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2018 seasonal influenza vaccines

27 March 2018

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 and evaluated data relating to recent influenza isolates circulating in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere. Based on this review, the AIVC has recommended that the TGA adopt the September 2017 World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for the strains to be covered by the 2018 seasonal influenza vaccines. Details of the strains were announced on the TGA website on 18 October 2017.

This year, five quadrivalent and two trivalent influenza vaccines will be available.

The quadrivalent vaccines include two influenza A strains and two influenza B strains, and there are products available for all age groups from 6 months of age.

These vaccines will contain the following strains:

  • A (H1N1): an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • A (H3N2): an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B: a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus
  • B: a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

The trivalent vaccines include two influenza A strains and one influenza B strain. These formulations provide an enhanced immune response and are only recommended for patients aged 65 years and over.

These vaccines will contain the following strains:

  • A (H1N1): an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • A (H3N2): an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B: a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus.

For more information see Influenza vaccine: the annual Southern Hemisphere influenza vaccine production and the regulatory approval timeline.

For the 2018 influenza season, the TGA has registered six vaccines which will be available for use in the following age groups:

Tradename Age group
Quadrivalent vaccines
Sanofi-Aventis FluQuadri Junior* 6-35 months (<3 years)
FluQuadri 3 years and over
GlaxoSmithKline Fluarix Tetra 3 years and over
Mylan Health Influvac Tetra 18 years and over
Seqirus Afluria Quad** 18 years and over
Trivalent vaccines
Sanofi-Aventis Fluzone High dose 65 years and over
Seqirus Fluad 65 years and over

* Guidance for the dose in children aged 6–35 months is available in the Product Information.

** Please note that for 2018, Afluria Quad is only supplied to individuals 18 years and over. Refer to the Product Information approved in November 2017.

For further information on individual vaccines, please refer to the relevant Product Information document or Consumer Medicine Information document.

For further information about the use of seasonal influenza vaccines in children, please refer to the TGA web statement: Flu vaccine: 2018 seasonal influenza vaccines for use in children.

Further information for health professionals is available from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) Influenza Statement.

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 2018 influenza vaccination program.

The 2018 seasonal influenza vaccines provided free through the National Immunisation Program will be available from April 2018.

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.