The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recently unanimously voted 14-0 to coadminister the COVID-19 and flu vaccine to adults and children.1 The proposed policy for the 2021-2022 influenza season was made to implement changes that coincide with the timing of children returning to school in fall 2021, and to align with the CDC’s guidelines allowing COVID-19 vaccines to be coadministered with other vaccines.
This also will be the first influenza season where nearly all available flu vaccines are quadrivalent, rather than trivalent. This means flu shots will contain four vaccine strain influenza viruses — two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.
The ACIP vaccine policy recommendations also included explicit information about when influenza vaccines should be given to children and adults. For example, the recommendations direct vaccine providers to give non-pregnant adults flu shots after August because of concerns about waning vaccine-acquired artificial immunity.
Vaccine providers are directed to give children flu shots by the end of October, with the dog kidney (MDCK) cell-based Flucelvax quadrivalent vaccine now being recommended for children starting at age 2 and older.
The policy also calls for precautions in giving a vaccine to anyone with a moderate or severe acute illness, history of Guillain-Barré syndrome within six weeks of receiving an influenza vaccine, or a history of severe allergic reactions to any other dose of flu vaccine.