The flu vaccine should not be given to anyone who has had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine or to any component in the vaccine, including egg protein. In addition, people who are moderately or severely ill should be cautioned against receiving this vaccine until they recover from their illness. If you have ever had Guillain-Barré syndrome, you should discuss the pros and cons of receiving the flu vaccine with your physician.
Because the nasal-spray vaccine contains a live, attenuated virus, it is not recommended for any person with a deficiency of the immune system. This would include anyone who has HIV or certain kinds of cancer, is receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or has been on medications that suppress the immune system, such as steroids, for more than two weeks. It is also not recommended for anyone who is pregnant or might be getting pregnant.
In addition to these recommendations, anyone who has certain chronic medical conditions, such as asthma or other lung disease, heart or kidney disease, diabetes, or sickle cell disease, should not receive the live-flu-virus nasal-spray vaccine. Finally, children on long-term aspirin therapy should also not receive the nasal-spray vaccine.
The inactivated, injectable vaccine is approved for anyone over six months old. The live-flu-virus nasal spray vaccine is approved for anyone between the ages of two and fifty years.