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Immunisation News & Alerts


Subscribe to Sydney Health Weekly

SUBSCRIBE NOW to our weekly Immunisation email updates via Sydney Health Weekly


LATEST IMMUNISATION UPDATE

23 November Immunisation Weekly Update

  • Last COVID-19 vaccine orders for 2022
  • Moderna Paediatric
  • Manage your access to COVID-19 vaccines in CVAS
  • Send clinical questions to the Taskforce

16 November Immunisation Weekly Update

  • Is a 5th dose recommended?
  • Pfizer Bivalent – 12 Dec 2022
  • Pfizer Paediatric – 16 Jan 2023
  • CVAS news & updates
  • ATAGI updated resources
  • Expansion of NSW pharmacist vaccination program

9 November Immunisation Weekly Update

  • Are your patients up to date with COVID-19 vaccines?
  • Order COVID-19 vaccines now –  demand expected to increase with new infection wave
  • 3 months since booster? Time for a second booster
  • Significant updates to ATAGI infographic resource
  • Expanded JEV vaccine access

2 November Immunisation Weekly Update

  • Ensure your patients are up to date with COVID boosters
  • Declining HPV vaccine uptake in adolescents
  • COVID-19 vaccines and menstruation
  • Monkeypox Vaccination Training course
  • Expanded authority for Authorised Nurse Immunisers
  • Upcoming immunisation webinar topics: COVID-19, MPX, Shingles, Pregnancy

Upcoming immunisation webinars:

26 October Immunisation Weekly Update

Topics include:

  • Boosters for children 5 to 11 years
  • MPX vaccine – Expanded access
  • Zoster catch-up funding – ends soon
  • Discontinued: Moderna Original
  • Caution: Dosing & administration errors
  • Module: The Well Child Health program
  • Updated: NSW Pharmacist Vaccination Standards
  • ATAGI 2022 annual immunisation statement
14 September Immunisation Weekly Update

READ NOW:  Immunisation Weekly newsletter – topics include:

  • Measles notification in SESLHD
  • Moderna Bivalent vaccine (Original/Omicron BA.1)
  • Nurse Scholarship

 

7 September Immunisation Weekly Update

READ NOW:  Immunisation Weekly newsletter – topics include:

  • Monkeypox webinar update
  • Childhood immunisation coverage data – June 2022
  • Temporary medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines
  • Paediatric COVID-19 vaccine rollout commences
  • Nurse scholarship
  • Webinar: Adolescent Vaccination
  • Webinar: NCIRS 25 Year Anniversary Showcase live stream

 

31 August Immunisation Weekly Update

READ NOW:  Immunisation Weekly newsletter – topics include:

  • Immunisation Scholarship: for Practice Nurses
  • Monkeypox: ATAGI clinical guidance
  • Reminder: Update VFC & Vaccine Disposal
  • Paediatric Moderna resources: Training module & Consent form
  • Novavax vaccine for adolescents aged 12-17 years
  • Vaccine Administration Errors: management guidelines
  • COVID-19 In-Reach Vaccination PIP extension
  • Dinner event: Shingrix education for GPs, nurses, and pharmacists

 

24 August Immunisation Weekly Update

READ NOW:  Immunisation Weekly newsletter – topics include:

  • Takie a break from COVID-19 Vaccination
  • Monkeypox – Local transmission
  • Disability – Vaccination services
  • AIR functions integrated in MD and BP
  • CoRiCal – risk calculator
  • Pregnancy – 4th dose advice
  • Moderna Paediatric – not recommended for all children
  • Teeny Tiny Stevies song ‘I got you’
  • Surveillance program – Myocarditis
17 August Immunisation Weekly Update

READ NOW:  Immunisation Weekly newsletter – topics include:

  • MPX – JYNNEOS consent form & factsheet
  • Pneumosmart clinical tool
  • Thaw expiry stickers Pfizer and Moderna
  • Paed Moderna – EOI notifications & commencement date
  • Oral treatments – no Medicare card
  • Multicultural resources for COVID-19
  • Upcoming immunisation webinars
10 August Immunisation Weekly Update

READ NOW:  Immunisation Weekly newsletter – topics include:

