Medications

Influvac® vaccine   

This product is manufactured by BGP Pharma ULC using the ingredient influenza vaccine, inactivated.

This product is taken via intramuscular or subcutaneous injection.

Why is it prescribed?

Influenza vaccination is recommended for all individuals aged 6 months and older - especially people at high risk of influenza-related complications.  These include: infants aged 6 to 23 months; adults and children with chronic heart and lung disorders; people of any age who are residents of nursing homes or chronic care facilities; people over the age of 65; adults and children with chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus, cancer, kidney disease; anemia; immunosuppressed individuals (e.g. HIV infected people); pregnant women; children and adolescents (6 months to 18 years) with conditions treated for long periods with aspirin (e.g. ASA) and people at high risk for complications who are traveling to a destination where the influenza virus will be circulating.

The following people who have potential of transmitting influenza to those at high risk should be vaccinated: health care providers; those who provide services within closed or relatively closed settings to persons at high risk; household contacts of people at high risk; those who provide child care; people who provide essential community services; people in direct contact with poultry infected with avian influenza. 


Each year, different strains of the influenza virus appear. Scientists try to predict which strains will be most likely for the coming year, and these strains are used to make up the year's influenza vaccine. Influvac® contains 2 influenza A strains and 1 influenza B strain. The vaccine only provides protection against the strains of flu virus used to prepare the vaccine.

It usually takes 2 to 3 weeks for the protection against these viruses to be effective, and the protection lasts for 6 to 12 months. Annual vaccination is necessary to make sure you are covered for the new virus strains that are expected each year.
The best time for vaccination is from mid-October, but anytime in the flu season (November to April) is appropriate.
Contrary to popular belief, influenza vaccine cannot cause the flu.
Influvac® may not work for everybody.


Alternatives

Other products that have the same ingredient as Influvac® vaccine are •Agriflu® vaccine •Fluad Pediatric™ •Fluad® influenza vaccine •Flulaval® Tetra Influenza Vaccine •Fluviral® vaccine •Fluzone® High-Dose influenza vaccine •Fluzone® Quadrivalent influenza vaccine •

See other products used in the treatment of •flu •influenza •

The recommended dose for adults above 18 years is 0.5 mL as a single injection.


The influenza vaccine causes the body to produce antibodies against the virus. This means that when your body is exposed to the influenza virus, your body is able to defend itself. The antibodies stop the attacking virus. Influenza viruses change all the time, so different vaccines are made every year.


Influenza vaccine is generally well tolerated and most people will experience only minor unwanted effects. The frequency and severity of these effects depends mainly on the individual's susceptibility. Possible unwanted effects include:

  • soreness at the injection site
  • fever
  • feeling unwell
  • shivering
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • sweating
  • muscle joint pain
  • warmth


Rare:

  • nerve pain
  • numbness and tingling
  • seizures
  • blood disorders
  • allergic reactions

 


Influenza vaccine should not be given to:

  • people who have had an anaphylactic reaction (e.g., throat constriction, difficulty swallowing) to the influenza vaccine
  • people who have had an anaphylactic reaction to any of the vaccine components, with the exception of egg 
  • people who have developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) within six weeks of influenza vaccination

Influenza vaccination should be postponed:

  • in serious acute illness - until symptoms have abated. Immunization should not be delayed because of minor acute illness, with or without fever.

 

Use in pregnancy: recommended
Use while breastfeeding: Evidence indicates that the vaccine is safe for breastfeeding mothers and their infants. 

 


Page Last Updated: 05/10/2016