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Technically Speaking
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September 2017
Technically Speaking
Monthly Column by Deborah Wexler, MD
Deborah Wexler MD
Technically Speaking is a monthly column written by IAC’s Executive Director Deborah Wexler, MD. The column is featured in The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center’s (VEC's) monthly e-newsletter for healthcare professionals. Technically Speaking columns cover practical topics in immunization delivery such as needle length, vaccine administration, cold chain, and immunization schedules.
Check out a recent issue of Vaccine Update for Healthcare Providers. The VEC e-newsletter keeps providers up to date on vaccine-related issues and includes reviews of recently published journal articles, media recaps, announcements about new resources, and a regularly updated calendar of events.
TECHNICALLY SPEAKING
It's Time for Annual Flu Shots — Make Sure Your Patients and Staff Are Vaccinated
Published September 2017
Now is the best time of year to make sure all your patients and staff receive their annual flu vaccinations. Here are a few important highlights from CDC’s influenza vaccination guidance for 2017–18 that will help you through the season. Links to the official recommendations from CDC are available at the end of the article.

Who should be vaccinated and who needs two doses?

  • Flu vaccine is routinely recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older who does not have a contraindication.
     
  • Certain children age 6 months through 8 years need two doses of flu vaccine spaced a minimum of four weeks apart. Here is the specific guidance:
     
    • Children who are being vaccinated for the first time need two doses of vaccine for optimal protection.
       
    • Children who have previously received > 2 total doses of trivalent or quadrivalent influenza vaccine before July 1, 2017, need only one dose for 2017–18. The two doses of influenza vaccine do not have to have been administered in the same season or consecutive seasons.
       
    • Children who have not previously received > 2 doses of trivalent or quadrivalent influenza vaccine before July 1, 2017, need two doses for the 2017–18 season.

What is the optimal timing for vaccination?

  • ACIP recommends that you vaccinate your patients by the end of October, if possible.
     
  • ACIP also recommends that vaccination should continue through the winter and early spring months as long as influenza viruses are circulating and unexpired vaccine is available.

What types of vaccines are available in 2017–18?

  • A variety of influenza vaccine products are available this year — trivalent, quadrivalent, high-dose, and intradermal, and there are two vaccines licensed only for use in people age 65 and older. For a list of all FDA-licensed vaccines with detailed information about each of them, see IAC's one-page table titled "Influenza Vaccine Products for the 2017–2018 Influenza Season."

  • There are two vaccine products licensed for use in children age 6 through 35 months and their dose volumes are different. They are:
     
    • 0.5 mL FluLaval® Quadrivalent, GSK, and
    • 0.25 mL Fluzone® Quadrivalent, Sanofi Pasteur
       
  • Make sure all clinic staff know the appropriate volume to be administered for each of the products.
     
  • ACIP recommends that live attenuated influenza vaccine (FluMist®) not be used during the 2017–18 season for anyone.
     
  • To find links to package inserts for all influenza vaccines, visit IAC’s package inserts webpage.

Looking for a refresher course on how to administer vaccines?

Check out CDC’s new Vaccine Administration e-Learn.

 

Resources from IAC

There are many IAC resources available on the immunize.org website:

2017 ISSUES >> view all issues
DECEMBER 2017
Looking for Practical Vaccine Resources? Visit IAC's Website for Healthcare Professionals
NOVEMBER 2017
IAC Releases Newly Updated 142-page book, Vaccinating Adults: A Step-by-Step Guide — available for purchase or free download
OCTOBER 2017
The Immunization Platform for 16-year-olds Is Easily Overlooked — Here Are Some Resources to Help!
SEPTEMBER 2017
It's Time for Annual Flu Shots — Make Sure Your Patients and Staff Are Vaccinated
AUGUST 2017
Standing Orders Protocols Can Improve Your Vaccination Rates
JULY 2017
Routine Schedules for MenACWY and MenB Vaccines – Make Sure You’re Giving Them on Time
JUNE 2017
"General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization" – Everything CDC Wants You to Know about the Practical Aspects of Vaccination
MAY 2017
ACIP Has Updated Its Recommendations on the Use of Tdap Vaccine in Pregnant Women and Children
APRIL 2017
Make Sure You Are Using VISs in Accordance with Federal Law
MARCH 2017
ACIP Now Recommends Hepatitis B Vaccine within 24 Hours of Birth
FEBRUARY 2017
New “16-year-old Vaccination Platform” Highlighted in 2017 U.S. Child/Teen Immunization Schedule
JANUARY 2017
Updated ACIP Recommendations on HPV Vaccine
 
This page was updated on October 13, 2017.
This page was reviewed on October 13, 2017.
 
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This website is supported in part by a cooperative agreement from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (Grant No. 6NH23IP22550) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. The website content is the sole responsibility of IAC and does not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.