Find important information about the 2019-2020 influenza vaccine program.

Key messages

  • Health units will begin influenza vaccine distribution starting the week of October 15th, 2019. Please begin arranging for multiple vaccine pickups, storage and fridge space.
  • Vaccine Eligibility and Use: This year BC will not be receiving Flumist® or Influvac® vaccine. The preferred product for children is FluLaval Tetra®. A shortage of quadrivalent vaccine is expected this season. If a quadrivalent influenza vaccine is not available, a trivalent influenza vaccine should be used.
  • Influenza vaccine product and ordering information is enclosed. See Vaccine Order Form-Appendix One-Page Three. 

    Vaccine distribution and storage

    Health units will begin distribution once supplies are available in enough quantities for equitable distribution. This is anticipated to be the the week of October 15th, 2019 if there are no further delays from the manufacturers or BCCDC.

    Please indicate the number of doses you require on the order form attached. If you are offering a flu clinic in a location away from your office/store, please order the vaccine from the health unit closest to that flu clinic site. Note that health units receive and distribute vaccines in batches during the flu season. Therefore, a request for a full season’s supply of vaccine may not be satisfied at the beginning of the season as demand from community vaccine providers often outpaces supplies received.

    Agriflu® is a prefilled syringe and takes up to 9-12 times more space than multi-dose vials. As such, you may need to pick up vaccines more than once this season and you will require additional coolers and fridge space for vaccine transport and storage.

    You must bring an appropriate cooler, ice pack and packing material (paper/bubble wrap) for vaccine transport.

    Information about Vaccine Storage:

    • All vaccines should be stored between 2- 8 degrees Celsius.

    • Fluviral® and FluLaval Tetra® are supplied in multi-dose vials and have a shelf-life of 28 days once the multi-dose vial is opened. Vials should be dated once opened.

    • Agriflu® is supplied as a prefilled syringe.

    Vaccine eligibility and use: Influenza vaccine eligibility 

    Eligibility criteria for publicly funded influenza vaccine remains the same as last year:

    • People at high risk of serious illness from influenza
    • People able to transmit or spread influenza to those at high risk of serious illness from influenza
    • Visitors to acute care or long-term care facilities

    Find more information and the full eligibility list.

    The 2019/20 fall Influenza vaccination program consists of three products: 

    1. Fluviral® (GSK) Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine
    2. Agriflu® (Seqirus) Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine
    3. Flulaval Tetra® (GSK) Quadrivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine 

    The 2019/20 fall Influenza vaccines contain the following strains:

    •  A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus;**
    • A/Kansas /14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus;**
    • B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus
    • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (in quadrivalent vaccines only).

    **The A/Brisbane and A/Kansas strains were not contained in the 2018/19 season vaccine.

    2019/20 Influenza Vaccine Intended Use

    Age group 

    Vaccine

    Comments

     6 months- 17 years (inclusive)

     **FluLaval® Quadrivalent 

    • For children 6 months - 17 years of age, FluLaval® is the recommended product. Note that a shortage of FluLaval® is expected this season. If FluLaval® quadrivalent is unavailable, FluLaval or Agriflu can be used.

    • Agriflu® may be used for individuals with a known hypersensitivity to thimerosal

    18 years of age
    and older

     

    Fluviral®
    Agriflu®

     

    • Agriflu® may be used for individuals with a known hypersensitivity to thimerosal or for pregnant women who request a thimerosal-free product. 

    **In the event of a surplus of FluLaval® Quadrivalent in the provider’s inventory beyond that required for those under 18 years old, this vaccine may be provided to those 18 years of age and older (including to those 65 years of age and older). 


    Note that ‘Fluzone High- Dose’ for seniors is not publicly funded in British Columbia. The BCCDC has produced a Q&A document for health care providers. 

    For more details go to the BCCDC Communicable Disease Control Manual, Chapter 2 -Immunization , Part 4; Biological Products, Influenza Vaccines.

    The following free online influenza immunization courses are available for health care providers:

    Resources

    
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