For the 2018-19 season, trivalent influenza vaccines licensed in the U.S. will contain hemagglutinin (HA) derived from an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus, an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-2016 (H3N2)-like virus, and a B/Colorado/06/20017-like virus (B/Victoria/2/87 lineage). Quadrivalent influenza vaccines will contain these antigens along with a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage). Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) will have the same HA as quadrivalent influenza vaccines except for the H1N1 component, which is A/Slovenia/2903/2015 post-pandemic strain.
What ACIP Recommends
Everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated with any licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate influenza vaccine (IIV, RIV, or LAIV), as indicated.
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published on August 24, 2018 provides guidance from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for using this year's flu vaccine products. View a listing of influenza vaccine products available for the 2018-19 season (PDF). Vaccines for Children providers can access the 2018 to 2019 State Supplied Childhood Flu Vaccines At-A-Glance chart (PDF) for VFC specific choices.
Updates for 2018 - 2019 Flu Season
In its February meeting, the ACIP once again recommended LAIV (the nasal spray vaccine known as FluMist) for healthy, non-pregnant people 2 through 49 years old during the 2018-19 season. This recommendation was made after ACIP reviewed effectiveness data presented by the manufacturers of FluMist.
Dosing for Children Aged 6 Months to 8 Years Old
Thimerosal in Flu Vaccine
Thimerosal is used as a preservative in all multi-dose vial presentations of influenza vaccine. A 0.5 milliliter (mL) dose drawn from a multi-dose vial contains up to 25 µg thimerosal, depending on the manufacturer. Single-dose flu vaccine presentations-prefilled syringe, single-dose vial, and single-use nasal spray-are thimerosal-free.
Vaccine expires 28 days after the multi-dose vial is opened or accessed (needle-punctured)
Vaccine is usable through the expiration date on the multi-dose vial label whether or not it has been opened or accessed
Resources for Flu Vaccine Administration
- CDC Preventing Seasonal Flu with Vaccination
- Guidance for use of High-Dose and Adjuvanted Flu Vaccine in persons 65 years and older (PDF)
- Influenza Causes Substantial Morbidity and Mortality in America's Children Every Year-Facts and Figures on Influenza in Children (PDF)
- Screening Checklist for Contraindications to Inactivated Injectable Influenza Vaccination (PDF)
- Screening Checklist for Contraindications to Live Attenuated Intranasal Influenza Vaccination (PDF)
- Vaccine Information Statement (Flu Vaccine, Inactivated or Recombinant) PDF
- Vaccine Information Statement (Live, Intranasal) PDF
- Links to Package Inserts for U.S.-licensed Vaccines
- CDC Flu Vaccine and People with Egg Allergies
- Colds vs. Flu Chart (PDF)