Health units will begin influenza vaccine distribution starting the week of October 11, 2021.

Key messages

  • Influenza vaccine product and ordering information is enclosed.

    • Pharmacists will request vaccine through the BC Pharmacy Association.

    • Physicians and other providers will request vaccine from Public Health.

    • Vaccine for residents of Assisted Living and First Nations communities aged 65+ will be ordered from Public Health.

  • NEW: This year, you can send vaccine requests to Public Health via an online form.

  • Health units will begin influenza vaccine distribution starting the week of October 11, 2021. Please begin arranging for vaccine pickups, storage and fridge space.

  • This year all products are quadrivalent. Both Fluzone and FluLaval can be used for all age groups. Afluria® is approved for those five years of age and older, Fluzone® High-Dose is approved for those 65 years of age and older, and Flumist® is indicated for those between 2-17 years of age inclusive.

Vaccine products, format, and expiry

The 2021/2022 influenza vaccination program consists of five products:

Product 

FluLaval® Tetra Inactivated 

Fluzone® Quadrivalent Inactivated 

Afluria® Tetra Inactivated 

Flumist® Quadrivalent Live Attenuated 

Fluzone® High-Dose Quadrivalent Inactivated

Supplier

GSK
Sanofi Pasteur
Seqirus
AstraZeneca
Sanofi Pasteur

Indicated Age Group

6 months & older
6 months & older
5 years & older
2-17 years inclusive
65 years & older

Formats Available

Multi-dose vial
Multi-dose vial and pre-filled syringe
Multi-dose vial
Intranasal spray
Pre-filled syringe

Expiry

28 days from opening vial
Use up to the date of expiry listed on the vial or pre-filled syringe
28 days from opening vial
Use up to the date of expiry listed on the syringe/box Shelf life is approx. 4 months
Use up to the date of expiry listed on the pre-filled syringe

Contains Thimerosal

Yes
Yes in multi-dose vial No in pre-filled syringe
Yes
No
No

The 2021/2022 influenza vaccines contain the following strains:

  • A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus**

  • A/Cambodia /e0826360/2020 (H3N2)-like virus**

  • B/Washington/02/2019-like virus

  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus

**The A/Victoria and A/Cambodia strains were not contained in the 2020/21 season vaccine.

Vaccine eligibility and use

At this time, eligibility criteria for publicly-funded flu 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

More information and the full eligibility list are available here.

2021/2022 Influenza vaccine intended use

Age Group 

Preferred Vaccine 

Comments 

6-23 months

  • FluLaval®
  • Fluzone®

2-17 years

  • FluLaval®
  • Fluzone®
  • Flumist®
  • Afluria® (for those 5 years of age and older)
Flumist® Quadrivalent is contraindicated for those with severe asthma or active wheezing (on high dose inhaled or oral steroids or medically attended wheezing in the past 7 days)

18 years and older

  • FluLaval®
  • Fluzone®
  • Afluria®

65 years and older

  • FluLaval®
  • Fluzone®
  • Afluria®
  • Fluzone® High-Dose*
*NOTE: publicly funded Fluzone® High-Dose is available for individuals 65 years or older who are residents of Long-Term Care and Assisted Living facilities or First Nations communities only.

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

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

Vaccine Distribution and Handling

Requesting Vaccine

  • Submit your initial vaccine requests by October 4. You can submit subsequent requests as needed.

  • Please order from the health unit closest to where you will be offering your clinic.

  • NEW: Requests for vaccine from Public Health should be submitted through our new Influenza Vaccine Request Online Form.

  • If you cannot submit online, you can fax your order using the enclosed form.

  • Do not submit requests for Long Term Care facilities. They receive vaccine directly from Public Health

Distribution

  • Health units will begin distribution the week of October 11, 2021 if there are no delays from the manufacturers or BCCDC.

  • Health units receive and distribute vaccines in batches during the influenza season. We aim to fulfill your full request if supply allows; however we may not be able to, as demand from community immunizers at the beginning of the season often outpaces supply.

Transport & Storage

  • Vaccines should be kept at 2-8°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).

  • Fluzone® High-Dose and some stock of Fluzone® 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: the prefilled syringes do NOT come with needles.

Influenza Vaccine Request Form – 2021/22 season

Submit your request online at FHObservatory.checkbox.ca/Influenza-Vaccine-Request

If you can’t submit online, fax your request to your local health unit using this form


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