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Influenza vaccine, inactivated (IIV), subunit, adjuvanted, for intramuscular use

CPT4 code

Name of the Procedure:

Influenza Vaccine, Inactivated (IIV), Subunit, Adjuvanted, for Intramuscular Use

  • Common Name: Flu Shot
  • Technical/M e dical Terms: Inactivated Influenza Vaccine, Adjuvanted Vaccine


The influenza vaccine, inactivated and adjuvanted, is an annual flu shot designed to protect against seasonal influenza. It is administered via intramuscular injection, delivering a part of the virus along with an enhancing substance called an adjuvant to stimulate a stronger immune response.


The medical condition or problem it addresses: The flu shot is designed to prevent influenza, a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by influenza viruses. The goals or expected outcomes of the procedure:

  • Reduce the risk of contracting the flu.
  • Minimize the severity of symptoms if the flu is contracted.
  • Lower the chances of flu-related complications and hospitalizations.


  • Individuals aged 65 and older, as they are at higher risk for flu complications.
  • Adults with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, or heart disease.
  • Healthcare workers and caregivers.
  • Pregnant women.
  • Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
  • Anyone wishing to reduce their risk of influenza infection.


  • Generally, no special preparation is required.
  • Patients should inform their healthcare provider about any allergies, particularly to eggs or previous vaccines.
  • Patients should inform the healthcare provider of any current illnesses or fevers.
  • No fasting is required.

Procedure Description

  1. The patient is seated or asked to lie down.
  2. The injection site, typically the upper arm (deltoid muscle), is cleaned with an antiseptic wipe.
  3. Using a sterile, single-use syringe, a trained healthcare professional administers the vaccine intramuscularly.
  4. The area may be massaged gently post-injection to help dispersion of the vaccine.

Tools, Equipment, or Technology Used:

  • Sterile syringe and needle
  • Alcohol swabs
  • The adjuvanted influenza vaccine

Anesthesia or Sedation Details:

  • Typically, no anesthesia or sedation is needed.


  • The entire process typically takes less than 5 minutes.


  • The procedure can be performed in a variety of settings including outpatient clinics, pharmacies, hospitals, and community health centers.


  • The procedure is usually conducted by a trained nurse or a healthcare professional qualified to administer vaccinations.

Risks and Complications

  • Common Risks: Soreness at the injection site, mild fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches.
  • Rare Risks: Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), Guillain-Barre syndrome (extremely rare).

Possible Complications and Their Management:

  • Monitoring the patient for 15 minutes after the injection to manage any immediate allergic reactions.
  • Over-the-counter pain medication can be recommended for soreness or fever.


  • Significant reduction in influenza infection risk.
  • Less severe illness if flu is contracted.
  • Decreased likelihood of flu complications and related hospitalizations.


  • Post-procedure care and instructions involve monitoring for adverse reactions.
  • Expected recovery time is immediate, with most typical side effects resolving on their own within a few days.
  • No restrictions on normal activities.
  • Follow-up appointments are not generally necessary unless there are unusual side effects.


  • Nasal spray vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine), which is not suitable for everyone.
  • Antiviral medications for flu treatment (not prevention), such as Tamiflu, which are only effective if taken early in the course of the illness.

Pros and Cons of Alternatives:

  • Nasal spray vaccine (pros: needle-free, cons: not suitable for older adults or people with certain medical conditions).
  • Antiviral medications (pros: can reduce severity if taken early, cons: do not prevent flu, possible side effects).

Patient Experience

  • Patients might feel a brief pinch or sting during the injection.
  • Some patients experience mild, temporary side effects such as soreness at the injection site or low-grade fever.
  • Pain management: Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be taken if needed.
  • Comfort measures: Applying a cold pack to the injection site can alleviate soreness.

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