As we approach the peak of flu season, making sure that your practice is taking all the precautions needed never hurts. This year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their vaccines in accordance to the virus trend, as well as their age regulations. In addition, doing some internal double checking of your practice’s inventory and vaccine system is a must that some practices skip over. However, knowing a Pediatrician’s role and significance in providing quality healthcare, it is a necessity that these internal checks are made.
How the virus has changed this year
According to the CDC, the vaccines for this season have been updated to contain the following:
- A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
- A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus
- B/Colorado/06/2017-like (Victoria Lineage) virus
As for the Quadrivalent vaccines, they are expected to contain the three viruses stated above, as well as B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (Yamagata lineage) virus.
For more in-depth updates of the vaccine components and the reasoning behind it, click here.
Change in regulatory actions
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved to expand the age indication for the Afluria Quadrivalent, also known as the IIV4. This allows infants, starting past the 6-months period, to receive the vaccine. Before this change, no one below 5 years old was able to be vaccinated by the Afluria Quadrivalent. The dosage of children ages 6-35 months for this vaccine is 0.25 mL per dose (which contains 7.5 µg of HA per vaccine virus). As for those who are at least 3 years (or 36 months), dosage requires 0.5 mL (which contains 15 µg of HA per vaccine virus).
As for the Fluzone Quadrivalent (IIV4), previous dosages required 0.25 mL (containing 7.5 µg of HA per vaccine virus). After the FDA approved the change in dose volume in January 2019, practitioners can give the previous dosages or 0.5 mL (which contains 15 µg of HA per vaccine virus) per dose. In addition, children at least 3 years of age, as well as adults, can receive 0.5 mL per dose.
For further information of any other primary changes and updates, visit the CDC website for the 2019-2020 Influenza Season Report.
NDC Numbers from Flu Vendors
Keeping up with the theme of updates, the NDC numbers from flu vendors are updated as well. In short, NDC numbers are entered into an EHR vendor’s systems, in order to record accurate details in a patient’s medical and billing records.
Click here to see all of the updated NDC numbers from CDC’s Immunization Information Systems (IIS).
Making sure that your system is efficient
Having a system that works, but above all, efficient, will make inventory and medical billing less of a hassle this flu season. If your practice hasn’t quite mastered an effective way of doing both ends, the practice side and the administrative side, a pediatric-specific EHR might be the solution that you’ve been looking for.
If you are looking into or thinking about a pediatric E.H.R. and medical billing company (yes, they do both!), click here.