The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released its advice for the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2020. Influenza vaccines used in Australia this year will be quadrivalent and comprise two A strains (H1N1 and H3N2) and two B strains. The influenza vaccines registered for use in 2020 are shown in Table 1.
Table 1. Influenza vaccines registered for use in Australia in 2020
|Product||Type||Registered age group|
|FluQuadri®||Split virion||Adults and children ≥ 6 months|
|Vaxigrip® Tetra||Split virion||Adults and children ≥ 6 months|
|Fluarix® Tetra||Split virion||Adults and children ≥ 6 months|
|Influvac® Tetra||Surface antigen||Adults and children ≥ 3 years|
|Afluria® Quad||Split virion||Adults and children ≥ 5 years|
|Fluad® Quad||Surface antigen, adjuvanted||Adults ≥ 65 years|
Significant changes for the 2020 season include:
- All children aged six months to less than five years are eligible to receive an influenza vaccine funded through the National Immunisation Program (NIP);
- The registered age range for FluQuadri® has been extended to include children from six months of age. FluQuadri® Junior is no longer available;
- The registered age range for Influvac® Tetra has been extended to include children from three years of age; and
- The dose for all influenza vaccines is now 0.5mL regardless of patient age.
With the novel threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the influenza vaccination program may be particularly important this year in reducing the risk of severe illness and hospitalisation. Information on patient eligibility under the NIP can be obtained from the Department of Health. Individual product information documents should be consulted for further details.
- Australian Government. Australian Technical Advisory Group On Immunisation (ATAGI): clinical advice. Canberra: Department of Health; 2020.
- Australian Government. Clinical update: 2020 seasonal influenza vaccines – early advice for vaccination providers. Canberra: Department of Health; 2020.