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The 2023-24 Alberta Influenza Immunization Program for the general public begins on October 16, 2023. The following resources provide information for pharmacy teams to support administering influenza vaccine.

Alberta Health

The Alberta Immunization Policy (AIP) outlines the policies for providing publicly funded immunizations in Alberta. Information provided by Alberta Health includes the following:

  • an overview of the AIP, including the Canadian Immunization Guide, Alberta’s routine immunization schedule, and immunization policy changes;
  • information about this season’s influenza vaccines;
  • cold chain storage and handling;
  • adverse events reporting; and
  • contact information for Alberta Health.

Respiratory virus dashboard

Alberta Health has launched its COVID-19, influenza, and RSV dashboard. It includes data on cases, positivity, hospital and ICU admissions, and will include information on deaths in the near future. The dashboard will be updated every Thursday throughout the respiratory virus season.

Alberta Health Services (AHS)

The Influenza Immunization Information for Health Professionals webpage contains the following important information for community providers implementing a safe and effective influenza immunization program for 2023-24:

  • AHS zone contact information;
  • an influenza/pneumococcal immunization orientation webinar;
  • AHS Standard for Influenza Immunization;
  • influenza vaccine biological pages, product monographs, and information sheets;
  • information about consent for influenza immunization;
  • information for patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a newborn;
  • directions for use of influenza immunization vaccine record;
  • vaccine storage and handling; and
  • more.

Alberta Blue Cross

All other influenza program information specific to pharmacists and pharmacies will be communicated in the Alberta Blue Cross Benefacts.

Alberta Blue Cross Benefact #1116 includes the following information for pharmacy teams:

  • general public program launch information, including the Outreach Immunization Program and information about the high-dose vaccine for individuals aged 65 years and older for the public program;
  • vaccine ordering and allocation information;
  • COVID-19 vaccine considerations;
  • Alberta Vaccine Inventory reporting process (including compliance and monitoring); and
  • the Alberta vaccine booking system.

Benefact #1130 includes the following information:

  • influenza administration and claims process,
  • COVID-19 pharmacy services charges,
  • Alberta Blue Cross Locator Tool – Pharmacy Inventory Map, and
  • Quarterly update regarding the Authorized Adjustment.

Watch for future updates about the 2023-24 Alberta Influenza Immunization Program in future editions of the Benefact.

Alberta Blue Cross has also published a Reference guide for administering and claiming influenza vaccines 2023-24, which includes the following information:

  • ordering information,
  • general considerations,
  • updated information about workplace administration of publicly funded immunizations,
  • vaccine storage and handling,
  • age of administration, and
  • claims process.

Health Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is collaborating with the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCCID) to produce a webinar to inform health care providers on the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommendations on seasonal influenza vaccine use for the 2023-2024 season. 

At the end of this webinar, participants will be able to 

  • discuss the importance of seasonal influenza vaccination with people in Canada;
  • identify and address barriers to seasonal influenza vaccine uptake; 
  • apply the NACI recommendations on seasonal influenza vaccine use for the 2023-24 season; and 
  • identify where to access NACI guidance, Canadian influenza antiviral guidelines, and other resources relevant to prevention and treatment of influenza during the 2023-24 season.  

Event information

The same webinar will be presented in English and French. The webinars will be recorded and available to access on the NCCID website shortly after each session.   

  • English Presentation
    • Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023 
    • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ET 
    • Register:  here 
  • Présentation en français
    • Mercredi le 20 septembre 2023   
    • 12h00 – 13h00 HE   
    • Enregistrez-vous : ici 

What if I’m not participating in the program?

Even if you don’t administer vaccine, you can still play a key role in immunizations as educators and facilitators. We urge you to provide your patients with accurate information regarding influenza immunizations, including referral to a community provider, particularly for those patients in high-risk groups. You can find more information on the AHS website.

Can pharmacists administer influenza vaccine outside of a pharmacy?

Yes, contact the site directly to coordinate any offsite influenza services you are planning to provide.

Keep in mind that the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians still apply when providing a pharmacy service outside of a pharmacy. In particular, note Principle 4.6 of the Code of Ethics regarding patient privacy, and Standards 16 through 18 regarding ensuring proper procedures and environment (Standard 16), ensuring patient safety (Standard 17), and creating and maintaining patient records (Standard 18).