Health Professionals Flu Campaign

Health Professionals Flu Campaign

Influenza or "flu" is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs caused by a virus. It can cause serious illness and even death. Your best defence is to get your flu shot every year.

Influenza FAQ for public health immunizers

2020-2021 seasonal trivalent and quadrivalent vaccines help protect against the following strains:

  • New A/Guangdong Maonan/SWL1536/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • New A/Hong Kong/2671/2019(H3N2)-like virus
  • New B/Washington/02/2019(B/Victoria lineage)-like virus
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (in quadrivalent vaccines only)

Quadrivalent vaccines intended for the pediatric population

  • FluLaval Tetra
  • Flumist (nasal spray)

Trivalent vaccines intended for the general population

  • Fluviral
  • Agriflu

Trivalent vaccines intended for those 65 years and older

  • Fluzon High Dose (residents of LTCF or Assisted Living only)
  • Fluad

Influenza vaccines have started to be distributed to physicians and pharmacists. Long-term care facilities and Workplace Health have already received vaccine. Public health mass clinics will begin mid-October to mid-December 2020.

  • At a VCH Public Health clinic - please see details for each clinic as most are by appointment, while others may be offering drop-in
  • With your family physician
  • At a walk-in clinic
  • At a pharmacist
  • At a travel clinic including VCH Travel Clinic

Yes. Many studies have shown that people who receive the flu shot are better protected against seasonal influenza than those who are not vaccinated. There are a few studies that have detected reduced amount of protection among those who are immunized annually against influenza. The reasons for this effect are not understood. However, the same studies show that vaccinated people are always better off than unvaccinated people regardless of prior history of immunization. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) has reviewed these studies and continues to recommend that people get their annual influenza vaccine.

 

No. Receiving more than one dose of influenza vaccine in the same season is not recommended, except for those children 6 months to 8 years receiving their influenza vaccine for the first time.

Yes. FluMist® is available in British Columbia for the 2020-2021 influenza season, and will be publicly-funded for those eligible.

Yes. FluMist® can be given at the same time, or any time before or after any other live vaccine.

No. Since antivirals against influenza interfere with the immune response to FluMist®, FluMist® should not be given to individuals while on these antivirals. Such individuals should receive the inactivated influenza vaccine.

Yes. Fluzone HD® was purchased by the province and will be publicly funded for those 65 years and older living in Long-term Care Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities only. Fluzone HD® is recommended by NACI, and is expected to provide superior protection compared to standard-dose TIV.  For those community dwelling seniors who do not qualify for publicly-funded Fluzone HD®, they should be offered Fluad, Agriflu or Fluviral. Alternatively,  Fluzone HD® isavailable for purchase at your local pharmacy or travel clinic, including VCH Travel Clinic.

Fluzone® Quadrivalent is a flu vaccine indicated for children 6 months to 17 years of age to protect against four strains of the flu; two A strains and two B strains.

Fluzone® HD is a trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine that contains four times the amount of antigen compared to regular flu vaccines. The additional antigen amount is intended to create a stronger immune response in the person getting the vaccine.  In Canada, this vaccine is approved for adults 65 years of age and older.

For more information on Fluzone® HD, please see the BCCDC Q&A (updated August 2020)

 

No. Only one dose of influenza vaccine is recommended for adults. Thus, if client has already received TIV, Fluzone® HD is not needed in the same season.

No. Only one dose of influenza vaccine is recommended for adults. Thus, if client has already received TIV, Fluzone® HD is not needed in the same season.

Regardless of the vaccine product chosen, any individual six months of age and older is recommended to get the flu shot. Only one dose is needed. Given that they made the appointment with public health and took the time to come, we recommend they be immunized using the flu products available so an immunization opportunity is not lost. They can then take the time to consider additional information and have a plan in place for subsequent seasons.

 Vegan vaccines (non-egg based, non-animal matter) against influenza are not available in Canada.

 Flublok® is the only recombinant influenza vaccine on the market that does not use eggs in any part of the manufacturing process. It is licensed by the FDA for use in Adults 18 years of age and older.  It is only available in the US and can be purchased at select pharmacies. Individuals wanting this vaccine would have to travel to the US to purchase this vaccine on their own.

Note:  This product is considered an acceptable alternative for the VCH Influenza Prevention Policy.

