Best resource I found for answering this question was Health.com
The decision whether to get a flu shot takes into account your personal feelings and the medical facts.
Reasons to get a flu shot
- You are older than 50.
- You have a chronic disease or a weak immune system.
- You live in a nursing home or long-term care center.
- You are in close contact with someone who is at high risk for complications of the flu.
- You want to reduce the chance that you will get the flu.
Reasons not to get a flu shot
- You are allergic to eggs.
- You had a severe reaction to a flu shot in the past.
- You had Guillain-Barr? syndrome after a previous flu shot.
- You are not in close contact with anyone at high risk of complications from the flu.
- You are not worried about getting the flu.
I’m thinking I’m not going to get it..
2009 update: health.com updated their advice a bit:
Who should get the flu shot?
You should get a yearly flu shot if you want to reduce your chance of getting the flu. Anyone older than 6 months can get a flu shot.
It’s important to get a flu shot if you are at high risk for complications. This includes:
- People who are age 50 or older. People age 65 or older are at highest risk.
- People who have long-term (chronic) diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure, and lung disease, including asthma.
- People who live in nursing homes or long-term care centers.
- People who have weak immune systems.
- Children 6 months through 4 years of age. (The flu shot is recommended for all children from 6 months to 18 years of age.)
People who could spread the flu to people at high risk should also get the shot. This includes:
- Anyone who lives with or cares for a child who is 6 months or younger. (Children 6 months or younger can’t get the shot.)
- Anyone in close contact with a person who is at high risk of complications. This includes family, friends, and caregivers.
- Health care workers.
Who should not get the flu shot?
Some people should not get the flu shot without talking to their doctor first. This includes:
- People who are allergic to eggs.
- People who had a bad reaction to the flu shot in the past.
- People who had a rare nerve disorder called Guillain-Barr? syndrome after a previous shot.
- Children who are younger than 6 months of age.
- People who are already sick. If you are ill and have a fever, wait until you are better to get the shot.