Doctor and nurse checking in on a patient
HealthSeptember 24, 2019

Infection prevention and control for influenza

Influenza season is quickly approaching! The CDC recently published updated recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for use of vaccines for the prevention and control of influenza during the 2019–20 season.

Highlighted updates include:

  • Updated influenza vaccine compositions for the 2019-20 season.
  • Expanded age indications for Afluria Quadrivalent (IIV4) as approved by the FDA.
  • Changes in dose volume for Fluzone Quadrivalent (IIV4) as approved by the FDA.

Routine annual influenza vaccination of all persons aged ≥6 months who do not have contraindications continues to be recommended with no preferential recommendation made for one influenza vaccine product over another for persons (for whom more than one licensed, recommended, and appropriate product is available).

Also in recent news, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has updated their recommendations for the prevention and control of influenza in children during the 2019–20 season in which the AAP recommends routine influenza immunization of all children without medical contraindications ≥6 months of age with a new recommendation that any licensed, recommended, age-appropriate vaccine available can be administered, without preference of one product or formulation over another.

Specific to health-care settings, immunization of health-care personnel (HCP) (with no contraindications) is still recommended as previously published by the ACIP. Emphasized recommendations include:

  • HCP is defined as all paid and unpaid persons working in health-care settings who have the potential for exposure to patients and/or to infectious materials, including body substances, contaminated medical supplies and equipment, contaminated environmental surfaces, or contaminated air.
  • HCP may include (but are not limited to) physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, technicians, emergency medical service personnel, dental personnel, pharmacists, laboratory personnel, autopsy personnel, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the health-care facility, and persons (e.g., clerical, dietary, housekeeping, laundry, security, maintenance, administrative, billing, and volunteers) not directly involved in patient care but potentially exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted to and from HCP and patients.
  • HCP who care for severely immunocompromised persons requiring a protected environment should receive either Inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) or recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV).
    • ACIP and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) have previously recommended that health care personnel who receive live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) should avoid providing care for severely immunosuppressed patients requiring a protected environment for 7 days after vaccination and that hospital visitors who have received LAIV should avoid contact with such persons for 7 days after vaccination. However, such persons need not be restricted from visiting less severely immunosuppressed patients.
Infection Prevention Clinical Program Manager
Mackenzie Weise is a trained Epidemiologist with over 12 years of experience in the areas of infectious diseases, data analytics and health informatics.

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