvirin is formulated with 45 mcg hemagglutinin (HA) per 0.5-mL dose. Hemagglutinin is the flu virus protein that triggers an immune response in the body.
Fluvirin may also contain residual amounts of egg proteins (≤ 1 mcg ovalbumin), polymyxin (≤ 3.75 mcg), neomycin (≤ 2.5 mcg), betapropiolactone (not more than 0.5 mcg) and nonylphenol ethoxylate (not more than 0.015% weight/volume).
The tip caps on Fluvirin pre-filled syringes may contain latex. There is no latex in the multi-dose vial stopper and syringe stopper/plunger.
Fluvirin had 0.331 ppb (parts per billion) of glyphosate, according to lab tests by the anti-GMO consumer advocacy group Moms Across America in September 2016.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weed-killing herbicide Roundup. Vaccines made with chicken eggs or pig gelatin may contain low levels of glyphosate because Roundup is sprayed on GMO corn and GMO soybeans that animals eat. Livestock feed is allowed to have glyphosate residues up to 400 ppm (parts per million).
Yes. The Fluvirin 0.5-mL pre-filled syringes are not formulated with thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, but they may still contain low levels of thimerosal (≤1 mcg mercury per 0.5-mL dose) as a leftover impurity from the manufacturing process.
Thimerosal is added to the 5-mL multi-dose vials of Fluvirin as a preservative. The multi-dose vials contain ten individual 0.5-mL doses of Fluvirin. Each 0.5-mL dose of Fluvirin contains 25 mcg of mercury.
- Fluvirin Package Insert 2016-2017 Formula (PDF)
- Fluvirin FDA Product Information
- Fluvirin – Influenza Vaccines (Seqirus)