Seasonal influenza information
Influenza Vaccination Information
The 2018-19 Influenza Immunization Program ended March 31, 2019.
PLEASE NOTE: Alberta Health Services will continue to offer second doses of influenza vaccine to eligible children through to April 30, 2019. (Children six months to less than nine years of age who received influenza vaccine for the first time this season need two doses of vaccine this season).
Second doses of influenza immunizations are offered, by appointment, through AHS Public Health Clinics/Community Health Centres.
To find out where to book the second dose appointment for your child, call health link at 811.
For your reference, below are the details of the 2018-19 program.
Age of Administration Changes:
Pharmacists may administer influenza vaccine to Albertans five years of age and older.
Important considerations to note:
- Children who are younger than nine years of age and have never received a dose of seasonal influenza vaccine require two doses with a minimum spacing of four weeks between doses.
- A review of the child’s immunization record can be viewed in Netcare.
- Pharmacists immunizing children 5-8 years of age should be comfortable with appropriate restraint and distraction techniques and be prepared to respond to an emergency event (e.g. anaphylaxis).
- Pharmacists must submit claims to Alberta Blue Cross within three business days. However, claims for doses administered to a child 5-8 years of age should be entered as a priority to prevent delays in updating the child’s immunization record to ensure accuracy of the immunization schedule and history. It takes about two weeks for the immunization record entered into Alberta Blue Cross to be viewed in Netcare.
Supportive Living Facilities:
In previous years, Pharmacists have not been able to immunize residents in Supportive Living Facilities where Alberta Health Services (AHS) Public Health was providing the service. For the 2018-19 season, Supportive Living Facilities can now choose the provider they would like to use. Supportive Living Facilities have been made aware of this change and may reach out to the pharmacy connected to their facility with whom they have established a professional relationship. If the pharmacy is unable to provide immunization services, then AHS Public Health will continue to offer the service at the request of the Supportive Living Facility.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
Influenza Immunization Program
The Influenza Immunization Program’s website includes information for the public, facts about influenza, and AHS Influenza clinics.
The site also includes a section for healthcare professionals, which features the influenza vaccine provider registration form and ordering, information specifically for pharmacists, general references, and monthly newsletters.
Alberta Health has provided this vaccine chart for the 2018-19 influenza season.
Alberta Influenza Immunization Policy
The Government of Alberta’s Influenza Immunization Policy for the 2018/19 influenza season includes information about the purpose of the policy, Alberta’s targets for influenza immunization, who is eligible, supply, distribution and administration of vaccine, cold chain management, adverse events, and recording and reporting requirements.
For more information or to read the policy, visit the Alberta Health website.
RxA Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Program 2018/19 – Online Course
This online course provides an overview of policies and procedures for pharmacists participating in the delivery of publicly funded influenza vaccine.
Can pharmacists administer influenza vaccine outside of a pharmacy?
Yes. However, there are some restrictions. For a complete list of potential locations, requirements, and restrictions, refer to page 14 (appendix) of the Alberta Influenza Immunization Policy.
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).
Pharmacists should submit claims to Alberta Blue Cross within three business days of providing the service.
Cold Chain Management
Appropriate storage and handling is essential to provide potent biological products to the public. Detailed requirements are outlined in the Alberta Vaccine Cold Chain Policy (AVCCP).
Report all cold chain excursions as soon as possible and within one business day of the occurrence.
As per the Alberta Influenza Immunization Policy, “Immunizers must have protocols in place for management and reporting of anaphylaxis and other serious adverse events.”
All Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) of influenza vaccine must be reported to AHS as soon as possible using the AEFI form found on page 10 of the Influenza Immunization Policy.
For further information, please refer to Standard 5.3 of the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians regarding reporting requirements for adverse reactions, and Standard 6.4 of the Standards for the Operation of Licensed Pharmacies regarding reporting requirements for adverse reactions.
Also, as outlined in Standard 16, a pharmacist who administers a drug, blood product, or vaccine must have policies and procedures for handling emergencies.
The Incident Analysis Process Summary and Quick Reference Guide is a great resource.
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 an AHS Public Health immunization clinic, particularly for those patients in high risk groups. You can find more information on the AHS website.
Questions regarding the Influenza Immunization Program or Policy?
Email Alberta Health at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Infection control for Regulated Professionals: Pharmacists' edition via Ontario College of Pharmacists