The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for the delivery of seasonal influenza vaccine in fall 2020, when ongoing COVID-19 activity may continue to stress public health capacity and affect clinic operations and attendance. This guidance has been developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in consultation with the Canadian Immunization Committee and the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).
Reducing the burden of influenza is particularly important this fall and winter to prevent an increase in health care utilization at the same time as there is a potential resurgence of COVID-19 activity. In its seasonal influenza vaccine statement for 2020-2021, NACI advises that priority should be given to providing influenza vaccine to persons at high risk of influenza complications and those capable of transmitting infection to them.
The seasonal influenza immunization campaign provides an opportunity to develop and practice approaches that may be used for the anticipated COVID-19 immunization program and to ensure consideration of the diverse needs of population groups based on access to services, vulnerability, ethnicity/culture, ability status and other socioeconomic and demographic factors. These approaches may also be useful for the provision and catch-up of routine immunization. Additional advice for the provision of routine immunization programs during the COVID-19 pandemic is available from PHAC and from provinces and territories.