Influenza vaccine availability
November 29, 2022
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To: Local Health System Partners
FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
Influenza rates continue to increase locally and across the province. Combined with the ongoing circulation of SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses, these illnesses have the potential to negatively impact patients and the health system. This Advisory Alert reinforces the need to support patients in receiving all immunizations for which they are eligible. It provides an update regarding local availability of influenza vaccine, ordering processes and antiviral acquisition, and it also notes reminders regarding COVID-19 and pneumococcal immunizations.
Across Ontario, the influenza vaccine has been in high demand. As a result, the supply of high-dose quadrivalent influenza vaccine (HD-QIV), as well as the trivalent high-dose product for individuals 65 years of age and older, has been depleted. Please prioritize use of any high-dose influenza vaccine you may have in your inventory for those at highest risk (Public Health Agency of Canada). Otherwise, please continue to order and offer standard-dose quadrivalent influenza vaccine (QIV) for all eligible patients 6 months of age and older, regardless of age or other risk factors. The supply of QIV remains robust and it is available for ordering through your usual ordering practices.
Influenza vaccine ordering
If you would like to order doses of flu vaccine, please submit a completed standard vaccine order form (PDF 157 KB) by fax to 705.677.9616 or email email@example.com. For additional information, please find a comprehensive review of the 2022-2023 Universal Influenza Immunization Program in our issue of the Advisory Alert entitled Influenza availability for the 2022/2023 season.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is currently exploring the need for, and possibility of, procuring extra stock of antivirals from the Ministry of Health. This stock will only be available for outbreak situations or where an outbreak is suspected by the health unit, where antivirals are unavailable through usual means (for example, local pharmacies, from pharmaceutical companies, or a local hospital pharmacy). As more information becomes available, this will be communicated.
Effective November 30, 2022, the province will be expanding access to oseltamivir for the 2022/2023 influenza season for treatment of Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program-eligible persons who are at high risk of complications from influenza infection. Further details, including reimbursement criteria, are available through the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary/Comparative Drug Index (PDF 452.9KB), Edition 43 (pages 8–10) and will be available through the online ODB Formulary at: Formulary Search (gov.on.ca).
COVID-19 vaccination opportunities continue to be available and can be booked online at covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine or through Public Health Sudbury & Districts by phone at (705) 522-9200. . Please continue to remind your patients of the importance of being up to date with COVID-19 vaccines this fall, which includes receiving booster doses as they become eligible.
Pneumococcal vaccines are available for eligible persons as outlined in the Ontario Publicly Funded Immunization Schedule (Government of Ontario, PDF 316 KB). Streptococcus pneumoniae is the cause of invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), such as bacteremia and meningitis, and a common cause of community acquired pneumonia. IPD is most common in the very young, the elderly and persons at high risk due to underlying medical conditions or lifestyle factors. Please encourage your eligible patients to receive the pneumococcal vaccines for which they are eligible. These can be ordered through your normal vaccine ordering process.
Thank you for your continued commitment to keeping our communities safe.
Original Signed By
Dr. Imran Adrian Khan
Public Health Physician and Director of Sexual Health, Vaccine Preventable Diseases and COVID-19 Vaccination Division
Public Health Sudbury & Districts
NOTE: All Advisory Alerts are found on our website.
This item was last modified on November 30, 2022