Know What’s New With Flu Vaccines for 2022-2023

You’ll see changes with flu vaccines for 2022-2023.

All influenza vaccines will be quadrivalent again...but 2 of the 4 strains are different than last year’s vaccines.

Which flu vaccine is “best”? For patients age 65 and up, be prepared to dispense Fluzone High-Dose, Flublok, or Fluad.

It’s the first time CDC recommends these higher-dose or adjuvanted flu vaccines over standard-dose vaccines...due to evidence suggesting that they’re more effective in older patients.

But if Fluzone High-Dose, Flublok, and Fluad aren’t available, use a standard-dose product...instead of waiting.

Point out that Medicare Part B covers all options.

Continue to dispense ANY age-appropriate injectable flu vaccine for most patients under age 65. Or intranasal FluMist is an option for healthy, NONpregnant patients 2 through 49.

Compare products with our resource, Flu Vaccines for 2022-23.

When should patients get vaccinated? Encourage getting a flu vaccine by the end of October...and continue to offer vaccine as long as flu is circulating. Usually, flu peaks in February and can continue into May.

How well do flu vaccines work? This varies each season...based on how well the vaccines “match” flu viruses in the community.

Last year’s vaccines reduced flu cases by about 35%. Plus the season was mild. But each flu season is different.

And even if a flu vaccine isn’t well matched to circulating strains, it still reduces the risk of flu and its severity. Involve your pharmacist to address patient hesitancy and get buy-in.

Will there be a combo COVID-19/flu vaccine? Studies are ongoing...but a combo won’t be available this fall.

Urge getting BOTH vaccines, if needed...to protect against each virus. Also check if patients are due for other vaccines (pneumococcal, Tdap, etc)...all can be given at the same visit.

Look into our PTU Elite: Immunizations program for training on administration. Brush up on vaccine storage, billing, and more with our resource, The Basics of Immunization and Vaccines.


Key References

  • MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2022 Jul 22;71(29):913-919
  • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2022-06-22-23/03-influenza-grohskopf-508.pdf (8-24-22)
  • https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2022-06-22-23/04-influenza-grohskopf-508.pdf (8-24-22)
Pharmacy Technician's Letter. September 2022, No. 380901



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