The influenza vaccine recommendations change every year. In addition to communicating these updates, AAFP recommends offering annual flu shots to patients 6 months and older who don't have contraindications for the immunization.
In late June, ACIP released several primary updates for clinicians. Listed are several of the primary changes:
AAFP recommends that patients aged 65 years and older preferentially receive any one of the following higher doses or adjuvanted influenza vaccines: quadrivalent high-dose inactivated influenza vaccine (HD-IIV4), quadrivalent recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV4), or quadrivalent adjuvanted inactivated influenza vaccine (aIIV4). If none of these three vaccines is available at an opportunity for vaccine administration, then any other age-appropriate influenza vaccine should be used.
To protect your patients from severe illness and health complications, promote the influenza vaccination as soon as it's available each year and provide the vaccine throughout the flu season (i.e., as long as influenza viruses are circulating in the community). Vaccination is especially important as COVID-19 variants continue to spread.
As flu season approaches, your patients may have questions about getting the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccines, including any updated COVID-19 vaccines. The CDC offers updated guidance on co-administration of COVID-19 vaccines with other vaccines.
The flu season is already shaping up to be a difficult one. We're taking action to help family physicians prepare for a potential “tripledemic” of COVID-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus this winter. Read more in Prepare for ‘Tripledemic’ With New and Updated AAFP Tools.
Routine annual influenza vaccination of all persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications continues to be recommended. Primary updates to this report include the following two topics:
All persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications should be vaccinated annually. However, vaccination to prevent influenza is particularly important for persons who are at increased risk for severe illness and complications from influenza and for influenza-related outpatient, emergency department, or hospital visits. When vaccine supply is limited, vaccination efforts should focus on vaccination of persons at higher risk for medical complications attributable to severe influenza who do not have contraindications. These persons include the following (no hierarchy is implied by order of listing):