Here are some reminders and additional information to help prepare for the launch of the influenza immunization campaign. Thank you again for your support in protecting our communities this influenza season.

Quick Reminders

  • Submit your vaccine requests to Public Health through this online form.

  • Previous Influenza Vaccine Program updates are available at September 28 Update and September 17 Update.

  • Keep vaccines at 2-8°C at all times. Check and log the temperature in the vaccine refrigerator twice daily.

  • Additional resources are available at Immunization Clinical Resources (bccdc.ca).

  • All of the intra-muscular vaccine products for the general population are quadrivalent and can be used for anyone over six months of age (including those aged 65 and older).

  • Fluzone Quadrivalent pre-filled syringes are thimerosal free.

Vaccine shipment delay & cold chain incident

  • Due to a delayed shipment, Fraser Health’s current vaccine in stock is approximately 40% of our seasonal total. We will fulfill your vaccine requests as much as possible, given the supply available. If you don’t receive your full request, please submit a subsequent order which we will fill when we receive more vaccine.

  • You may receive influenza vaccine that underwent a temperature excursion. It will be marked with a blue dot on the vaccine box and will be accompanied by a letter from BCCDC detailing the cold chain incident. The vaccine has had a quality assurance review and is acceptable to use.

Promoting influenza immunization

  • B.C.’s influenza immunization campaign starts mid-October.

  • Promote your clinic on the BC Flu Clinic Locator. To have your clinic listed, register here. Once approved, you can post flu clinics you are offering.

Mythbuster Q&A

Q: Can you give COVID-19 and influenza vaccines at the same time?

A: As per the updated National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) guidance, COVID-19 vaccines can be given on the same day as or at any time before or after influenza or other vaccines (including live, non-live, adjuvanted or unadjuvanted). If different vaccines are given on the same day, please ensure you accurately document the sites of administration so that any adverse events following immunization can be followed up appropriately. This will be particularly important for Fluzone High-Dose which has a higher chance of localized reactions.

Q: How many doses of influenza vaccine are needed?

A: Influenza vaccine has been found to maintain effectiveness up to six months post immunization (Radin et al. 2016); therefore, we recommend a single influenza vaccine dose each season starting in mid/late October and throughout the influenza season. This recommendation takes into consideration optimization of coverage rates and protection through the usual peak influenza activity months of January/February. The only exception is for children under nine years of age who have not previously received any seasonal influenza vaccine; for these children a second dose is recommended four weeks after the first. This year, the Fluzone® High-Dose vaccine will also help provide additional protection for those at particularly high risk.

Have a Cold Chain Incident?

If vaccines are exposed to temperatures outside of 2-8°C, label them “DO NOT USE”, quarantine them in the fridge, record the date and time, and contact your public health unit for guidance immediately. Do not discard or use the vaccines until assessed by public health. Cold chain management resources are available at: Vaccine Management (bccdc.ca).

Patient reporting an Adverse Event?

Healthcare providers play a crucial role in post-marketing surveillance of vaccine safety by reporting Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFIs). AEFIs must be reported to the medical health officer as per criteria and instructions available at Adverse Events Following Immunization (bccdc.ca). Reportable events include serious events, events requiring urgent medical attention, unusual or unexpected events, and geographically or temporally clustered events.

Vaccine Injury Support Program (VISP)

Earlier this year, Canada launched a federal program that provides financial support for individuals with a serious and permanent injury after vaccination. Learn more about the program at vaccineinjurysupport.ca. The program applies to Health Canada-approved vaccines administered in Canada on or after December 8, 2020.

References:

Radin JM, Hawksworth AW, Myers CA, Ricketts MN, Hansen EA, Brice GT. Influenza vaccine effectiveness: Maintained protection throughout the duration of influenza seasons 2010–2011 through 2013–2014. Vaccine. 2016 Jul 19;34(33):3907-12.


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