How to Give a Flu Shot

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Every year, millions of people flock to clinics around the United States to receive flu shots or to receive the necessary medication and supplies to administer flu shots to themselves. When you decide to give yourself or a loved one the vaccine, it is extremely crucial to follow the recommendations and instructions thoroughly. Failure to correctly administer the flu shot can prevent the vaccine from entering the body and render the vaccine ineffective. You will have the same probability of becoming ill with the flu as someone who did not receive the flu shot.

Things You'll Need

  • Alcohol pad
  • Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine (TIV)
  • 22- to 25-gauge needle (1 inch to 1.5 inches)
  • View the Federal Vaccine Information Statement located at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/default.htm. This statement, which is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, explains both the risks and benefits of receiving the flu vaccine. Select the appropriate vaccine that is being administered (H1N1 or Seasonal Influenza) to view the specifics that apply for that type of vaccine.

  • Select the correct needle size. For a child under the age of 13, use a 25-gauge 1-inch needle. For children over the age of 13 as well as adults, use a 22-gauge 1.5-inch needle.

  • Draw the correct dosage of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine into the syringe. For children 6 months to 36 months, draw 0.25 millilitres into the syringe. For people 36 months or older, draw 0.5 millilitres into the syringe.

  • Locate the deltoid muscle. This muscle is in the upper arm and forms the round appearance of the shoulder. To locate the region to administer the vaccine, measure four fingers down from the top of the shoulder. The location that the flu shot should be administered is directly below the bottom of the fourth finger.

  • Wipe the area with an alcohol pad. Alcohol will eliminate any surface germs that may be near or on the site that the vaccine will be administered.

  • Pull the skin taut to enable the needle to go in smoothly.

  • Insert the needle into the deltoid muscle at a 90-degree angle. This angle will ensure that the needle goes straight into the muscle. By going straight in, the needle will go farther into the muscle than it would at any other angle. Also, inserting the needle at a 90-degree angle is less painful.

  • Inject the vaccine into the muscle quickly to ensure that all of the vaccine is forced into the muscle.

  • Remove the needle from the arm.

  • Wipe the area with an alcohol pad.

References

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