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2019 seasonal influenza vaccines
Information for consumers and health professionals
Influenza vaccines can change from year to year as new strains of influenza virus appear. This is one reason vaccination against influenza is given every year.
The Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC) has reviewed data related to epidemiology, antigenic and genetic characteristics of recent influenza isolates circulating in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, serological responses to previous year's vaccines, and the availability of candidate vaccines viruses and reagents. Based on this review and the World Health Organization's recommendation, the AIVC recommended the following viruses be used for influenza vaccines in the 2019 southern hemisphere influenza season.
The TGA has accepted the recommendations of AIVC. This year there is a new A strain (H3N2) and a new strain for the B Victoria lineage. Details of the strains were announced on the TGA website on 15 October 2018.
The Influenza virus strains that are included in the 2019 southern hemisphere seasonal influenza vaccines are listed below.
The egg-based quadrivalent influenza vaccines contain the following four viral strains:
- an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
- an A/Switzerland/8060/2017 (H3N2)-like virus
- a B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (B/Victoria/2/87 lineage)
- a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage)
The egg-based trivalent influenza vaccines contain the following three viral strains:
- an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
- an A/Switzerland/8060/2017 (H3N2)-like virus; and
- a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage)
For the 2019 influenza season, the TGA has registered six vaccines which will be available for use in the following age groups:
|Sanofi-Aventis||FluQuadri Junior||6-35 months* (<3 years)|
|FluQuadri||3 years and over|
|GlaxoSmithKline||Fluarix Tetra||6 months and over**|
|Mylan Health||Influvac Tetra||18 years and over***|
|Seqirus||Afluria Quad||5 years and over|
|Seqirus||Fluad||65 years and over|
|Sanofi-aventis||Fluzone high dose||65 years and over***|
- * Guidance for the dose in children aged 6–35 months is available in the Product Information.
- ** A full 0.5 mL dose is now to be used in all age groups 6 months and over
- *** For private market only, not funded under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
The 2019 seasonal influenza vaccines will be available through the NIP from mid-April 2019.
In conjunction with the Office of Health Protection and state and territory health authorities, the TGA will be closely monitoring adverse event reports during the 2019 influenza vaccination program.
All influenza vaccines available this year are Latex free.
Vaccines for use in children
For children FluQuadri Junior is available from 6 to 35 months, FluQuadri for 3 years and over and Fluarix Tetra for 6 months and over. Afluria Quad is available for use in children aged 5 years and over.
Vaccines for use in under 65s
Quadrivalent influenza vaccine brands are being supplied under the NIP in 2019 for people aged under 65. These vaccines include two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains.
Vaccines for use in over 65s
To continue to provide the best possible protection for those 65 years and over, an enhanced trivalent vaccine, Fluad (Seqirus), is being supplied through the NIP for this age group in 2019. This vaccine has been specifically made for the elderly, as their immune systems respond less effectively to vaccines. As a trivalent vaccine, it includes two influenza A strains and one influenza B strain. It works by generating a stronger immune response through the use of an adjuvant which stimulates the immune system. An additional trivalent influenza vaccine for those aged 65 years and older, Fluzone High Dose (Sanofi), is anticipated to be available for purchase on the private market.
Information for health professionals is available from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) Influenza Statement.
Reporting of adverse events following influenza vaccine
Health professionals and consumers are encouraged to report all adverse events associated with influenza vaccination in patients of any age to the TGA or through the current arrangements in their state or territory.
All reports contribute to the TGA's ongoing monitoring of the safety of influenza vaccines.
The TGA cannot give advice about an individual's medical condition. You are strongly encouraged to talk with a health professional if you are concerned about a possible adverse event associated with a vaccine or medicine.