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Ministry of Health - Key Messages for HCP

Key messages from the Ministry of Health related to the 2019-2020 UIIP

  • For this flu season, Ontario is purchasing 4.78 million doses of publicly-funded influenza vaccine from multiple vaccine manufacturers, a nearly 10 per cent increase from the original quantity purchased last season.
  • As you may be aware, there have been production issues with some of the manufacturers of the flu vaccine. Despite these manufacturing delays, Ontario has received its initial shipments of influenza vaccine, beginning in late September.
  • As in previous years, the distribution of the influenza vaccine in Ontario to public health units and other settings began at the end of September for vaccination of seniors and individuals who are at high risk for flu complications and hospitalization (i.e. long-term care homes and hospitals).
  • Health care providers and pharmacies are receiving influenza vaccines as the province continues to receive deliveries of the influenza vaccine from manufacturers.
  • As a result of manufacturer/production issues there are delays in the delivery schedule of the high-dose vaccine to the province. To date Ontario has received approximately 900,000 doses of the high-dose flu vaccine. The balance of the supply of the high-dose vaccine is not expected to be received by the province until late November/early December.  To off-set this, ON has purchased additional QIV doses.
  • This flu season, there are two flu vaccines for people 65 years of age and older – a standard-dose quadrivalent vaccine that protects against four flu strains, and a high-dose trivalent vaccine that protects against three flu strains, in higher doses.
  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has stated that there is no preferential recommendation between the high-dose flu vaccine and the standard quadrivalent vaccine offered through the UIIP.
  • The most important thing is for seniors to get the flu shot that is available in their location without delay – both vaccines are effective and recommended for people 65 years and older.