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.
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:
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
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.
The high priority groups are hospitalized individuals, hospital staff, long-term care home residents and staff. These individuals should also be prioritized:
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:
Large-scale influenza community vaccination clinics for the general population should be scheduled in November to ensure an adequate supply of vaccine.
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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Influenza vaccine can be provided concurrent, before or after any other vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccine.