Know What’s New for 2023-2024 Flu Immunizations

You’ll play a key role in optimizing flu vaccines for 2023-2024.

Most influenza vaccines will be quadrivalent again this season...with an updated A (H1N1) strain.

Continue to follow your pharmacy immunization protocols.

Explain to patients that influenza causes about 12,000 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths each year in Canada.

Vaccinate as soon as you have supplies...and continue as long as flu is circulating.

Continue to use ANY age-appropriate flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older. Keep in mind, intranasal FluMist is only an option for healthy, NONpregnant patients ages 2 through 59.

For patients age 65 and up, give Fluzone High-Dose. But if it’s not available, use any age-appropriate vaccine...don’t wait.

If patients ask, don’t give a flu “booster”...regardless of when patients get this year’s vaccine.

Reinforce that patients with a severe egg allergy can get ANY flu vaccine. Reassure that evidence shows that these patients don’t have a higher reaction rate compared to those without an egg allergy.

Plus egg-free options (Flucelvax Quad, Supemtek) are available, if a patient prefers.

Continue to help patients get other immunizations (COVID-19, pneumococcal, RSV, etc) at the same visit, if needed.

Try to use different arms, especially with vaccines that might cause local reactions...such as COVID-19 with Fluad or Fluzone High-Dose. If giving vaccines in the same arm, separate by at least 2.5 cm.

Advise that a combo flu/COVID-19 vaccine won’t be available this season...but studies are ongoing.

Use our resource, Flu Vaccines for 2023-24, to compare products...and find more guidance for kids, pregnant patients, and egg allergy.

Key References

  • (Accessed August 30, 2023).
  • Greenhawt M, Turner PJ, Kelso JM. Administration of influenza vaccines to egg allergic recipients: A practice parameter update 2017. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018 Jan;120(1):49-52.
Pharmacist's Letter Canada. September 2023, No. 390901

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