Vaccination Services

Flu vaccination in 2022

The following advice has been provided by the Australian Government Department of Health on 25th February 2022.

Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its’ complications. It is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over (unless contraindicated).

Influenza vaccination in 2022 is particularly important due to lower exposure to influenza and low levels of influenza vaccine coverage over the COVID-19 pandemic period. It is predicted that there may be a resurgence of influenza now that travel restrictions have eased.

Seasonal influenza vaccines funded through the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for people most at risk, will be available from April 2022 subject to local supply arrangements. Privately funded influenza vaccines for people not eligible to receive an NIP-funded vaccine are expected to be available earlier.

Key Points for 2022

  • Influenza vaccines can be co-administered with a COVID-19 vaccine on the same day.
  • It is recommended that adults aged 65 years and over receive the adjuvanted influenza vaccine (Fluad Quad®) is preferentially recommended over standard influenza vaccine.
  • If a patient had a 2021 influenza vaccine in late 2021 or early 2022, it is still recommended for them to receive an influenza vaccine when they become available.

The following information is taken from the ATAGI Clinical Advice issued in March 2022.

 Vaxigrip Tetra
0.5mL
(Sanofi) 
Fluarix Tetra
0.5mL
(GSK) 
Afluria Quad
0.5mL
(Seqirus)
FluQuadri
0.5mL
(Sanofi) 
Influvac Tetra
0.5mL
(Mylan) 
Flucelvax Quad
0.5mL
(Seqirus) 
Fluad Quad
0.5mL
(Seqirus) 
Fluzone High-Dose Quad
0.7mL
(Sanofi) 
6 to 24 months
(<2 years) 
X X X X
=>2 to <5 years X X X
=>5 to <60 years ✓+ ✓+ ✓+ X X
=>60 to <65 years ✓+ ✓+ ✓+ X
=>65 years
  • Ticks indicate age at which a vaccine is registered and available. White boxes indicate availability for free under the NIP.
  • + NIP funding only for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, pregnant women and people who have certain medical conditions

The influenza virus strains included in the 2022 Southern Hemisphere seasonal influenza vaccines are shown below.

Egg-based influenza vaccines

Cell-based influenza vaccines

A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus

A/Wisconsin/588/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus

A/Darwin/9/2021 (H3N2)-like virus

A/Darwin/6/2021 (H3N2)-like virus

B/Austria/1359417/2021-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus

B/Austria/1359417/2021-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus

B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus

B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) virus

Note: The chosen egg-based and cell-based viruses will sometimes differ if one virus cannot be used for both production systems. In this case, different viruses with similar properties are selected for vaccine production

The eligibility to receive an influenza vaccine funded through the NIP remains unchanged and is available for the following groups:

  • All children aged 6 months to <5 years
  • All adults aged 65 years and older
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Pregnant women
  • People aged 5 to <65 years who have certain medical conditions (see table below)

Category

Medical conditions

Cardiac disease

Cyanotic congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease

Chronic respiratory conditions

Severe asthma, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic emphysema

Chronic neurological conditions

Hereditary and degenerative CNS diseases, seizure disorders, spinal cord injuries, neuromuscular disorders

Immunocompromising conditions

Immunocompromised due to disease or treatment, asplenia or splenic dysfunction, HIV infection

Diabetes and other metabolic disorders

Type 1 or 2 diabetes, chronic metabolic disorders

Renal disease

Chronic renal failure

Haematological disorders

Haemoglobinopathies

Long-term aspirin therapy in children aged 5 to 10 years

These children are at increased risk of Reye syndrome following influenza infection

Note: See the Australian Immunisation Handbook for advice on people who are strongly recommended to receive annual influenza vaccination but not eligible for NIP‑funded influenza vaccines.

Ideally people should receive their annual influenza vaccination before the start of the influenza season, with optimal protection against influenza occurring in the first three to four months following vaccination. The peak period of influenza circulation usually occurs from June to September in most parts of Australia; however, this may differ in 2022 due to COVID-19 and the return of international travel.

Influenza vaccines can continue to be offered as long as influenza virus is circulating and a valid vaccine (before expiration date) is available.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advises that COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered with an influenza vaccine if required. Trials have demonstrated that co-administration of COVID-19 and influenza vaccine raises no safety concerns and preserves the immune response to both vaccines. Co-administration can results in a higher frequency of mild to moderate adverse events and can make it harder to attribute potential adverse events to specific vaccines. It is important to advise your patient that it is more likely that they may experience common adverse effects and to report any adverse events.

Vaccination legislation and regulations

Vaccination legislation and regulations

The vaccination legislation and regulation for vaccination in community pharmacy differs for each state and territory including the types of vaccines that can be administer, who is authorised to administer vaccines and the minimum age for patients receiving a vaccine.

Australian Immunisation Register

Australian Immunisation Register

The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is a national register that records vaccinations given to people of all ages in Australia.

It is mandatory for all vaccination providers to report immunisations to the AIR.

Resources

Resources

The Guild has developed a range of flu vaccination resources for use in promoting your in-pharmacy service, which include posters, suggested social media posts, downloadable handouts, templates and forms.

Training

Training

The Guild is able to deliver training in every state and territory to become a qualified pharmacist immuniser.

Visit GuildED for training modules that provide pharmacists with practical advice and new information relating to vaccinations and vaccination services.

Further information is available from your State Branch.

History of Pharmacy Vaccination Services

Since well before the publication of the Community Pharmacy Roadmap in May 2010 the Guild has been actively working on expanding pharmacists professional activities in the delivery of services to improve the health outcomes of all Australians.  The Guild has always seen pharmacist vaccination as an opportunity for innovation in community pharmacy health service delivery.

On 5 December 2013, the Pharmacy Board of Australia announced that vaccination was within the current scope of practice of pharmacists. This statement followed work undertaken on its behalf by the then Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework Steering Committee and with consultation with the Guild.

The Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot (QPIP) Phase 1 operated from 1 April 2014 to 30 September 2014 in 80 pharmacies and saw 10,889 influenza vaccines delivered, demonstrating that community pharmacy is well placed to improve vaccination rates. Almost one in five people vaccinated in the QPIP Phase 1 trial had indicated that they would not otherwise have been vaccinated and one in seven said it was the first time they had been vaccinated for influenza. The QPIP Phase 2 trial operated from March 2015 to April 2016 and was expanded to include measles and pertussis in 200 pharmacies.

Since early 2015, appropriately trained pharmacists in South Australia and Western Australia have been administering approved vaccines. Since 2016, appropriately trained pharmacists in Tasmania, ACT, NSW, QLD and Victoria can administer approved vaccines

Immunisation in Community Pharmacy Policy

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Page last updated on: 18 March 2022