Influenza vaccine updates for the 2020/21 season
September 17, 2020
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To: Area clinicians
FOR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION: An important update about the influenza vaccine for the 2020/21 influenza season
Thank you for your ongoing hard work and partnership with Public Health Sudbury & Districts in serving our communities, now more than ever. Please see below key updates on this year’s Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP)
Public health unit allocation process
- Every year, the Ministry of Health allocates limited doses of the influenza vaccine to public health units— mainly based on previous year distribution levels. Public Health Sudbury & Districts has to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine supply across our district while working within our approved allocations.
- The bulk of the allocation is received throughout late September and October with the opportunity to order the remaining allocation thereafter. Once the local allocations are depleted, health units can request additional doses but there is no guarantee of approval or receipt. This depends on many factors such as provincial demands and supply availability.
- This season, both high-risk and general population influenza vaccine campaigns will launch simultaneously. This means that there is no need to request high-risk vaccines in advance, and alternatively, you may order for both at the same time.
- There are limited quantities released to community health care providers and although there is opportunity to re-order, and we do our best to meet requests, we may not always be able fulfill orders as requested. We also understand there may be increase demand for the influenza vaccine within the context of COVID-19.
- The distribution strategy from the Ministry of Health has changed this year and high-dose vaccine will be available for administration by participating pharmacies. Noting that pharmacies outside Toronto order their doses through wholesale distributors as designated by the Ministry of Health, and not local public health unit.
- As per Ministry of Health guidance, health units must prioritize high-dose distribution to long-term care facilities, retirement homes, and hospitals. Remaining doses are then allocated to community health care providers. This process has been followed for the past number of years.
- High-dose trivalent vaccine will be available for eligible seniors aged 65 years and older.
- As stock is very limited for community providers, please refer eligible patients requesting high-dose influenza vaccine to pharmacies for vaccination or you may want to consider prioritizing patients that would most benefit from this product versus the quadrivalent product.
- To preserve supply for other providers, Public Health Sudbury & Districts will generally not be administering high-dose influenza vaccine, with limited exceptions where specific service gaps need to be met.
- This season, both high-risk and general population influenza vaccine campaigns will launch simultaneously, so there is no need to request high-risk vaccines in advance.
- Public Health Sudbury & Districts is recommending that if health care providers are planning a large vaccination clinic for their patients, that this be planned in November as you will know your stock allocation by mid-October and be able to plan dose distribution within your practice accordingly. There may also be possibility to re-order additional doses thereafter should local stock be available.
- As previously sent, please continue to refer to the correspondence regarding guidance for influenza vaccine delivery in the presence of COVID-19.
UIIP product information
- This season a variety of products will be available for immunization. The majority of these are quadrivalent vaccines. Please refer to the list of the publicly funded influenza vaccines (https://www.phsd.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/2020-21-UIIP-Product-Info-and-Distribution-Plan-1.pdf) available for use through the Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP).
- You will be receiving your vaccine order form at the end of September.
- You can anticipate receiving your UIIP package in early October.
- We will share additional information about the availability of influenza vaccine as it becomes available to us.
Should you have any questions, please contact the immunization program at 705.522.9200, ext. 301.
Original Signed By
Dr. Penny Sutcliffe
Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer
NOTE: All Advisory Alerts are found on our website.
This item was last modified on September 17, 2020