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Administration of influenza vaccine

Vaccinating Workforce
For current guidance on who can administer the influenza vaccine, including to which consumer age groups, refer to the Immunisation Handbook 2020.

Pre-vaccine checklist
Prior to influenza vaccination, confirm with the consumer that they:
• have not had a previous anaphylaxis to any influenza vaccination
• have not had any vaccinations in the past week.
The full screening checklist is available in the Immunisation Handbook 2020.

Informed consent
As part of the informed consent process, consumers must receive verbal and written information regarding possible reactions to the influenza vaccine, how to manage these reactions, and when and where to seek help.


FAQ's

Note: For pregnancy-specific questions, see Influenza vaccination during pregnancy.

Can the influenza vaccine be given concomitantly with other vaccines on the National Immunisation Schedule?
It depends on the vaccine. The influenza vaccines can be administered at any time before, after or at the same time as other vaccines except for:
• FLUADQUAD and Novavax: a 3-day interval before or after administering Novavax is recommended when administering the FLUAD QUAD vaccine.
• All influenza vaccines and PCV13: If the individual has a history of febrile convulsions, a 2-day interval before or after administering PCV13 is recommended when administering an influenza vaccine.

Is there a minimum interval between an influenza vaccination at the end of 2021 and this year’s vaccination?
No minimum interval is required between an influenza vaccination in 2021 and one in 2022.The 2022 influenza vaccination can be given as soon as the vaccine is available.

How long does a person have to wait at the clinic after receiving an influenza vaccination?
1. For concomitant influenza vaccination with any other vaccine: the post-vaccination observation period for all ages is 20 minutes.

2. For children aged under 13 years receiving only an influenza vaccination: the post-vaccination observation period for all ages is 20 minutes.

3. For adolescents aged 13 years or older and adults receiving only an influenza vaccination: the post- vaccination observation period can be reduced to 5minutes for people who meet ALL of the following criteria:
• are aged 13 years and over
• do not have a history of severe allergic reactions
• have been assessed for any immediate post-vaccination adverse reactions (5minutes)
• are aware of when they need to and how to seek post-vaccination advice
• will have another adult with them for the first 20 minutes post-vaccination
• will not drive, skate, scoot, ride a bike or operate machinery until 20 minutes post-vaccination
• have the ability to contact emergency services if required

While many people aged 13+ will have a reduced observation period following vaccination, they should only walk, take public transport or be driven by another person for 20 minutes after their vaccination. It is important that this message is given to those being released after a five-minute observation period. After 20 minutes, they can drive themselves, cycle or use other mobility devices. There remains a risk of syncope after any vaccination and thus consumers must not operate a vehicle or heavy machinery during this time.

Can individuals who are immunocompromised receive an influenza vaccination?
Yes, individuals who are immunocompromised are at high risk of severe influenza and complications. It is important to offer vaccination prior to the initiation of chemotherapy or immune suppressant medication. When this is not possible, influenza vaccination is recommended and can be given while an individual is receiving most treatments. Following cessation of chemotherapy, normal immune responses return after about 30 days. (1) Specialist’s advice should be sought when considering influenza vaccination of individuals who have received a haematopoietic stem cell or solid organ transplantation in the preceding 6 months. The response to influenza vaccination in those with a poorly functioning immune system is likely to be low;(2) additional preventative strategies are important to reduce their exposure to influenza.

Can individuals with a history of Guillain–Barré syndrome receive an influenza vaccination?
If Guillain-Barré syndrome has occurred within 6 weeks of previous influenza vaccination, the decision to give influenza vaccine should be based on careful consideration of the potential benefits and risks. For details of these benefits and risks refer to the Immunisation Handbook 2020. 

Can AFLURIA QUAD, AFLURIA QUAD JUNIOR, FLUAD QUAD or FLUQUADRI be administered to people receiving anticoagulant medication?
Yes. Influenza vaccines can be administered to people on anticoagulants, including aspirin, dabigatran (PRADAXA®), enexoparin (CLEXANE®), heparin, rivaroxaban(XARELTO®), ticagrelor (BRILINTA™) and warfarin.(3) After vaccination, apply firm pressure over the injection site without rubbing for 10 minutes to reduce the risk of bruising.

