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AHS Influenza Immunization Program update

February 6, 2019
Important reminders for pharmacists about the new Immunization Regulation in Alberta.

A reminder to pharmacists administering influenza vaccine that Alberta Health introduced new requirements that standardize immunization practices, for all vaccines, regardless of whether a vaccine is provincially funded or privately purchased. These requirements include the following:

  • As of December 17, 2018, any health care practitioner (HCP) who becomes aware of an adverse event following immunization (AEFI) for all vaccines, must report the event to AHS within three days of becoming aware. The AHS province-wide Immunization Program has created the Centralized AEFI Team, who will respond to and follow up on reports received from HCPs in all zones related to AEFI. An online reporting form is available via the AHS website. If unable to complete the form, call 1-855-444-2324.
  • As of December 17, 2018, the Immunization Regulation outlines requirements for all persons who participate in and/or direct the storage, handling, and transportation of vaccines.
  • As of January 1, 2021, HCPs will be required to report immunizations and assessments electronically to AH within seven days. More information is being developed by AH for HCPs on how to report this information.

Community pharmacists leading the way

Community pharmacists have administered 57 per cent of the total doses of influenza vaccine provided in Alberta so far in the 2018-19 influenza season. Alberta Health Services (AHS) says of the more than 1.2 million doses of influenza vaccine administered in the province, more than 712,000 doses have been administered by community pharmacists. Last season, community pharmacists administered just over 616,000 doses of influenza vaccine.

Remaining doses of influenza vaccine

The influenza program doesn’t end until March 31, 2019. AHS advises to keep the vaccine in cold chain and available for clients and patients. Further direction will be provided in the next program update from AHS regarding return or disposal at the end of the program.

For more information, visit the influenza immunization page on the AHS website.