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Meeting Document Type: 
Information Report
Influenza Vaccine Update

DATE

December 17, 2020

SUBJECT

Influenza Vaccine Update


BACKGROUND

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) plays a key role in the implementation of the Ministry of Health’s Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP) which offers influenza vaccine free of charge each year to all individuals six months of age and older who live, work, or attend school in Ontario. The WECHU receives influenza vaccine shipments from the Ontario Government Pharmacy (OGP) and is responsible for the distribution to local health care providers and approved facilities in the community.  Allocation to providers is based on total community allocation, number of clients to be served, past usage by the provider, available fridge space, and the proportion of high-risk clients the provider is responsible for. As of December 1, 2020, there were no laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza in Windsor and Essex County.

SUMMARY OF VACCINE ALLOCATION & DISTRIBUTION

The WECHU received initial shipments of the influenza vaccine on September 28 and October 5.  In total, the WECHU received 127, 150 doses of the vaccine from the Ministry. Of these, 31,800 were the High Dose Trivalent Inactivated Vaccine (HD-TIV) for individuals 65 and over.

As of November 27, the WECHU has distributed 89% (113,960 doses) of our total allocation of the influenza vaccine, and 100% (31,800 doses) of the HD-TIV to the community, including 41 long-term care facilities and retirement homes, 4 hospitals, and approximately 200 healthcare providers. The OGP distributed the influenza vaccine directly to 101 pharmacies in WEC that were approved by the Ministry of Health, and at the time this report was written, pharmacies have administered 43,955 doses to WEC residents.

 

QIV

High Dose - TIV

Total

# of doses of flu vaccine the WECHU has received from the Ministry

97,850

31,800

127,650

# of doses of flu vaccine the WECHU has distributed to the Community

82,160

31,800

 

113,960

 

The initial supply of influenza vaccine is prioritized for the immunization of high-risk individuals, such as residents and staff of long-term care homes and retirement homes. Overall, the WECHU has distributed 5,655 influenza vaccine doses to 19 long-term care homes, and 2,240 doses to 22 retirement homes in WEC. A further breakdown is provided below:

 

QIV

High Dose – TIV

Total

# of doses of flu vaccine the WECHU has distributed to Long-Term Care Homes

3,000

2,655

5,655

# of doses of flu vaccine the WECHU has distributed to Retirement Homes

790

1,450

2,240

 

HIGH DOSE -TIV

On November 16th, the Ontario Ministry of Health notified all Health Units that Fluzone High Dose is out of stock, and will not be available for the remainder of the season. However the standard dose of Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (QIV) is still available, and there is no preferential recommendation for high dose over QIV.

ADVERSE EVENTS FOLLOWING IMMUNIZATION

Concerns were identified through the Adverse Events Following Immunization reporting system, and the administration of a specific lot of FluLaval Tetra was suspended. Investigation is underway nationally, and the WECHU has contacted all healthcare providers on record who had received the affected vaccine to halt its use until further notice. The WECHU will continue to update healthcare providers as more information is received from the Ministry of Health.

CURRENT INITIATIVES

Although the WECHU is not administering the influenza vaccine to clients this year, we continue to support widespread availability of the influenza vaccine in our community by working collaboratively with many community partners, including those in primary care, to identify service gaps and promote vaccine uptake.

The WECHU continues to raise awareness of the risks of contracting influenza (especially for high-risk groups), and the importance of being vaccinated amongst the COVID-19 pandemic through our social media platforms (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).