For Flublok® locator (in the USA only) see the following map for health care sites and pharmacies offering this vaccine: http://www.fluzone.com/locator-map.cfm

It is highly recommended that influenza vaccination clinics implement appropriate COVID safety precautions including physical distancing and other infection prevention and control measures. NACI recommends that a 15-minute post-vaccination observation period should be maintained even during the COVID-19 pandemic (Strong NACI recommendation)


NACI recommends that a shorter* post-vaccination observation period, between 5 to 15 minutes after influenza immunization, may be considered during the COVID-19 pandemic when appropriate physical distancing in post-vaccination waiting areas cannot be maintained due to the volume of individuals seeking immunization (Discretionary NACI recommendation)


*A shorter observation period may be considered only if the vaccine recipient meets the following conditions:
• Past history of receipt of influenza vaccine and no known history of severe allergic reactions (including anaphylaxis)
• No history of other immediate post-vaccination reactions (eg. syncope with or without seizure) after receipt of any vaccines
• The vaccine recipient is accompanied by a parent/guardian (in the case of a child) or responsible adult who will act as a chaperone to monitor the vaccine recipient for a minimum of 15 minutes
• The vaccine recipient will not be operating a motorized vehicle, self-propelled or motorized wheeled transport (eg. bicycle, scooter) for a minimum of 15 minutes after vaccination (can wait in parking lot for the total 15 minutes)
• The vaccine recipient/responsible adult knows when and how to seek post-vaccination advice and medical service if required
• The vaccine recipient and parent/guardian/adult responsible agree to remain in the waiting area for the reduced observation period

No. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) concluded that the current evidence is consistent with Live-Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) providing comparable protection against influenza to that shown by the injectable Influenza vaccine. This conclusion comes after careful review of the available Canadian and international LAIV vaccine efficacy data over many influenza seasons.

For more information please see NACI Statement on Seasonal Influenza vaccine 2020/2021 at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/vaccines-immunization/canadian-immunization-guide-statement-seasonal-influenza-vaccine-2020-2021.html#IV2

Health Professionals Flu Beat

The latest news for health professionals to help fight the flu.
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Pharmacists' Updates

Contain the latest practice-related information for pharmacists who immunize within the VCH region.

06 Nov, 2020 Updated

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03 Nov, 2020 Updated

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21 Oct, 2020

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Influenza Immunization Report (Due January 31, 2021)

20 Oct, 2020

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Onewrite for Public Health Influenza Campaign

Order your site's needs directly from HSSBC print services: Form Number VCH.0289 (without screening questions) or Form Number VCH.0704 (with screening questions)

05 Oct, 2020

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VCH Seasonal Influenza Update 2020-2021 presentation

Education update for Influenza season 2020-2021

05 Oct, 2020

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Fluzone® High-Dose Influenza Vaccine Q&A

Updated September 2020

21 Sep, 2020

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Flu Components Quick Reference Guide 2020-2021

Quick Reference Guide for clinicians regarding the flu updates for 2020-2021.

21 Sep, 2020

Immunization Flu

Fluviral® Product Monograph

2019-2020 flu season

13 Sep, 2019

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Physicians' Updates

Physicians' Updates

Contains the latest practice-related information for general practitioners and nurse practitioners across the Vancouver health region.

13 Sep, 2019

Immunization Flu

Flulaval Tetra® Product Monograph

2019-2020 flu season

13 Sep, 2019

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Flu Vaccine Request Process for 2019/2020

As per last year, you no longer need to request an entire season allocation of influenza vaccine.

06 Sep, 2019

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Flu Beat Bulletins 2019-2020

You will need access to MyVCH to view the bulletins.

30 Nov, 2018

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Onewrite - VCH Health Care Worker

Record of flu immunization.

01 Oct, 2018

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Protect Your Flu Vaccine

Protect Your Flu Vaccine

Storage and handling rules, and recipes for packing.

01 Sep, 2018

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Long-Term Care Posters

Long-Term Care Posters

Posters about BC's flu policy for long-term care facilities.

01 Sep, 2018

Flu Communicable Diseases Outbreaks

Who are you fighting the flu for? Posters

Who are you fighting the flu for? Posters

02 Oct, 2017

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Nursing scope of practice for influenza and pneumococcal immunizations with an order

Update coming!

20 Nov, 2015

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Pharmacists Community Flu Clinic Reporting Form

30 Sep, 2015

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FAQs About Pandemic Influenza

Pandemic flu occurs only 2 or 3 times a century, but we have never been as well prepared.

01 Jan, 2015

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Role of gloves and alcohol‐based hand rub use when vaccinating

03 Oct, 2014

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Tips To Give Adult Injections

Tip sheet for administering adult subcutaneous and intramuscular injections.

01 Jan, 2013

Immunization Flu

Ethical framework for decision-making during an influenza pandemic

From HSDA Planning Workshops

01 Jan, 2010

Flu Outbreaks

H1N1 Pandemic Preparedness Guide

H1N1 Pandemic Preparedness Guide

The pandemic is over but the H1N1 virus will continue to circulate for years to come.

31 Oct, 2009

Flu Outbreaks

Where can I get a flu shot?

Help fight the flu and stop the spread of germs.

Key information for the public

  1. The influenza vaccine is safe and well-tolerated.
    Immunization has been shown to reduce the number of physician visits, hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk adults.
  2. It cannot cause influenza illness.
    The inactivated vaccines do not contain the live virus. The viruses in live attenuated influenza vaccines are weakened (can cause upper respiratory symptoms in ~5% of people).
  3. Annual vaccination is required.
    The body’s immune response from vaccination diminishes within a year, and influenza viruses change often.

For more information for the public, including who can get the free shot and where, see Get Flu Protection.