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Immunisation Weekly Update:

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Updated NSW Immunisation Schedule

The NSW Immunisation Schedule was updated October 2023 to include NIP funded Shingrix®. Schedule change FAQs are published on the NSW Health webpage.

Providers will receive a hardcopy of the updated NSW Immunisation Schedule, NSW Schedule poster (with vaccine images) and fridge basket stickers in the coming weeks. Additional copies can be ordered by completing the NSW Immunisation Resource Order Form.

Restrictions for Shingrix® ordering

NSW Health released a statement on Shingrix® vaccine restrictions to advise that Shingrix will be limited to 5-20 vaccines per month (depending on clinic size) during the initial roll out of the program until early 2024 when supply restrictions are expected to ease. Shingrix® is now available to order through the NSW Vaccine Centre online ordering system.

Prioritisation of Shingrix®

  • Patients who have previously received Zostavax® must wait at least 5 years after their dose before they are eligible to receive NIP funded Shingrix®.
  • Prioritise highest risk patients for Shingrix® vaccination – risk of developing shingles increases with age and is higher in people who are immunocompromised.
  • Zostavax® can be administered to people aged 70 years who prefer to receive this vaccine.

Opportunistic vaccination:

  • Check vaccination history on AIR and offer any required vaccines at Shingrix® appointment:
    • Prevenar13® vaccine for people aged 70 years and over
    • COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 70 years and over if it has been 6 months since last dose/infection

HealthPathways provides health professionals in CESPHN with access to up-to-date clinical information and resources to support assessment, management, and referral of their patients.

For more information visit the Immunisation in Adults pathway:

Related resources:

Injection sites poster for childhood vaccinations

This poster illustrates recommended sites for childhood vaccinations in NSW. It has been updated to include the addition of the new hexavalent vaccine Vaxelis® to the NSW Immunisation Schedule.

Download poster or order copies for your practice here.

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Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) tips

The new NCIRS AIR tips webpage provides answers to common questions about using the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). The tips include information on topics such as:

  • how to edit immunisation encounters
  • how to report vaccinations for non-Medicare individuals
  • how to correctly report influenza vaccinations. 

These items complement the infographics and eLearning modules available on the Services Australia Health Professional Education Resources page.

Vax at Home Service

The CESPHN Vax at Home Service is for those people who are housebound and not able to leave their house to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or booster. The service will accept referrals for people 16 years and over. Referrals will be accepted from GPs and from Local Health Districts. Patient self-referrals will not be accepted.

All referrals must be sent through this Vax at Home Service Online Form. Please also indicate if an influenza vaccine is also required. Please note, a referral will need to be attached to the online form. For further information on the program, please contact us.

Maternal vaccination rates in NSW

A new study has shown that from 2016 to 2020, maternal vaccination increased from 27% to 59% for influenza and from 43% to 79% for pertussis.

While coverage of both maternal influenza and pertussis vaccines has increased over time in NSW, disparities in coverage still exist – younger mothers (aged less than 30 years), those from lower socio-economic status areas and those using the public hospital care model had a lower likelihood of having received maternal influenza and pertussis vaccinations.

Immunisation providers can help to improve maternal vaccine uptake by recommending maternal vaccination and highlighting the benefits and risks associated. Resources are available to support recommended maternal vaccines available under the National Immunisation Program for pregnant women.

The Sharing Knowledge about Immunisation website provides reliable information for expectant parents about vaccination in pregnancy and for babies.

Upcoming webinars

New shingles vaccine on Australia’s NIP
About: Learn about the new NIP shingles vaccine Shingrix® which will replace Zostavax® from 1 November 2023. An expert NCIRS panel will be available to answer participants questions live.
Date: Tuesday 7 November
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Navigating the new COVID-19 Handbook chapter
About: A deep dive into the new chapter of the Australian Immunisation Handbook, exploring the latest COVID-19 guidelines.
Date: Wednesday 1 November
Time: 7:00pm

News highlights

In case you missed anything, catch up on the latest immunisation news:

Shingrix® orderingProviders can place orders for NIP Shingrix® vaccine via the NSW Vaccine Centre portal starting Monday, 30 Oct 2023.
Shingrix®From 1 Nov 2023, Shingrix® will replace Zostavax® on the NIP and will be funded for 65+ years, First Nations 50+ years and immunocompromised 18+ years.
Zostavax®Zostavax® funding for people aged 71 to 79 years ends 31 October 2023
Cold Chain AuditFrom Oct 2023, CCM audits will commence for general practices and pharmacies administering NIP-funded vaccines.
Cold Chain Breach (CCB)From Aug 2023, SESLHD will only accept online CCB reporting form.
Nurse ScholarshipLimited scholarships available for Authorised Nurse Immuniser course.

Latest resources

Access to the most recent information is essential, as immunisation advice is updated regularly:

Childhood injection sites poster Updated June 2023Poster illustrates recommended sites for childhood vaccinations in NSW.
Shingrix® program advice NEW Oct 2023Shingrix program factsheet for vaccination providers.
Multiple childhood vaccinations Updated Oct 2023NCIRS poster affirming the safety of children receiving more than one vaccine at the same time.

New and updated COVID-19 resources

AIR042A COVID-19 report NEW Oct 2023eLearning module and Simulation video for Health Professionals on accessing the AIR042A COVID-19 vaccination report feature from AIR.
COVID-19 Vaccine Reference Guide Updated 30 Oct 2023This guide contains information on storage, handling and administration of COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program (CVTP) Updated 17 Oct 2023This document contains all 18 modules of the former CVTP and their associated resources.
COVID-19 Handbook chapter Updated 5 Oct 2023Chapter for COVID-19 in the Australian Immunisation Handbook 19 now live.
COVID-19 recommended doses Updated 9 Oct 2023Flowchart outlines ATAGI recommended doses by age and risk factors.
COVID-19 comparison poster Updated 9 Oct 2023Poster outlines key differences between each COVID-19 vaccine available in Australia.