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Influenza Information for Health Care Professionals

​​​​​​​​​Influenza

As health care professionals, we play an important role in supporting the health and wellness of First Nations communities throughout the influenza season. As influenza is especially serious for our Elders, young children and those with immune ​deficiencies, part of our role is to work with community members to make an informed choice about how to prevent influenza disease. The influenza vaccine is safe and effective and remains the best protection against contracting and spreading influenza virus in First Nations communities.​

FNHA and Influenza Vaccine

The FNHA supports health care professionals in delivering influenza immunization programs within First Nations communities. We work with you and our Regional Health Authority partners to ensure timely access to influenza vaccines. The FNHA provides immunization education, training and certification to Community Health Nurses within First Nations communities.

Influenza recording log and Panorama mass entry templates for FNHA (optional)​

Influenza Vaccine Log 2018-2019 Season (PDF 70KB)

Adult Influenza Immunization Record 2018-2019 Season (PDF 17 KB)

​​Child/Youth Influenza Immunization Record 2018-2019 Season (PDF 63​ KB)​​

For more influenza and RSV training resources please email:​ Immunize@fnha.ca

Influenza Decision Support Tool

BCCDC CDC Manual Chapter 2-Immunization Program, Part 4 – Biological Products​ is your decision support tool when providing influenza vaccines to community members.

Influenza Online Courses

Health care professionals can gain or refresh knowledge regarding influenza disease, influenza vaccines and best practices by taking the online BCCDC Influenza Courses

Influenza Prevention Policy

BC’s Influenza Prevention Policy​ requires all health care workers to either be vaccinated against influenza or wear a mask in patient care areas throughout the influenza season, which typically runs from December to March.​

The policy also applies to visitors, volunteers and students who attend a patient care area. For more information, FNHA employees can go to the Bighouse. 

Influenza Resources

The FNHA has created an influenza poster and fact sheet that you can use in your health centre or nursing station. Health care professionals can also download and print influenza posters from he​re​. Looking for resources to give to community members? HealthlinkBC has a series of files (#12a-e) on influenza, found here.

Want to learn more? Go to:

Contact Us

For more information, contact FNHA Health Protection team at 1.844.364.2232

FAQs for Health Care Professionals:

​2018/19​ Seasonal Influenza Vaccines

Trivalent and Quadrivalent Inactivated Influenza Vaccines (TIIV & QIIV), and Quadrivalent Live Antenuated Influenza Vaccines (LAIV-Q)

⦁ A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
⦁ A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus
⦁ B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus 
⦁ B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (in quadrivalent vaccines only)

The A/Singapore and B/Colorado strains were not contained in the 2017/18 season vaccine.​


In B.C., how are we using FLUMIST® Quadrivalent (Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine-LAIV)?

For the 2018-2019 season, children without a medical contraindication are recommended to receive a quadrivalent influenza vaccine which includes LAIV. This decision is based on the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), which is a Canadian expert scientific body that provided immunization recommendations.

As with the 2017-2018 season, the current evidence does not support a recommendation for preferential use of LAIV in children and adolescents 2- 17 years of age.

In B.C, what happened during 2017-18 influenza season?

The BCCDC Influenza and Emerging Respiratory Pathogens team provided an end of season Summary: 2017-18 influenza season in their BC Influenza Surveillance Bulletin. The 2017-18 influenza season in BC was characterized by co-circulation of influenza A(H3N2) and B(Yamagata). Influenza activity remained at elevated levels for an extended period of time during the 2017-18 season compared to recent seasons. Additionally, influenza B activity began earlier and made greater contributions to the overall seasonal influenza epidemic, compared to recent seasons.

Elders over 65 years old comprised the majority of influenza cases detected during the 2017-18 season, related in part to the co-dominant A(H3N2) and B activity and high number of long-term care facility outbreaks. Younger age groups were also represented, notably among influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 detections.

The Canadian Sentinel Practitioner Network (SPSN) shared their interim estimates of 2017-2018 Influenza vaccine effectiveness. Low vaccine effectiveness of less than 20% against influenza A(H3N2), notably among working-age adults was identified in interim estimates. Higher interim estimates of vaccine effectiveness against influenza B at 55% was identified despite prominent TIV use, suggesting cross-lineage protection.

While influenza vaccines do not provide complete protection, overall they remain the best way of preventing influenza and an important control measure in conjunction with regular hand cleaning and respiratory hygiene. While scientists and researchers continue to search for a better influenza vaccine, influenza vaccination continues to be the best protection against contracting and spreading influenza virus for health care professionals and your clients.


In B.C., do we recommend receiving the influenza vaccine annually?

Yes. Annual influenza vaccination continues to be recommended for people at high risk, people capable of transmitting influenza to those at high risk and people who provide essential community services. Dr. Perry Kendall, BC’s former ​Provincial Health Officer was interviewed by Fraser Health’s magazi​ne Hea​lthier You about the 2014-15 influenza season and studies on influenza vaccine effectiveness.

Dr. Kendall stated that, “these studies have provided important insights into the factors​ influencing flu vaccine protection. To date, these studies overall have shown that people who receive the flu vaccine are better protected against seasonal flu than those who are not vaccinated. But among those who are vaccinated each year, the amount of protection may be reduced over time. The reasons for this require better understanding. None of the effectiveness studies to date have shown that receiving the flu vaccine increases the risk of serious flu illness. Since these studies show that vaccinated people are better off than unvaccinated people, it is important that people continue to get their annual flu vaccine.” 

Remember: While influenza vaccines do not provide complete protection, overall they remain the best way of preventing influenza and an important control measure in conjunction with regular hand cleaning and respiratory hygiene. While scientists and researchers continue to search for a better influenza vaccine, influenza vaccination continues to be the best protection against contracting and spreading influenza virus for health care professionals and your clients.

 

 

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