The new Southern Hemisphere Influenza Vaccine for the 2021 Southern Hemisphere Influenza Season is available at IMC. Please call our clinics now to book your appointment.
It contains the following strains:
A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1)pdm09 – like strain (A/Victoria/2570/2019, IVR-215);
A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2) – like strain (A/Hong Kong/2671/2019, NIB-121);
B/Washington/02/2019 – like strain (B/Washington/02/2019, wild type);
B/Phuket/3073/2013 – like strain (B/Phuket/3073/2013, wild type)
Compared with the Northern Hemisphere (NH) 2020/2021 flu vaccine, one of the four strains has changed. The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have recommended that you should be vaccinated with the Southern Hemisphere (SH) vaccine now, even if you received the NH2020/2021 vaccine.
WHO has also predicted that there will be strain changes for the NH 2021/2022 influenza and you will also need to be vaccinated with the NH 2021/2022 even after you receive the current SH 2021 vaccine. For maximal benefit, please plan to do this early in the season, you can start calling for the NH flu vaccine appointment in October 2021.
It is especially important for the following groups to receive the vaccine as they are more vulnerable to complications of influenza:
- Women at all stages of pregnancy
- Persons aged 65 years or older;
- Children aged 6 to 59 months;
- Adults and children who have chronic lung (like asthma) or heart disorders;
- Adults and children who have required regular medical follow-up or hospitalisation due to chronic metabolic diseases ( like diabetes), kidney, neurologic (like stroke, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and intellectual disability), liver, or blood disorders;
- Adults and children with immunosuppression;
- Children and adolescents aged 6 months to 18 years who are receiving long-term aspirin therapy
Other people who should receive the vaccine are:
- Persons receiving intermediate and long term care (ILTC) services in institutional settings; and
- All healthcare workers
In light of COVID-19 pandemic, influenza vaccination continues to be recommended for persons working or living in close-living environments for the 2021 SH season. These groups include:
- Foreign workers living in all forms of dormitories and private residential premises. In particular, those working in construction, marine, and processes sectors; and
- Staff working in custodial and residential facilities (e.g. homes and shelters), communal living facilities, hostels or cruises/ferries.
- IMC also recommends it if you are traveling to the Southern Hemisphere this winter.
Interval between COVID-19 vaccine and Influenza vaccine
A minimum interval of 14 days is recommended between receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine. This means that you should receive the influenza vaccine at least 2 weeks before the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or 2 weeks after the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.