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Flu in South Carolina

Flu Vaccines

The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get a flu vaccine. Flu vaccines can keep you from getting sick and keep you from spreading the flu virus to others.

Seasonal Flu Vaccines

Sseasonal flu shots will soon be offered by doctors, local public health departments, drugstores, and urgent care centers throughout the state. To learn where you can get a seasonal flu shot in your community, see the DHEC Flu Clinic Finder.

These Groups Need Flu Vaccines the Most

The CDC identified certain groups of people who are particularly susceptible to influenza viruses. SCDHEC urges all South Carolinians to get influenza vaccines.

The following persons should seek an influenza vaccine as soon as possible:

  • All persons aged >50 years
  • All children aged 6 months to 4 years (59 months)
  • Adults and children who have chronic pulmonary (including asthma), cardiovascular (except isolated hypertension), renal, hepatic, neurological, hematological or metabolic disorders (including diabetes mellitus)
  • Adults and children who are immunosuppressed (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by human immunodeficiency virus
  • 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 therefore 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
  • Persons who are morbidly obese (BMI>40)
  • Healthcare personnel
  • Household contacts and caregivers of children aged <5 years and adults aged >50 years, with particular emphasis on vaccinating contacts of children aged <6 months
  • Household contacts and caregivers of persons with medical conditions that put them at high risk for severe complications from influenza.

Get updates on vaccine availability in South Carolina, learn more about vaccine safety, and find a flu vaccine clinic in your local area.

Where to Find Seasonal Vaccines

  • Contact your private healthcare provider to find out if he or she will be providing the vaccine.
  • Local pharmacies that signed up to provide the seasonal vaccine will advertise it when it becomes available.
  • Find DHEC vaccine clinics using our DHEC Flu Clinic Finder. We add listings for seasonal flu flu vaccine clinics as they become available.

Flu Vaccine Safety

  • The benefits of immunization outweigh the risks.
  • All vaccines are held to the highest standard of safety and are continually monitored.
  • Each year, millions of Americans safely receive seasonal flu vaccines. If you care for a young baby itís important that you get vaccinated so you can protect them.
  • See additional information on vaccine safety.

Nasal Mist or Injection: Which Type of Vaccine Should I Get?

The CDC says that some people should not take the nasal mist form of the flu vaccine.

The nasal mist form has a tiny amount of a live, weakened flu virus in it. People who can't take the flu mist vaccine should get a flu shot instead.

You Can Safely Take
 Nasal Mist Form (FluMist)
Do Not Take
Nasal Mist Form (FluMist)
  • Healthy children and adolescents 2-18 years of age who are not pregnant and do not have health problems
  • Healthy adults ages 19-49 who are not pregnant and do not have health problems
  • Pregnant women
  • Children 6 months to 2 years of age
  • Children or adults who have one or more chronic health problems such as lung disease, heart disease, cancer, HIV-AIDS, kidney disease
  • Children or adults with one or more metabolic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, or anemia and other blood disorders
  • Adults 50 years and older
  • Children or adults with weakened immune systems
  • Children or adults who have certain muscle or nerve disorders (such as cerebral palsy) that can lead to breathing or swallowing problems
  • Anyone in close contact with a person with a severely weakened immune system (requiring care in a protected environment, such as a bone marrow transplant unit)
  • Children or adolescents on long-term aspirin treatment
  • Anyone who is moderately or severely ill.


Rare Allergic Reactions to Vaccines

It’s very rare for people to have allergic reactions to vaccines. But it does happen. Symptoms of an allergic reaction usually appear a few minutes to a few hours after a person gets the vaccination.

If you have any of these allergic reaction warning signs, call a doctor immediately:

  • High fever
  • Behavior changes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hoarseness or wheezing
  • Hives
  • Paleness
  • Weakness
  • A fast heart beat
  • Dizziness

For more information on flu vaccines, see these CDC resources:

If, after reading the information available on our website, you have questions about the vaccine,
please call 1-800-27SHOTS (1-800-277-4687).