The RCH and Monash Immunisation services are supportive of influenza vaccine being administered at any age ≥ 6-months.

The vaccine is funded in Victoria for all children, adolescents and adults with special risk conditions. [see Resources]

The vaccine can be obtained in both primary care or at a hospital immunisation clinic.

There are a number of key messages for the 2017 season:

  • Quadrivalent influenza vaccines (QIV) continue to be funded on the National Immunisation Program.
  • There is one minor change for the influenza vaccine in 2017, with the H1N1/09 strain changing to Michigan/2015.
  • MVEC continue to recommend co-administration of influenza and pneumococcal vaccines at any age (i.e. both vaccines can be administered on the same day).
  • If children < 9 years only received a single influenza vaccine for the 1st time in 2016, only a single dose is recommended in 2017.
  • Two doses of the QIV (1-month apart) are recommended for two groups:
    • Children 6-months to 8 years, the very 1st year they receive the QIV (see Table below)
    • Immunosuppressed patients, the 1st year they receive the QIV (at any age)

The quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (QIV) in 2017 will contain:

  • A H1N1 pandemic09 (A/Michigan/2015)
  • A (H3N2) (A/Hong Kong/2014)
  • B / Brisbane/ 2008
  • B /Phuket/2013

Dosing guidelines by age

Age Dose Vaccine Brand Number of doses in the 1st year the vaccine is received Number of doses in subsequent years
< 6 months Not recommended(poor immune response)
6 months to < 3 years 0.25ml FluQuadri jnr 2 (4-weeks apart) 1
3 years to 8 years 0.5ml Fluarix tetra/ FluQuadri 2 (4-weeks apart) 1
> 9 years 0.5ml Fluarix tetra/ FluQuadri 1 1

* Please note that Seqirus Afluria Quad is NOT registered for use in children aged <18 years.

Influenza vaccine in immunocompromised patients

Recommendation: Patients who are immunocompromised due to an underlying disease and/or immune suppressant therapy are recommended to have 2 doses the very 1st year they receive the influenza vaccine (regardless of age).

As there is only one minor strain change to the QIV in 2017 (as detailed above), a single influenza dose is recommended for those immunocompromised patients who had the QIV in 2016.

Influenza vaccine and egg allergy

Influenza vaccine is safe to administer in the majority of children with an egg allergy.

Recommendation (RCH and Monash Immunisation Services):

All patients with egg allergy sensitisation (i.e. positive skin prick or RAST testing, but have not eaten egg) can receive QIV as a single dose without prior vaccine skin testing.

Patients with mild to moderate egg allergy (not anaphylaxis) can receive QIV in primary care (e.g. at the immunisation centre, or other medical facility) as a single dose with observation for 30 minutes after immunisation.

Patients with history of anaphylaxis to egg should be referred to an Allergist (RCH-Department of Allergy & Immunology; Monash Health- Monash Immunisation). They will receive a single dose of QIV under supervision in hospital, with observation for 30 minutes after immunisation.

Influenza vaccine and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in children < 5 years

Recommendation: PCV13 and influenza vaccines can be co-administered on the same day. This includes infants at 6-months and 12-months of age.

Influenza vaccine and pregnancy

Pregnant women are more at risk of serious illness due to influenza compared to non-pregnant women.

Catching the flu whilst you are pregnant can lead to serious illness such as pneumonia and can cause miscarriage or premature labour.

Pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalised than non-pregnant women due to the flu.

The influenza vaccination will protect the mother and baby from the risk of serious illness and hospitalisation.

Recommendation: We recommend the QIV for all pregnant women.

It is Free, and it can be received safely at any time during pregnancy.

More informationhttp://www.mvec.vic.edu.au/immunisation-references/maternal-vaccination-during-pregnancy/

What pregnant women need to know

Flu Vaccination and Pregnancy – Vaccinate against flu. Protect your baby

 

Vaccine safety

SAEFVIC would be happy to discuss any vaccine safety (adverse event following immunisation) queries.

Telephone: 1300 882 924 (option 1)

E: saefvic@mcri.edu.au

W: www.saefvic.org.au

Resources

Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advice for immunisation providers regarding the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2017

http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/ATAGI-advice-influenza-vaccines-providers

 

Reviewed by: Nigel Crawford (Paediatrician, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne) & Jim Buttery (Paediatrician/ ID physician Monash Health, Melbourne)
Date: March 2017
Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.
You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family’s personal health. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult a healthcare professional.



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Welcome to MVEC

The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) is a new web-based initiative, providing up-to-date immunisation information for healthcare professionals, parents and the public.

It is a collaboration between The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and its Melbourne Children’s campus partners (Murdoch Children's Research Institute and The University of Melbourne) and Monash Health.

MVEC aims to address common queries around vaccines and to promote the benefits of immunisation for both children and adults.