We’re getting questions about flu vaccines for 2023-2024.
Be familiar with the latest changes...and how you can help.
Vaccines. All influenza vaccines will be quadrivalent again...but 1 of the 4 strains will be different than last year’s vaccines.
Expect to dispense ANY age-appropriate flu vaccine for patients 6 months and older. Remember that intranasal FluMist is only an option for healthy, NONpregnant patients ages 2 through 49.
For patients age 65 and up, don’t be surprised to get orders for a higher-dose or adjuvanted flu vaccine...Fluzone High-Dose, Flublok, or Fluad.
But if these aren’t available, anticipate dispensing another age-appropriate vaccine rather than delaying administration of a dose.
Double-check that you’re selecting the correct vaccine from your fridge. It can be easy to mistake Fluarix...Flucelvax...FluLaval...Fluzone...Fluzone High-Dose...etc.
Be aware that a combo flu/COVID-19 vaccine won’t be available this season...but studies are ongoing.
Timing. Flu vaccines can be administered now...ideally in September or October...and for as long as flu is circulating.
Recall that flu usually peaks in February and can continue into May. And the hospital “quality measure” runs from October to March.
Don’t expect to dispense a flu “booster”...regardless of when patients get this year’s vaccine. It’s not recommended.
Allergies. CDC now says that patients with severe egg allergy can get any flu vaccine in any setting...not just a medical setting (office, etc). Evidence shows patients with an egg allergy don’t have a higher reaction rate compared to those without an egg allergy.
Plus egg-free flu vaccines (Flucelvax, Flublok) are still available if a patient prefers.
Use our resource, Flu Vaccines for 2023-2024, to compare products...and view recommendations for kids or pregnant patients.
Also look into our PTU Elite: Immunizations program for training on vaccine administration.
- Grohskopf LA, Blanton LH, Ferdinands JM, et al. Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — United States, 2023–24 Influenza Season. MMWR Recomm Rep 2023;72(No. RR-2):1–25.
- CDC. Influenza Vaccination of Persons with Egg Allergy: Evidence to Recommendations Discussion and Work Group Considerations. June 21, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2023-06-21-23/02-influenza-grohskopf-508.pdf (Accessed August 3, 2023).
- CDC. Influenza Vaccine Safety Update and Proposed Recommendations for the 2023-24 Influenza Season. June 21, 2023. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2023-06-21-23/03-influenza-grohskopf-508.pdf (Accessed August 3, 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.