According to the Ministry of Health, influenza causes about 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada each year. The flu shot is proven to reduce the number of doctor visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to the flu. Therefore, it is particularly important for high risk groups, including patients 65 years or older, women who are pregnant, children and infants and those with medical conditions, to receive the flu vaccine.
To administer the flu vaccine to patients five years and older, pharmacists, pharmacy students and interns must:
- be in a pharmacy participating in Ontario’s Universal Influenza Immunization Program (UIIP);
- have completed an OCP-approved injection training course and registered their training with the College; and
- hold a valid certification in the required level of CPR and First Aid.
FluMist® will not be available in Canada for 2019/2020 influenza season.
The College’s Administering Injections Practice Tool contains important information on training and registration requirements. The Ministry of Health has also provided specific information and FAQs regarding the UIIP.
Pharmacists play an important role in supporting patient well-being and promoting healthier communities. This includes educating patients on current evidence-based immunization practices. Encourage patients to review the Ministry’s resources on the Flu and Flu Vaccine Safety.