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#1. All 2020 influenza vaccines available in Australia are quadrivalent.
All doses of 2020 influenza vaccines available in Australia are quadrivalent, there are no longer trivalent influenza vaccines available.
#2. The standard dose for all influenza vaccines from 6-months of age is 0.5ml.
The dose of influenza vaccines for all ages is 0.5ml, the 0.25ml dose for young children is no longer available.
#3. Afluria® Quad can be administered to anyone from 6-months of age.
Afluria® Quad vaccine is contraindicated in children less than 5-years of age because the safety and efficacy in this age group has not been evaluated.
#4. People aged ≥ 65-years are recommended to have a standard QIV influenza vaccine.
People aged ≥ 65-years and older are recommended to have Fluad® Quad, an adjuvanted quadrivalent vaccine specifically designed to provide increased protection by creating a greater immune response. Fluad® Quad is preferentially recommended over the standard QIV’s.
#5. The Commonwealth Government now funds influenza vaccine for children aged 6-months to less than 5-years.
The Commonwealth Government now funds influenza vaccine for children aged 6-months to less than 5-years.
#6. Pregnant women can have an influenza vaccine at any stage of pregnancy.
Influenza vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy. It is best given prior to the influenza season; however, it can be administered at any stage of pregnancy and will still provide some protection to the mother and baby.
#7. Influenza vaccines are only recommended for medically at-risk groups.
Influenza vaccines are recommended for all people aged ≥ 6-months.
#8. Influenza vaccines contain 2 x Influenza A strains and 2 x Influenza B strains.
There are three strain changes for the influenza vaccine in 2020.
The four strains in the 2020 southern hemisphere seasonal influenza vaccines are:
• A (H1N1): an A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
• A (H3N2): an A/South Australia/34/2019 (H3N2)-like virus;
• B: a B/Washington/02/2019-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus;
• B: a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus.
#9. An adjuvanted quadrivalent influenza vaccine can be administered in any age group to enhance the immune response.
Adjuvanted formulations are currently only registered for use in those ≥ 65-years of age. They are designed to illicit a better immune response in the older population where the response to the standard QIV formulations have been found to be less effective.
#10. Two doses, 1 month apart, are recommended for children <9-years in their first year of receiving the influenza vaccine.
Two doses of influenza vaccine one month apart are recommended for children <9-years of age in their first year of receiving an influenza vaccine.
#11. It’s safe to have an influenza vaccine in the community if you have an egg allergy.
Based on prospective and retrospective studies of influenza vaccination in those with and without egg allergy (including egg anaphylaxis), the presence of egg allergy does not increase the risks of an allergic reaction to the influenza vaccine.
#12. Common side effects of the influenza vaccine include pain, redness and swelling at the injection site.
Common side effects of the influenza vaccine include pain, redness and swelling at the injection site as well as fever, malaise and myalgia. Symptoms usually occur within the first 24-48 hours following the vaccine being given. Side effects may occur slightly more commonly with the adjuvanted quadrivalent vaccine.
#13. Influenza vaccines cannot be given at the same time as other vaccines.
It is safe to administer an influenza vaccine on the same day as other vaccines.
#14. My patient has already had a confirmed case of influenza this year, therefore they do not need to have an influenza vaccine.
There are 2 x influenza A strains and 2 x influenza B strains in the influenza vaccine and having an influenza vaccine after a confirmed case of influenza is recommended as it will provide protection against the other strains in the vaccine.
#15. My pregnant patient has already had a dose of the 2019 influenza vaccine in pregnancy, do they need a dose of the 2020 influenza vaccine?
Yes, women who received the previous year’s seasonal influenza vaccine earlier in their pregnancy are recommended to receive the current year’s influenza vaccine to provide protection against the current circulating strains.
#16. My pregnant patient had a dose of the 2020 influenza vaccine prior to conception, do they need to be revaccinated during pregnancy?
Yes, it is recommended your pregnant patient be revaccinated in order to provide protection to their unborn baby, who will not be eligible to receive an influenza vaccine until they are 6-months of age.