Influenza Immunization Program newsletter - October 2018

Influenza Immunization Program Update

October 4, 2018

Published by the AHS Province Wide Immunization Program Team

Alberta Health Vaccine Procurement Decisions

Alberta Health is offering a four-strain injectable influenza vaccine produced by two manufacturers (Fluzone® Quadrivalent and FluLaval® Tetra) to eligible Albertans six months of age or older. AH refers to the National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s (NACI) recommendations when making decisions about influenza vaccines.

Similar to last season, FLUMIST® will not be available as part of the provincially funded influenza immunization program for 2018-2019. NACI has recommended that either injectable vaccine or FLUMIST® can be used for children 2 to 17 years of age. FLUMIST® is no longer considered the preferential vaccine for this age group.

This season, Fluad® (a vaccine designed to boost the immune response in seniors) will no longer be publicly available to seniors in long-term care or supportive living facilities. Fluzone® High Dose (Fluzone® HD) will also not be publicly available. From an influenza immunization program perspective, the 2018-2019 NACI Influenza Immunization statement does not list a preferential recommendation of one influenza vaccine product over another for individuals 65 years of age and older. NACI recommends that any of the four influenza vaccines available for adults 65 years of age and older should be used (standard trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines, high dose trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine, MF59-adjuvanted trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine and quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccines). There is currently no research available to compare standard dose quadrivalent (Fluzone®) to Fluzone® HD or adjuvanted trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (Fluad®) vaccine.

Standard dose quadrivalent vaccine was ultimately chosen for use in Alberta this season based on epidemiology of disease patterns, population at risk, distribution logistics, and cost. Having fewer types of vaccines decreases the complexity and cost of the influenza immunization program. As more research becomes available, the use of Fluzone® HD in Alberta will be re-evaluated.

Individuals 9 years of age and older should have only one dose of influenza vaccine per influenza season, whether that be provincially funded quadrivalent vaccine or purchased trivalent adjuvanted or high dose vaccine.

2018-2019 Influenza Program Reporting

AHS must account to AH for all doses of influenza vaccine distributed to immunizing partners and report on vaccine utilization and immunization rates. All immunizing partners, in turn must provide accurate accounting of doses administered using reporting forms provided by their AHS Zone Contact. Doses must be accounted for before additional vaccine will be sent.

The date for submission of the first report is November 8, 2018

Reporting forms accounting for number of influenza doses administered, wasted and on hand will be due to your Zone Contact on a monthly basis.

  • Zone specific reporting forms are posted on the AHS website at www.albertahealthservices.ca/2824.asp.
  • Community providers will have the option of submitting the reporting form via email or fax to their Zone Contact.
  • Monthly reporting due dates will be indicated on the zone specific reporting form.

Zone Contacts

North

Edmonton

  • Jennifer Beaudry
    T: 780-342-0230
    F: 780-342-0248

Central

  • Wendy Malo
    T: 403-356-6409
    F: 403-356-6332

Calgary

  • Christine Sikora
    T: 403-955-6750
    F: 403-955-6755

South

  • Public Health Nursing Team
    T: 403-388-6684
    F: 403-380-2893

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