Important information about the 2015 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine
The Department of Health advises that the National Seasonal Influenza Immunisation Program for 2015 will not commence on the usual start date of 15 March. The main reason for the delay is that the 2015 southern hemisphere seasonal influenza vaccine will contain three seasonal influenza strains, with two strain changes from the 2014 vaccine.
This double-strain change, which is an unusual occurrence, has caused manufacturing delays. A decision has been made to delay the program until sufficient supplies of influenza vaccine are available from at least two suppliers in order to mitigate the risk of administration of bioCSL’s Fluvax to children under five years of age. The delay will not affect vaccine supply volumes, and no vaccine shortages are anticipated.
The trivalent influenza vaccine components for the Australian 2015 influenza season will contain the following:
- A (H1N1): an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) – like virus, 15 µg HA per dose.
- A (H3N2): an A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2) – like virus 15 µg HA per dose.
- B: a B/Phuket/3073/2013 – like virus, 15 µg HA per dose.
When available, further information on the commencement date will be placed on the Immunise Australia website.