The General Practice Roundtable has issued Key Messages for Providers regarding 2018 Seasonal Influenza Supplies:
Your efforts to vaccinate your patients against seasonal influenza in 2018 have been a great success and this notice provides an update regarding vaccine availability.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has released over 10 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccines for the National Immunisation Program (NIP), state programs and the private market – this is approximately 32% higher than the 8.3 million doses released in all of 2017.
Of the total vaccine doses, the Australian Government has made available over 5.3 million doses of seasonal influenza vaccines through the NIP. Enhanced immunogenicity trivalent vaccines specifically designed for the elderly made up more than 3.4 million of these doses, which is enough to vaccinate more than 85% of all individuals aged 65 years and older nationally.
Additional quadrivalent vaccines will be arriving shortly, ahead of the anticipated peak period of seasonal influenza transmission, which is usually August or September. Vaccinating in June and July provides sufficient time for immunity to develop.
There has been significant demand for seasonal influenza vaccines across the NIP, state programs, and private market supplies. The availability of supplies has been reported to vary across providers. Given this, we encourage you to carefully manage your vaccine supplies to ensure all eligible people can access a vaccine in 2018 and to avoid wastage at the end of the season.
Let your local immunisation service providers, state or territory health department or Primary Health Network know if you have vaccines available – this will make it easier for patients to access vaccines in your local area.
- If you have a patient aged 65 years and older, offer them an enhanced immunogenicity TIV (Fluad, Seqirus or Fluzone High Dose, Sanofi Pasteur).
- If a TIV is not available in your or other local practices, then offer a QIV.
- Individuals aged 65 years and older should only receive one dose of a seasonal influenza vaccine.
- Providing a TIV and a QIV in a single season is not recommended.
- If you have a High risk patient aged 18 to 65 years, offer them Afluria Quad where available to reserve other vaccines for use in children and adolescents.
- If no Afluria Quad is available, other brands can continue to be used as available.
- If you have a child or adolescent aged >3 years and 18 years, offer them FluQuadri (Sanofi) or Fluarix Tetra (GSK).
- If you have a child aged 6 months to < 3 years, offer them FluQuadri Junior (Sanofi).
- FluQuadri Junior is the only vaccine able to be used young children and supply of this vaccine has not been not impacted.
- Children aged less than 9 years who have not previously been vaccinated should receive two doses, 1 month apart.
[Source: Department of Health]