Health units will begin influenza vaccine distribution as of October 10, 2017.

  • Health units will begin influenza vaccine distribution as of October 10, 2017. Please begin arranging for multiple vaccine pickups, storage and fridge space.
  • Vaccine Eligibility and Use: Similar to direction provided last year, the National Advisory Committee of Immunization (NACI) is no longer recommending preferential use of FluMist® (LAIV) for children 2-17 years. Therefore, either use FluMist® (LAIV) Flulaval® (QIIV) or Fluzone (QIIV) for this population. If a quadrivalent vaccine is not available, a trivalent influenza vaccine should be used.
  • Influenza vaccine product and ordering information is enclosed. Download Vaccine Order Form below.

Vaccine Distribution and Storage

Health units will begin distribution once supplies are available in enough quantities for equitable distribution. This is anticipated to be October 10, 2017 if there are no further delays from the manufacturers or BCCDC.

Please indicate the number of doses you require on the order form attached. If you are offering a flu clinic in a location away from your office/store, please order the vaccine from the health unit closest to that flu clinic site. Note that health units receive and distribute vaccines in batches during the flu season. Therefore, a request for a full season’s supply of vaccine may not be satisfied at the beginning of the season as demand from community vaccine providers often outpaces supplies received.

FluMist® and Agriflu® take up to 9-12 times more space than multi-dose vials. As such, you will need to pick up vaccines more than once this season and you will require additional coolers and fridge space for vaccine transport and storage.

You must bring an appropriate cooler, ice pack and packing material (paper/bubble wrap) for vaccine transport.

Information for pharmacies

  • PharmaCare will not be funding pharmacist administration of publicly funded FluMist vaccine for the 2017-2018 season. Pharmacists may request FluMist on a case by case basis but will not be reimbursed and will not be able to charge eligible clients for its administration.

Information about vaccine storage

  • All vaccines should be stored between 2- 8 degrees Celsius
  • Fluviral, FluLavalTetra and Fluzone QIIV have a shelf-life of 28 days once the multi-dose vial is opened

Influenza Vaccine Eligibility and Use

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.

The 2017/18 fall Influenza vaccination program will consist of four products:

  1. Fluviral® (GSK) Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine
  2. Agriflu® (Novartis) Trivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine
  3. FluLaval®Tetra (GSK) Quadrivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccine or Fluzone QIV* (Sanofi)
  4. Flumist® (AstraZeneca) Quadrivalent Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine

*Note: Fluzone Quadrivalent is not the same as ‘Fluzone High-Dose’ for seniors - a trivalent product not publicly funded in B.C.

2017/18 Influenza Vaccine Intended Use

Age Group  Preferred Vaccine Comments
6 mos-23 mos  FluLaval® Quadrivalent
*Fluzone® Quadrivalent
For children 6-23 months of age, FluLaval® or Fluzone® quadrivalents are the recommended products. If FluLaval® or Fluzone® quadrivalent is unavailable, Fluviral® or Agriflu® can be used.
2-17 years  Flumist® Quadrivalent
FluLaval® Quadrivalent 
For children 2-17 years of age, either Flumist® or FluLaval® can be used. If Flulaval® or FluMist is unavailable, Fluviral® or Agriflu® can be used.
**18 years of age and older  Fluviral®
Agriflu® may be used for individuals with a known hypersensitivity to thimerosal or for pregnant women who request a thimerosal-free product. 

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

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

Vaccine Order Form

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