VaxWorks will only ever use the most current and up-to-date flu vaccines approved by Australia's medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). In fact, it is not possible to use last year's flu vaccines in our programs as their expiry date is always set to be before we start vaccinating clients (usually in January in the year following their release).
The type of vaccines we use are called egg-based flu vaccines. Chicken eggs are infected with the flu virus and the virus allowed to grow inside the egg before the virus is separated from the egg. The virus is killed in this process which is why the flu vaccine cannot cause the flu and why we ask about severe egg allergies as there may be a few micrograms of egg protein left in the vaccine. We are able to develop immunity because our body is able to learn what the virus looks like from the dead virus contained in the vaccine.
As part of our commitment to the Australian economy, businesses and workers, VacxWorks will wherever possible use an Australian-produced vaccine.
The vaccine does change from year to year to best match the flu viruses that are circulating. In 2021, VaxWorks Health Services will be using the vaccines recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for use in the Southern Hemisphere which contain:
- an A/Victoria/2570/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus (a new strain);
- an A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2)-like virus (a new strain);
- a B/Washington/02/2019 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus; and
- a B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus.
In 2021, there will also be a cell or recombinant vaccine available at this stage, VaxWorks does not have plans to offer this vaccine.
Since 2018, the Australian Government has also recommended the use of speciﬁc vaccines for older Australians. VaxWorks is unable to supply these vaccines. If you have staﬀ aged 65 or older, we recommend they see their GP to receive this speciﬁc ﬂu vaccine. However, the QIV egg-based vaccine we oﬀer is still safe and eﬀective for these staﬀ and can be given at your clinic if staﬀ are unlikely to visit their GP. As part of our care for your staﬀ, we will discuss options with your older staﬀ at your clinic.