Know What’s New With Flu Vaccines for 2022-2023

You’ll see changes with flu vaccines for 2022-2023.

All influenza vaccines will be quadrivalent again...but 2 of the 4 strains are different than last year’s vaccines.

Which flu vaccine is “best” ? For patients age 65 and up, be prepared to dispense Fluzone High-Dose, Flublok, or Fluad.

It’s the first time CDC recommends these higher-dose or adjuvanted flu vaccines over standard-dose vaccines...due to evidence suggesting that they’re more effective in older patients.

But if Fluzone High-Dose, Flublok, and Fluad aren’t available, don’t be surprised to dispense a standard-dose product...instead of missing the opportunity to vaccinate.

Anticipate dispensing ANY age-appropriate injectable flu vaccine you have in stock for most patients under age 65.

Compare products with our resource, Flu Vaccines for 2022-23.

When should patients get vaccinated? Clinicians will encourage immunization by the end of October...but flu vaccine should be offered as long as flu is circulating.

Usually, flu peaks in February and can continue into May. And recall that the hospital “quality measure” runs from October to March.

How well do flu vaccines work? It varies each season...based on how well the vaccines “match” flu viruses in the community.

For example, last year’s vaccines reduced flu cases by about 35%. Plus the season was mild.

Keep in mind that flu vaccine reduces the risk of flu and its severity...even if it isn’t well matched to circulating strains.

Will there be a combo COVID-19/flu vaccine? Studies are ongoing...but a combo won’t be available this fall.

Expect clinicians to urge patients to get BOTH vaccines, if needed...to protect against each virus.

Look into our PTU Elite: Immunizations program for training on administration. Brush up on vaccine storage, dispensing, and more with our resource, The Basics of Immunization and Vaccines.

Key References

  • MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Jul 22;71(29):913-919
  • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2022-06-22-23/03-influenza-grohskopf-508.pdf (8-31-22)
  • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2022-06-22-23/04-influenza-grohskopf-508.pdf (8-31-22)
Hospital Pharmacy Technician's Letter. September 2022, No. 380901



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