Advisory No. 9. The 2008-2009 Influenza Season

Print Version of Vaccine Advisory 9 (PDF)

October 3, 2008
The 2008-2009 Influenza Season – Updated Recommendations for the Prevention and Control of Influenza

The goal of the Vaccine Advisory is to disseminate, in a timely manner, practical information related to vaccines, vaccine-preventable diseases, and the vaccine programs managed by the Immunization Branch.The Immunization Branch welcomes readers’ input to improve the contents of this document.

Hurricane Response Immunization Recommendations

  1. Tetanus: Per current CDC guidelines, responders should receive a tetanus booster if they have not been vaccinated for tetanus during the past 10 years. Td (tetanus/diphtheria) or Tdap (tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis) can be used.
  2. Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B vaccine series is recommended for persons who will be performing direct patient care or otherwise expected to have contact with bodily fluids.
  3. Influenza (flu): Influenza vaccine is recommended for hurricane evacuees and responders. A flu outbreak in an area affected by a hurricane could pose an increased threat to the general public.

This advisory presents new and updated recommendations for the prevention and control of influenza. It updates the 2007 recommendations by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) regarding the use of influenza vaccine and antiviral agents. Principal updates and changes include a new recommendation that annual vaccination be administered to all children 6 months through age 18 years beginning in the 2008-2009 season. Previously, the recommendation had been for all children age 6 months through 59 months of age.

This advisory contains:

  1. ACIP recommendations
  2. Texas Vaccines for Children program
  3. ImmTrac
  4. Texas school and child-care facilities requirements
  5. Texas surveillance update
  6. Reporting vaccine adverse events
  7. Additional Resources

1) ACIP new and updated recommendations for use of influenza

On February 27, 2008, the ACIP made new recommendations to expand the recommended ages for annual influenza vaccination of children to include all children from 6 months through 18 years of age. The previous recommendation was for vaccination of children 6 months to 59 months of age and children at higher risk for influenza complication.

The new and updated recommendations were published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) for August 8, 2008. Recommendations for the 2008 influenza season include:

  • Annual vaccination for all children aged 6 months through 18 years is recommended.
  • Annual vaccination of children aged 6 months through 4 years (59 months) and older children with conditions that place them at increased risk for complications from influenza should continue. Children and adolescents at high risk for influenza complications should continue to be a focus of vaccination efforts as providers and programs transition to routinely vaccinating all children. Recommendations for these children have not changed and can be found at [link no longer active. Please see CDC ACIP home page.
  • A new recommendation that annual vaccination be administered to all children aged 5-18 years, beginning in the 2008-2009 influenza season, if feasible, but no later than the 2009-2010 influenza season.
  • Children aged 6 months through 8 years should receive two doses of influenza vaccine (doses separated by 4 or more weeks) if they have not been vaccinated previously at any time with at least one dose of either LAIV or TIV.
    • A child who needed TWO doses of influenza vaccine but only received one should receive TWO doses the next (chronologic) year.
    • If one or more years elapse after the first vaccination year, then only ONE dose should be administered annually.
  • Guidance for screening for wheezing in potential LAIV recipients 2-4 years of age can be found in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) for November 23, 2007.
  • Either trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine (TIV) or live, attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) can be used when vaccinating healthy persons aged 2-49 years (the previous recommendation was to administer LAIV to persons aged 5-49 years;
  • Persons at higher risk of influenza complications because of underlying medical conditions, children aged 6 months through 23 months, and persons aged > 49 years should receive TIV.
  • The 2008-2009 trivalent vaccine virus strains are A/Brisbane/59/2007 (H1N1)-like, A/Brisbane/10/2007 (H3N2)-like, and B/Florida/4/2006-like antigens.
  • Annual recommendations for adults for 2008 have not changed. Please see the CDC ACIP home page.
  • The antiviral medications recommended for treatment of influenza (oseltamivir or zanamivir) have not changed for the 2008-2009 influenza season and can be found in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) for July 13, 2007.

2) Texas Vaccines for Children Program

TVFC-supplied influenza vaccine is reserved for children 6 months to 18 years of age. The DSHS has received a portion of the TVFC vaccine, and orders have been placed with McKesson and will begin shipping the week of September 29th. Providers should not place additional vaccine orders until they have received all of their initial order. The vaccines for the initial orders will be arriving in phases through the end of October.

After providers have received their full orders and additional vaccine is needed, DSHS will accept and fill orders throughout the influenza season. Please remember that flu vaccination is now routinely recommended and should be given simultaneously with other recommended vaccines.

If you have questions regarding the influenza vaccine or ordering process, please call your LHD, HSR, or TVFC Consultant.

3) ImmTrac

ImmTrac users may use the code “Influenza” to report administration of the flu vaccine to children under 18 years of age. Although ImmTrac will record the administration of flu vaccine, the ImmTrac immunization scheduler will not currently generate recommendations for flu vaccine. For more information about ImmTrac, go to:

4) Texas school and child-care facilities requirements for influenza vaccine

Currently, the influenza vaccine is not required for school or day-care attendance. Legislation was passed in 2007 authorizing DSHS to increase immunization awareness and participation in the state’s early childhood vaccination program. DSHS is publishing information on its website to educate parents about the benefits of annual vaccinations against influenza. The DSHS Immunization Branch has developed a Flu Fact Sheet for Child-Care Settings; and, together with the Department of Family & Protective Services (DFPS) distributes the fact sheet annually to parents of children attending child-care facilities each August or September. Information on the immunization requirements for children attending child-care facilities, flu information targeting children, and the recommended immunizations can be found on the DSHS School Immunizations Website.

5) Texas surveillance update

The official reporting period for the 2008-2009 influenza season begins October 1, 2008. The State of Texas utilizes a sentinel surveillance system for influenza. Activity is determined based on data from multiple sources, including reports of influenza-like illness from clinical practitioners who participate in the Sentinel Provider Surveillance Network (SPSN), specimens submitted to the DSHS laboratory for viral culture, and outbreak reports from hospitals, longterm care facilities, and schools. For more information on SPSN please visit the Infectious Disease Control Unit Influenza-Like Illness page. If you are interested in participating in the SPSN, please contact Irene Brown, SPSN coordinator at (512) 458-7676.

Flu Activity Reports are posted on the Infectious Disease Control Unit's Influenza Surveillance page.

For more information about flu, please visit the Infectious Disease Control Unit's Influenza Information page.

An influenza-associated death in all persons 18 years of age and less is a reportable condition in Texas.

6) Reporting adverse vaccine events

Clinically significant adverse events following vaccination should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

Adverse events from privately purchased vaccine may be reported directly to VAERS. Secure web-based reporting is available on the VAERS website. Contact 800-VAC-RXNS for forms and information.

In Texas, reports of events following vaccination at public health clinics or with vaccine provided through public funding such as the Texas Vaccines for Children (TVFC) program should be reported to:

Texas Department of State Health Services
Immunization Branch (MC 1946)
P.O. Box 149347
Austin, TX 78714-9347

The pre-addressed and postagepaid VAERS form with this address can be obtained by calling the Immunization Branch. A copy of the form is also available in the TVFC toolkit. To request a VAERS form or additional information, call the VAERS contact in your area:

  • In Texas: (800) 252-9152
  • For Bexar County: (210) 207-2087
  • For City of Houston: (713) 558-3518

7) Resources

For Providers

For the public:

We hope you generously forward this advisory to others who may benefit from this information.

Texas Department of State Health Services
Immunization Branch (MC-1946)
P.O. Box 149347
Austin, Texas 78714-9347
(512) 458-7284 or (800) 252-9152

Last updated September 21, 2016