Can AFLURIA QUAD,AFLURIA QUAD JUNIOR, FLUAD QUAD or FLUQUADRI be given to people with eggallergy or anaphylaxis?
Yes. These vaccines can be administered to people with a history of egg allergy or egg anaphylaxis at general practices, pharmacies or at the workplace, although the data sheet advises caution in people who have a history of egg anaphylaxis. Studies have shown that influenza vaccines containing one microgram or less ofovalbumin do not trigger anaphylaxis in sensitive individuals. (4)The residual ovalbumin in one dose of AFLURIA QUAD, AFLURIA QUAD JUNIOR, FLUAD QUAD and FLUQUADRI is below this limit. (5-7)

Can AFLURIA QUAD,AFLURIA QUAD JUNIOR, FLUAD QUAD or FLUQUADRI be given to people with a sulfonamide (sulfur) allergy?
Yes. Sulfonamide (sulfur) antibiotics, such as co-trimoxazole, sulfasalazine, and sulfite preservatives used in food, are different to medicines containing the words sulfate or sulphate, eg, neomycin sulfate.(8)  

Do people who react to sulfites need to avoid sulfates?
No. Some medicines have a sulfate component, eg, neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B sulfate, and most soaps and shampoos contain compounds such as sodium lauryl sulfate. These are not usually allergenic and do not cause reactions in sulfite-sensitive people. It is okay for someone with a sulfite allergy to have the influenza vaccine.

Do AFLURIA QUAD, AFLURIA QUAD JUNIOR, FLUAD QUAD or FLUQUADRI contain antibiotics?

Yes. FLUADQUAD vaccines contain traces of kanamycin and neomycin,(5) and AFLURIA QUAD and AFLURIA QUAD JUNIOR vaccines contain traces of neomycin and polymixin B31 due to their use during production. The vaccines should be used with caution in people with known anaphylaxis to these respective antibiotics. FLUQUADRI does not use antibiotics during the manufacturing process and therefore the final product does not contain any antibiotics. 

Are AFLURIA QUAD, AFLURIA QUAD JUNIOR, FLUAD QUAD and FLUQUADRI latex free? AFLURIAQUAD, AFLURIA QUAD JUNIOR, FLUAD QUAD and FLUQUADRI syringes do not have any components made using natural rubber latex. (5-7)

Do AFLURIA QUAD,AFLURIA QUAD JUNIOR, FLUAD QUAD or FLUQUADRI contain blood products? No. Blood products are not used in the manufacturing processes for these vaccines. (5-7)

Do AFLURIA QUAD,AFLURIA QUAD JUNIOR, FLUAD QUAD or FLUQUADRI contain thiomersal? No. These vaccines are free of preservatives. They do not contain thiomersal. (5-7)

Can you get influenza from AFLURIA QUAD, AFLURIA QUAD JUNIOR, FLUAD QUAD or FLUQUADRI? No. These vaccines have been made from influenza viruses that have been concentrated, inactivated, and then broken apart. Neither AFLURIA QUAD, AFLURIA QUAD JUNIOR, FLUADQUAD or FLUQUADRI can cause influenza as the vaccines do not contain any live viruses. (5-7)Sometimes influenza vaccination is accused of causing the disease. There are two possible reasons for this. First, when vaccinated, the body responds to vaccination by producing an immune response. This can include systemic symptoms such as fever, headache or fatigue, which may mistakenly be assumed to be early signs of influenza but are the body responding to the vaccination. Second, other respiratory viruses and bacteria circulate during the winter months and influenza vaccination does not protect against these. Most of these other viruses cause milder infections. However, some viruses and bacteria may produce influenza-like symptoms and/or quite severe illness that can lead to the suggestion that influenza vaccination is ineffective. These illnesses should not be confused with influenza. 

Is influenza vaccination recommended for those planning to travel internationally?
Yes.  See more information here: International travel.

  • ZOSTAVAX is only given as a single dose – it IS NOT administered every year that an eligible adult receives their influenza vaccination.
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