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Seasonal Influenza

Find out where residents can get the flu vaccine in Niagara.

Influenza vaccination is expected to be particularly important with COVID-19 circulating, benefiting individuals, the larger community and the overall health system. Make a strong recommendation for your patients to get the flu shot.

Universal Influenza Immunization Program

Each year, the Ministry of Health provides publicly funded influenza vaccine through the Universal Influenza Immunization Program.

Public Health supports Niagara's health care professionals in implementing this program by providing:

  • A pre-determined, equitable, one time allotment of influenza vaccine for vulnerable and high-risk groups. The exception is agencies and workplaces who receive influenza vaccine based on ordering.
  • The seasonal influenza vaccine order form for health care professionals to order additional vaccine for subsequent orders based on availability
  • Information about influenza vaccine products, supply and distribution
  • Details on local flu activity and surveillance
  • Posters

Contact

Call the Vaccine Preventable Disease program Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

905-688-8248 or 1-888-505-6074 ext. 7396

Health cards

The Universal Influenza Immunization Program offers influenza vaccine free of charge to all individuals six months of age and older who live, work or go to school in Ontario.

Learn how pharmacists can administer influenza vaccine to eligible Ontarians (with or without a OHIP card) who are two years of age and older.

Vaccine information

  • When to immunize

    The high priority groups are hospitalized individuals, hospital staff, long-term care home residents and staff. These individuals should also be prioritized:

    • All pregnant individuals
    • People who are residents of nursing homes or other chronic care facilities
    • People 65 years of age or older
    • All children six months to four years of age
    • Indigenous peoples
    • Adults or children six months of age and over with chronic health conditions as follows:
      • Cardiac or pulmonary disorders
      • Diabetes mellitus or other metabolic disease
      • Cancer
      • Conditions or medication which compromise the immune system (due to underlying disease, therapy or both)
      • Renal disease
      • Anemia or hemoglobinopathy
      • Neurologic or neurodevelopment conditions
      • Morbid obesity (body mass index of 40 or more
      • Children and adolescents (six months to 18 years) undergoing treatment with acetylsalicylic acid for long periods
    • Health care providers

    In November, immunization of the general population starts.

    An influenza vaccination should be offered to all patients who are six months of age and older this fall, unless contraindicated.

    The following individuals are particularly recommended to receive the influenza vaccine:

    • Those capable of transmitting influenza to the individuals prioritized for vaccination in October and / or to infants under six months of age
      • Health care workers and other care providers in facilities and community settings
      • Household contacts (adults and children) of individuals at high risk of influenza related complications
      • Persons who provide care to children under four years of age
      • Members of a household expecting a newborn during the influenza season
      • Those who provide services within a closed or relatively closed setting to persons at high risk (for example, crew on a ship)
    • People who provide essential community services
    • Poultry industry workers

    Large-scale influenza community vaccination clinics for the general population should be scheduled in November to ensure an adequate supply of vaccine.

  • Influenza vaccines for 2022-2023
    • Standard-Dose Quadrivalent Inactivated Vaccine (QIV) for clients six months of age and older
    • High-Dose Quadrivalent Inactivated Vaccine (QIV-HD) for 65 years of age and older
    • Adjuvanted Trivalent Inactivated Vaccine (TIV) for clients 65 years of age and older

    The National Advisory Committee on Immunization indicates that egg allergy is not a contraindication for influenza vaccination and that egg-allergic individuals may be vaccinated against influenza using the full dose of any age-appropriate product.

    Vaccine orders may include both multi-dose vials and pre-filled syringes. Make the necessary room in your vaccine fridge to accommodate the packaging. Pre-filled syringes will require the addition of a 1-inch to 1.5-inch safety-engineered needle tip.

    The recommended needle gauge and lengths for intramuscular injections are:

    Needle recommendation Infants, toddlers and children Adolescents and adults
    Gauge 22 - 25 22 - 25
    Length

    7/8ths of an inch - 1 inch

    1 - 1.5 inch

    Before receiving influenza vaccine, review how to monitor the vaccine fridge temperature and handle a cold chain excursion.

  • Ordering the influenza vaccine

    Primary care

    As a primary care provider, your one time allotment of the publicly funded influenza vaccine is based on the products and quantities that Public Health receives. We aim for an equitable distribution to all health care providers interested in participating in the Universal Influenza Immunization Program.

    After you receive your initial allotment in October, you will be able to order more flu vaccine from Public Health using the seasonal influenza vaccine order form.

    Public Health is unable to take your unused influenza vaccine back to use or redistribute. To help ensure less waste, only order influenza vaccine in amounts that you're certain your office can use. You can order more vaccine as required and as available.

    Pharmacies

    Public Health doesn't distribute influenza vaccine to pharmacies.

    Pharmacies that have successfully completed the prequalification process need to refer to the Universal Influenza Immunization Program or contact the Ministry of Health for more information, including vaccine ordering, reporting and reimbursement. The Ministry of Health will email all approved pharmacies participating in the Universal Influenza Immunization Program in fall 2022.

    Prequalified facilities

    The Ministry of Health will email all approved vaccine providers participating in the 2022-2023 Universal Influenza Immunization Program. Facilities, such as workplaces, nursing agencies and retirement homes that don't routinely store vaccine, and have successfully completed the pre-qualification process can order from Public Health using the seasonal influenza vaccine order form.

  • Recommended doses and products

    Children six months to under nine years of age not previously immunized with any influenza vaccine in their lifetime are recommended to have two doses at least four weeks apart. It is not necessary to use the same vaccine product for both doses.

    One dose of the influenza vaccine is needed each year to provide protection for all other individuals.

    Don't delay vaccination to wait for a particular product. Seniors are only eligible for one publicly funded influenza vaccination per season.

  • Concomitant administration of influenza and COVID-19 vaccines

    Influenza vaccine can be provided concurrent, before or after any other vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccine.

More information

Ministry of Health questions and answers for health care providers

Recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization and Public Health Ontario

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