  • Alert: Meningococcal Disease
  • Co-administration of vaccine
  • MPX vaccine rollout
  • MPX preparedness in General Practice
  • Paid Zoom interview $150
  • Flu reimbursement – Vendor set up
  • Register interest for MPX vaccine
3 August Immunisation Weekly Update

READ NOW:  Immunisation Weekly newsletter – topics include:

  • COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 6 months to <5 years
  • Monkeypox (MPX): vaccine access & availability
  • New AIR code for smallpox vaccine
  • GP knowledge gaps with Zostavax use in the immunocompromised
27 July Immunisation Weekly Update

READ NOW:  Immunisation Weekly newsletter – topics include:

  • Webinar recording: Managing respiratory infections in general practice
  • Ukrainians in NSW: Access to immunisation and health services
  • Immunisation providers needed to help shape the future of AIR
  • Fourth dose eligibility – Quick reference guide
  • Increasing rates of vaccinations of people with an intellectual disability
  • TGA provisionally approves Novavax for use in 12-17 year olds
  • EOI: Paediatric Moderna in General practice
20 July Immunisation Weekly Update

READ NOW:  Immunisation Weekly newsletter – topics include:

  • Flu vaccine reimbursement form
  • Health professional education resources
  • Need to improve booster and winter booster doses
  • Interval between SARS-CoV-2 infection and re-infection / vaccination
  • People with disability urged to get a booster
  • Updated VCF Connect User Guide
  • TGA provisionally approves Paediatric Moderna vaccine
13 July Immunisation Weekly Update

READ NOW:  Immunisation Weekly newsletter – topics include:

  • Authorised nurse immuniser scholarship
  • Free flu vaccine end this Sunday, 17 July
  • Expanded winter dose eligibility
  • Long COVID
  • How many COVID-19 vaccine doses do you need?
  • Webinar: Supporting GPs to manage influenza and respiratory infections
  • Winter wellness: launch of ‘Ask the Question’ campaign
6 July Immunisation Weekly Update

READ NOW:  Immunisation Weekly newsletter – topics include:

  • Free flu shots extended to 17 July
  • Diphtheria cases in NSW
  • Communicating with people who are unvaccinated against COVID-19
  • SKAI Healthcare Providers Survey
  • Current wave of infections in NSW driven by Omicron BA.4 and BA.5
  • Novavax as a booster update
  • Winter booster eligibility
  • Proposed changes to menB vaccine recommendations
  • Zostavax (shingles vaccine) supply issues
  • ANI Scholarship for General Practice nurses
PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT

Infectious diseases alerts

NSW Health – Infectious diseases alerts: 2022 alerts

Dept of Health – Monkeypox (MPX) health alert: Current status

Mpx

Monkeypox Webinars

Monkeypox (MPX) special webinar

  • About: primary care update on Monkeypox (MPX) – key updates and Q&A
  • Watch webinar recording from 10 August 2022 or view transcript

ASHM Monkeypox webinar 

ASHM (Australasian Society for HIV Medicine) is a peak organisation of health professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work in HIV, viral hepatitis, other BBVs and sexual health.

Monkeypox MPX – for Health Professionals

Websites for health professionals
Contacts for health professionals
  • NSW Sexual Health Infolink: 1800 451 624
  • Infectious Disease Specialist: 8890 5555
  • Public Health Unit: 1300 066 055
Resources for health professionals

MPX Vaccine resources

MPX Case management resources

MPX Information for patients

MPX Websites & Contacts 

  • NSW Sexual Health Infolink: 1800 451 624

MPX Resources

Frequently asked questions

MPX vaccination rollout in NSW

When will MPX vaccination commence in NSW?

  • Vaccination will commence from Monday 8 August 2022 for high risk groups

Location of the MPX vaccination clinics:

  • The Crown St MPXV vaccine service – operational from Monday 8th August
  • Three large HIV S100 prescribers in Sydney have received a small amount of the vaccine in the initial roll out:
    • Holdworth House Medical Practice
    • East Sydney Doctors
    • Taylor Square Private Clinic

Eligibility for MPX vaccination – initial round

Appointments for the first round of vaccination will be at the Crown St MPXV vaccine clinic

