On October 19, 2021, the Ministry of Health announced a universal influenza vaccination program. All residents in British Columbia are encouraged to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their communities.

Dear Health Care Provider:

On October 19, 2021 the Ministry of Health announced a universal influenza vaccination program. All residents in British Columbia are encouraged to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their communities.

Eligibility:

Everyone six months of age and older will be eligible for a free influenza vaccine this year. Fluzone® High-Dose Quadrivalent will be publicly funded only for adults 65 years of age and older, living in long term care, assisted living facilities or First Nations communities. People who do not meet the eligibility criteria may be able to pay for the vaccine at a pharmacy or travel clinic. For more information visit: https://immunizebc.ca/influenza

High Risk Groups Prioritized:

Many individuals at highest risk of severe illness have already been offered a vaccine. This group includes hospitalized patients, residents of long-term care and assisted living and certain healthcare workers. Encouraging your patients to get vaccinated is the best way to protect them and their loved ones against serious illness. High vaccination rates will also prevent further strain on our healthcare system.

Planning:

The influenza vaccine can be promoted and administered widely. The BC CDC has guidance for immunizers regarding the delivery of the influenza vaccine in the presence of COVID-19. More information about influenza vaccinations can be found in Part 1 – Immunization Schedules of Chapter 2: Immunization of the Communicable Disease Control Manual. Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of serious illness from influenza (such as young children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with certain medical conditions) and those able to transmit or spread influenza to those at high risk.

Ordering:

a) Physicians: if you require more vaccine – please place a request using our online form. Public Health Units have some vaccine in stock and are expecting more in mid-November.

b) Pharmacists: this is the first year that vaccines will be delivered directly to pharmacies from their primary wholesaler. For more information please refer to the BC Pharmacy Association’s Influenza Immunization Guidance For B.C. Pharmacies

Physician Billing:

To learn about the temporary fee codes for influenza immunizations in office or at a mass immunization clinic visit: https://bcfamilydocs.ca/billing-for-respiratory-immunizations-in- 2021-2022/


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