Point Out Changes With Flu Immunization for 2022-2023

You’ll need to know what’s new with flu vaccines for 2022-2023.

All influenza vaccines will be quadrivalent again this season...with 1 updated A strain and 1 updated B strain.

Which flu vaccine is “best”? For patients age 65 and up, use a higher-dose or adjuvanted vaccine...Fluzone High-Dose, Flublok, or Fluad. It’s the first time CDC recommends these over standard-dose.

Mounting evidence suggests these vaccines are more effective than standard-dose for seniors...especially to reduce flu hospitalizations.

Use any of these vaccines you have in stock. Fluzone High-Dose has the most evidence, but the data often reflect just 1 or 2 seasons.

If these vaccines aren’t available, use standard-dose...rather than missing the opportunity to vaccinate.

Continue to use the age-appropriate flu vaccine on your formulary for patients under age 65.

When is the right time to vaccinate? Expect your hospital to offer flu vaccines from October to March to meet the quality measure.

Reassure patients that it’s okay to get vaccinated during hospitalization...even if admitted for the flu or COVID-19.

How effective are flu vaccines? Acknowledge that last year’s vaccines reduced flu cases by about 35%. Plus the season was mild.

But remind hesitant patients that each season is different.

Emphasize that even when a flu vaccine isn’t well matched to circulating strains, it still reduces risk of flu...and its severity.

Will there be a combo COVID-19/flu vaccine? Don’t expect a combo product this fall...studies are ongoing.

Encourage patients to get both vaccines, if needed. Flu vaccine can be coadministered with COVID-19 and other vaccines.

Use our resource, Flu Vaccines for 2022-23, to find immunization guidance for kids, pregnant patients, and people with an egg allergy.

Key References

  • MMWR Recomm Rep. 2022 Aug 26;71(1):1-28
  • MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Jul 22;71(29):913-919
Hospital Pharmacist's Letter. September 2022, No. 380901

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