  • High-risk GBMSM with booked travel to Europe or North America before 31 October 2022
  • High-risk GBMSM who are living with HIV and are immunocompromised (CD4 < 200)
  • High-risk GBMSM who are particularly vulnerable should monkeypox become locally endemic (sex worker, transgender, homeless, Aboriginal, significant drug use)
  • The earliest appointments will further prioritise GBMSM with booked overseas travel in August and sex industry workers with GBMSM clients.
  • Patients not eligible for the first round will be contacted by NSW Health from the end of September

Vaccine supply & availability 

  • NSW has received an initial supply of 5,500 doses of the JYNNEOS smallpox vaccine, with a further 30,000 doses expected in September and an additional 70,000 in early 2023.
  • Supply of the JYNNEOS vaccine is extremely limited and vaccination will be rolled out in phases.

Vaccine doses & protection

  • JYNNEOS is a two-dose vaccine given four weeks apart (28 days)
  • One dose offers some protection against monkeypox, with full protective effect from at least 2 weeks after second dose
  • WHO describes the vaccine’s efficacy as 85%, preventing 17 out of every 20 infections

Referral process for MPX vaccine

Expression of interest form – for potentially eligible people
  • Refer patients to complete the expression of interest form on ACONs website to express interest in a future appointment for vaccination at the Crown Street MPXV Vaccine Centre.
  • Who should register:
    • People who are gay, bisexual, or other men who has sex with men (GBMSM) should register for the vaccine
    • GBSMS who have booked travel overseas to Europe or North America before 31 October 2022
    • People wanting to receive the vaccine can register their interest
  • Bookings will be possible using an invitation link after review of information provided on the expression on interest form.
    • Patients eligible for initial round will receive invitation link in August
    • Patients not eligible for initial round will be contacted by NSW Health from the end of September
Direct referral – for vulnerable and marginalized high-risk GBMSM
  • Health Care providers are able to directly refer vulnerable and marginalized high-risk GBMSM who are eligible for vaccination to the Crown Street MPXV Vaccination centre.
  • High-risk GBMSM who are also HIV infected with CD4<200, sex industry workers, homeless, significant drug use, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander are eligible for this pathway.
  • Call the Sexual Health Info Link (SHIL) on 1800 451 624 to refer a patient.

GP information: MPX vaccine

Can GPs order MPX vaccine?

  • Currently, no – Initial vaccine doses will be managed by NSW Health and administered at a state MPX vaccination clinic
  • Initial doses will be prioritised to manage the immediate outbreak and will focus on those at greatest risk of severe illness and acquisition of the monkeypox virus
  • Supply of the JYNNEOS vaccine is extremely limited, vaccination will be rolled out in phases:
    • First phase: 5,500 doses in early August
    • Second phase: 30,000 doses expected in late September
    • Third phase: 70,000 doses in early 2023
  • GPs may be able to order MPX in the later phases of the vaccine rollout

Where can GPs direct patients enquiring about MPX vaccine?

  • Direct patients to the ACON website where they can register their interest for the MPX vaccine:
    • information registered will be passed to NSW Health for further assessment.
    • registering interest does not guarantee access to the vaccine
    • ACON is unable to comment or provide any information about when patients will be notified of the assessment outcome.
  • Direct patients to website with Information for LGBTQ+ communities in NSW:
  • Patients can also contact NSW Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624 for information on MPX vaccines

Can a GP directly refer a patient for vaccination?

  • Yes, GPs are able to directly refer high-risk patients for priority vaccination to the state MPX vaccination centre
  • High-risk patients eligible for this pathway include:
    • Vulnerable and marginalised high-risk gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM)
    • GBMSM who are HIV infected with CD4<200, sex industry workers, homeless, significant drug use, or Aboriginal and/Torres Strait Islander
  • To refer a patient, call NSW Sexual Health Info Link (SHIL) on 1800 451 624

General practice – MPX preparedness          

MPX suspected cases

Managing suspected cases in General Practice:
1. Identify suspected case:
    • Patient with signs and symptoms of monkeypox, or
    • Someone who may have been exposed to the monkeypox virus
    • Refer to Monkeypox factsheet
2. Report all suspected cases of monkeypox:
    • Call Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 – PHU will initiate a public health investigation, contact tracing and control measures,

