Recognizing that nearly one in four flu vaccinations occurs in a community or retail pharmacy, the US Centers for Disease Control recently distributed a “Dear Pharmacist” letter outlining Flu Vaccine recommendations for 2016-17.
“We are proud that the CDC recognizes the important role that independent pharmacy plays in ensuring the public health,” said Donnie Calhoun, CEO/ Executive Vice-President of the American College of Apothecaries. “Educating our patients and communities on the necessity of annual flu vaccines is more than providing a convenient service, it’s saving lives.”
For the 2016-2017 season, ACIP has made several updates and clarifications to its seasonal influenza vaccination recommendations:
- Only injectable influenza vaccines are recommended this flu season.
- The composition of 2016-2017 flu vaccines has been updated to better match circulating viruses.
- An influenza vaccine with MF59 adjuvant (FLUADTM) is available for adults 65 years and older. People 65 years of age and older may receive this vaccine, highdose inactivated influenza vaccine (Fluzone High-Dose), or standard-dose inactivated vaccine.
- The recommendations for flu vaccination of people with egg allergies have been modified.
- Children 6 months through 8 years of age who have previously received two or more total doses of any trivalent or quadrivalent influenza vaccine before July 1, 2016, only need one dose of 2016-2017 seasonal influenza vaccine. Children 6 months through 8 years of age who have not previously received two or more total doses of any trivalent or quadrivalent influenza vaccine before July 1, 2016 will need two doses of 2016-2017 seasonal influenza vaccine. Children 9 years of age and older need only one dose.
The CDC also recommends that patients receive the vaccination before the end of October, although pharmacists should continue to offer the influenza vaccine throughout the flu season. Read the complete document from the CDC here.