M&D Clinical Corner: National Influenza Vaccination Week
The Clinical Corner is a monthly feature that highlights a variety of important pharmacist topics that is written by Morris & Dickson’s staff pharmacist, Paula Belle (RPh).
What’s New For 2022
- National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is being observed December 5 – 9
- Vaccine strains for the 2022–23 influenza vaccines were selected by the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biologic Products Advisory Committee based on WHO’s recommended Northern Hemisphere 2022–23 influenza vaccine composition.
- The recommendations for the 2022-2023 season include two updates compared with the recommended composition of last season’s U.S. flu vaccines.
- Both the influenza A(H3N2) and the influenza B(Victoria lineage) vaccine virus components were updated.
- The age indication for the cell culture-based inactivated flu vaccine, Flucelvax Quadrivalent (ccIIV4), changed from 2 years and older to 6 months and older.
- Pre-filled Afluria Quadrivalent flu shots for children are not expected to be available this season. However, children can receive this vaccine from a multidose vial at the recommended dose.
- For the 2022-2023 flu season, there are three flu vaccines that are preferentially recommended for people 65 years and older.
- FluzoneHigh-Dose Quadrivalent vaccine
- Flublok Quadrivalent recombinant flu vaccine
- Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine
- If one of the three preferentially recommended flu vaccines for people 65 and older is not available at the time of administration, people in this age group should get a standard-dose flu vaccine instead.
- Vaccine manufacturers have projected that they will supply the United States with as many as 173.5 million to 183.5 million doses of influenza vaccines for the 2022-2023 season.
- Patients who don’t have a health care provider that they regularly see can find flu vaccines at many places, including health departments and pharmacies.
- For most people who need only one dose for the season, September and October are generally good times to get vaccinated.
- Vaccination in July and August is not recommended for most adults but can be considered for some groups.
- While ideally it’s recommended to get vaccinated by the end of October, it’s important to know that vaccination after October can still provide protection during the peak of flu season.
- Studies conducted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic indicate that it is safe to get both a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same visit.
- Vaccination coverage for all children as of week ending November 5, 2022 is similar to the estimate at the same time in November 2021 (35.4% compared with 35.3%) and 4.9 percentage points lower compared with same time in November 2020 (35.4% compared with 40.3%).
- Vaccination coverage for pregnant persons 18 to 49 years at the end of October 2022 was 11.8 percentage points lower compared with the end of October 2021 (36.8% compared with 48.6%) and 21.4 percentage points lower than at the end of September 2020 (36.8.0% compared with 58.2%).
- Flu vaccination coverage estimates among adults 18 and older based on CDC Data indicate coverage is 3.3 percentage points higher this season compared with the same time last season (26.3% compared with 23.0%).
- For adults 18 and older:
- An estimated 29.96 million flu vaccinations were administered in pharmacies as of week ending October 29, 2022 compared with an estimated 26.46 million at the same time in October 2021.
- An estimated 15.14 million flu vaccinations were administered in physician medical offices as of week ending October 29, 2022 compared with an estimated 19.69 million at the same time in October 2021.
NIVW Resources For Community Pharmacists
General Talking Points About NIVW
- National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is an annual observance in December to remind everyone 6 months and older that there’s still time to get vaccinated against flu.
- Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications, including people with certain chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Since flu viruses are constantly changing and protection from vaccination decreases over time, getting a flu vaccine every year is the best way to prevent flu.
NIVW Social Media Content
- The CDC provides suggested Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn copy as well as CDC frames for profile photos to spread the word about the importance of flu vaccination. ACCESS AT THIS LINK: CDC NIVW Social Media Content
- Encourage patients to join CDCFlu and flucoalition on 12/7 for a Twitter Chat on flu and the importance of flu vaccination. Use the hashtag #fluchat to participate. Chat questions will be posted by flucoalition from 12-1pm EST.
NIVW Flyers and Posters
- CDC flyers are available for people with chronic conditions that can be tailored and shared to help spread awareness around the importance of flu vaccination. Access them at this link: Chronic Condition Flyer
- NIVW posters are available for download at these links:
NIVW Sample Newsletter Text: Patient Reminder Messages
- CDC sample text for use in email newsletters or other communications:
- “National Influenza Vaccination Week is a call to all Americans 6 months and older to get their annual flu vaccine if they have not already. Flu remains a significant public health concern, and this week will serve to remind people that there is still time to get a flu vaccine—the only vaccine that protects against flu—to prevent flu illness and potentially serious complications.”
- CDC patient reminder messages for use on pharmacy IVR message or patient portal to remind patients to get their flu vaccination:
- “Have you received your annual flu shot yet? Flu vaccines are the only vaccines that protect you and your loved ones from flu and its potentially serious complications. There’s still time to get vaccinated. Call our pharmacy at [PHONE NUMBER] to schedule your vaccine today!”
General Influenza Vaccination Resources For Community Pharmacists
- The CDC maintains a Communication Resource Center dedicated to Influenza. Available downloads include:
- Social Media Toolkits
- Print Materials
- Animated Images
- Buttons and Badges
- Public Service Announcements (PSA)
- Many Other Resources
- These resources can be accessed at: General Influenza Resources
- CDC’s seasonal flu vaccination campaign materials are available to assist partners in communicating about the importance of vaccination. This digital toolkit includes details on events/activities, sample social media and newsletter content, graphics, web assets, and media prep material. In addition, sharable buttons and badges for website use are available for sharing. This material is downloadable, shareable, and some of the material is customizable. Access the toolkit at this link: Seasonal Flu Vaccination Toolkit
- Various printable flu vaccine resources can be filtered by intended audience, content, topics and language at this link: Printable Flu Resources
Paula Belle (BS Pharmacy, RPh) has been the Clinical Programs Coordinator for Morris & Dickson since 2016. Prior to joining M&D, Paula held the positions of Clinical Pharmacist with Pharmacea Services and PharmMD/Adhere Health, as well as Market Pharmacist, Store Pharmacy Manager and District Pharmacy Supervisor with Walgreens. She holds a BS in Pharmacy from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, as well as Immunization and MTM Certifications from the American Pharmacists Association (APhA).
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- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Influenza Activity and Composition of the 2022–23 Influenza Vaccine — United States, 2021–22 Season | MMWR. 2022 2022-07-20T08:10:59Z; Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7129a1.htm.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Weekly Flu Vaccination Dashboard | FluVaxView | Seasonal Influenza (Flu) | CDC. 2022 2022-11-04T04:59:21Z; Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview/dashboard/vaccination-dashboard.html.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021 NIVW Digital Media Toolkit | CDC. 2022 2022-09-27T01:03:20Z; Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/resource-center/nivw/activities.htm#socialmedia.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Digital Media Toolkit: 2022-2023 Flu Season | CDC. 2022 2022-11-09T05:56:24Z; Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/resource-center/toolkit/index.htm.