AND

    • Call Infectious Disease Specialist on 8890 5555 – ID specialist will advise on the appropriate test and clinical management
    • Read GP clinical alert update – Monkeypox
    • On 1 June 2022, MPX became a nationally notifiable disease for 6 months. During this time a review will determine whether to list the virus permanently.
3. Testing suspected cases of monkeypox:
    • Testing capacity is limited in some jurisdictional laboratories.
    • Before testing: consult with PHU or ID specialist
    • Personal protective equipment (PPE) is required for specimen collection – read ICEG advice regarding PPE
    • Carefully review:
      • Video: Monkeypox – Patient referral and testing guidance
      • Guideline: PHLN guidance on Monkeypox patient referral, specimen collection and test requesting for GPs
      • Guideline: PPE advice – Infection Prevention and Control guidance on Monkeypox for Health Workers
    • Print and review:
      • Factsheet: Monkeypox patient referral and testing guidance
      • Poster: Monkeypox – Patient referral and testing guidance
Monkeypox – Clinicial & General practitioner alerts

The Australian Government Chief Medical Officer has declared Monkeypox (MPX) a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance.

Monkeypox has been added to the list of notifiable diseases under the Public Health Act 2010. Healthcare professionals must notify any suspected cases of MPX to the local Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 immediately to initiate a public health investigation, contact tracing and control measures.

The management of suspected cases for general practitioners: if monkeypox is suspected, immediately notify the on-call Westmead Hospital Infectious Disease Specialist on 8890 5555 to discuss the case and management.

ATAGI has guidance on the use of smallpox vaccines for protection against monkeypox virus infection. This advice will continue to be updated as new information emerges during the current multicounty monkeypox outbreak.

Monkeypox Alert

The Australian Government Chief Medical Officer has declared Monkeypox (MPX) a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance.

Global MPX situation

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the global situation regarding MPX to be a public health emergency of international concern.

Since May 2022, there has been a global increase in MPX infections in multiple countries where the illness is not usually seen. The situation is evolving quickly, and health authorities are monitoring closely so the most up to date evidence and advice can be provided.

Australia’s MPX situation

The unfolding situation in Australia concerning MPX is being monitored closely by health authorities. The current status as of 24 July 2022, is 44 confirmed and probable cases of MPX in Australia, with 24 cases in New South Wales. Most, but not all, cases recorded in Australia have been acquired overseas.

Healthcare professionals must notify any suspected cases of MPX to the local public health unit immediately. Public health unit staff will then start an investigation, contact tracing and control measures. Contact local PHU on 1300 066 055.

 

The Government is acting quickly to limit the spread of monkeypox and protect the community:

  • The Chief Medical Officer has declared monkeypox a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance and
  • The National Incident Centre has been activated to provide a national response.
  • The Government is working closely with key stakeholders, including AFAO, NAPWHA, and ASHM since the detection of monkeypox in Australia.
  • In response to the evolving situation the Government has engaged ASHM and AFAO to form a National MPXV Taskforce, which will provide leadership and policy advice on community engagement, clinical management, education and prevention.
  • The Government will provide funding to peak organisations to undertake targeted communication activities that support the monkeypox response in Australia.
  • A highly targeted campaign will also be created to encourage at risk populations to vaccinate.
What is MPX?

Monkeypox (MPX) is a disease caused by Monkeypox virus (MPXV), with symptoms similar to those seen previously with smallpox. It is spread through close contact with an infected person or animals, or with contaminated material. Find out more.

MPX resources 

Please print this poster and place in your general practice.

These resources provide new and updated information about MPX symptoms, treatment and prevention, and vaccine guidance:

AIR vaccine code for Smallpox vaccine 

There have been 3 smallpox vaccines added to the list of non-standard vaccines that are able to be recorded on AIR – see AIR vaccine code formats:

  • ACAM2000
  • JYNNEOS
  • Generic smallpox

Please email us at immunisation@cesphn.com.au if you require further information

NSW Sexual Health Clinics

The Infolink provides sexual health information and referral to community members and provides specialist clinical support and information to nurses, doctors and other professionals who are treating clients with sexual health issues.

For sexual health information and advice, call the NSW Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624.

The Sexual Health Infolink is a NSW Ministry of Health funded information and referral telephone line. The Infolink has been in operation since 1989 and is staffed by specialist sexual health nurses from 9:00am to 5:30pm.

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