Flu Vaccine

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

Dosing for Children 6 months to 8 years of age

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.

Expiration Dates for Multi-Dose Vials

Trade Name
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
Seqirus Afluria
Seqirus Flucelvax  
ID Biomedical FluLaval
Sanofi Pasteur Fluzone