Canada Communicable Disease Report (2020-05-01)

Summary of the NACI Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Statement for 2020–2021

  • Kelsey Young,
  • Ian Gemmill,
  • Robyn Harrison,
  • on behalf of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI)

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 46, no. 5
pp. 132 – 137


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Background: Evidence on influenza vaccination is continually evolving. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) provides annual recommendations to the Public Health Agency of Canada regarding the use of seasonal influenza vaccines. Objective: To summarize NACI’s recommendations regarding the use of seasonal influenza vaccines for the 2020–2021 influenza season and to highlight new and updated recommendations. Methods: 1) To update wording on influenza vaccination of health care workers, NACI reassessed the evidence in the context of ethics and acceptability frameworks, in accordance with NACI’s recently expanded mandate. 2) To provide recommendations on the use of live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) in HIV-infected individuals, the Influenza Working Group developed a predefined search strategy to identify all eligible studies, then assessed the quality and summarized and analyzed the findings according to the NACI evidence-based process. NACI provided new recommendations based on assessment of the evidence. Results: 1) NACI continues to recommend that health care workers and other care providers in facilities and community settings should be vaccinated annually against influenza and that this group be included among those particularly recommended to receive the influenza vaccine. 2) NACI concluded that LAIV is immunogenic in children with stable HIV infection; therefore, NACI newly recommends that LAIV may be considered as an option for children 2–17 years of age with stable HIV infection on highly active antiretroviral therapy and with adequate immune function. Conclusion: NACI continues to recommend that an age-appropriate influenza vaccine should be offered annually to anyone six months of age and older who does not have contraindications to the vaccine, with a focus on the groups for whom influenza vaccination is particularly recommended.