September 23, 2022
We anticipate there will be continued high demand for influenza vaccines this year. We appreciate your continued support with vaccinating and protecting our communities.
Influenza vaccine distribution
- General Practitioner and Nurse Practitioner offices: You can submit your influenza vaccine order starting September 26, 2022 using the online vaccine order request form.
- Public Health Units will begin influenza vaccine distribution in early October, provided that vaccine shipments arrive as scheduled.
- Public Health Units expect to receive 5 separate batches of influenza vaccine over approximately 5 weeks. We will try to fulfill your vaccine requests as supply allows and will communicate with you if your request requires adjustment. Please note: you may receive your allotted vaccine over a few shipments.
Vaccine handling and transport
- Vaccines should be kept at +2°C to +8°C at all times. See this quick reference on storage and handling.
- When picking up vaccines, you must bring a hard-sided insulated cooler, frozen ice pack and packing materials (bubble wrap/paper). Maintain cold chain during transport.
- Some formulations of Fluzone® and Fluad® come in prefilled syringes, which take up to 9-12 times more space than multi-dose vials. Therefore, you will require additional coolers and fridge space for transport and storage. Please NOTE: prefilled syringes do NOT come with needles.
- Multi-dose vials that have been entered and stored at +2°C to +8°C may be used up to the expiry date indicated on the vial label.
- Check and log your fridge temperature twice daily.
- If there is a cold chain break, contact your local Public Health Unit immediately. Label vaccine as “Do Not Use” and quarantine in your vaccine fridge. Wait for further instructions from Public Health.
- Co-administration of influenza and COVID-19 vaccines is safe and effective.
- A COVID-19 fall booster dose is recommended for everyone 5 years of age and older, at least 6 months after their primary series or last booster dose.
- Fall booster invitations are going out now, starting with the people most at risk from COVID-19.
- People can book an appointment for the fall booster dose once they receive an invitation through the Get Vaccinated system.
- Everyone 18 and older will be offered the Bivalent mRNA vaccine for the fall booster dose. Young adults 12 to 17 who are moderately to severely immunocompromised may also be eligible to receive this vaccine.
- The following are excellent resources for assisting healthcare providers in answering patient questions. They are updated regularly:
Pneumococcal Polysaccharide Vaccine (Pneumovax® 23)
- BCCDC Indications for use in Part 4: Biological Products (Vaccines & Immune Globulins) of the BCCDC Immunization Manual.
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine can be administered IM or SC.
- How to co-administer with influenza and COVID-19 vaccines.
- All three vaccines can be provided at one appointment.
- Please refer to Table 14.1.1 in Appendix B of the BCCDC Immunization Manual for max volumes that can be administered per injection site.
- Options for administration:
- 2 IM vaccines in one deltoid and 1 IM vaccine in the other deltoid.
- 1 IM vaccine and 1 SC vaccine in one arm and 1 IM vaccine in the other arm.
- The maximum volume for IM injection in individuals 19 yrs+ is 2.0 mL.
- When administering two or more vaccines in the same limb, separate the injections by as much distance as possible. A separation of 2.5 cm (1 inch) is preferable so that local reactions are unlikely to overlap. When selecting a site for multiple injections, consider available muscle mass to allow for adequate spacing between injections.
- Providing multiple vaccines at the same appointment is safe, common practice and ensures protection against multiple vaccine preventable diseases.
- The immune system has the capacity to respond to extremely large numbers of antigens.
- Information about common side effects for influenza, COVID-19 and Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines can be found in Part 4: Biological Products section of the BCCDC Immunization Manual.