Immunisation Weekly Update:

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Vaccinate mums & bubs on time to protect from whooping cough

Pertussis notifications continue to rise in CESPHN, and across the state. In the past week, SESLHD have had two cases in infants, including one who was too young to be vaccinated and whose mother did not receive pertussis vaccine during pregnancy.

Pertussis cases have been increasing in NSW since late 2023, with recent number of cases higher than seen in previous pertussis epidemics. Cases have mainly affected children aged 10 – 12 years, with some spread to parents and siblings.

Immunisation Pertussis Notifications Jan2014 To July 2024

Pertussis notifications in SLHD and SESLHD residents

Vaccination of all women during pregnancy (20 – 32 weeks) and all infants on time (starting at 6 weeks) is crucial to reduce the risk of severe disease in infants, and pertussis vaccines are available free to pregnant women and young children on the NIP.

Immunisation providers are reminded of the importance of maternal vaccination & of vaccinating infants on time. A vaccine recommendation by a health professional is one of the strongest predictors of vaccine uptake.

There are a range of resources available to support primary care on the NSW Health website.

Please also refer to recent alerts from NSW Health on pertussis management and macrolide shortages. Acute pertussis infection remains an indication for azithromycin or clarithromycin during this shortage, however trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole is an alternative if macrolides are unavailable.

Full pertussis management advice is also available on HealthPathways (South Eastern Sydney) and HealthPathways (Sydney).

Updated NCIRS resources and FAQs on RSV

NCIRS’ RSV resources have been updated to reflect and support the new RSV Handbook chapter released last week.

The resources, including the RSV FAQs,  summarise the latest clinical and general information on RSV including recommendations for older adults, pregnant women, infants and young children.

New shingles resources: Podcast and Videos

New video and podcast resources have been added the to the Shingles resource collection which contains a fact sheet, brochures, posters, videos and a health professionals’ kit about shingles vaccinations for eligible people aged 65 and over.

Shingles and Shingrix – Advice for health professionals – Podcast recording

In this podcast, Doctor Richard Mills and Registered Nurse Trina Scott discuss shingles and the shingles vaccine, Shingrix and provide advice for health professionals to inform patients of shingles.

Video collection – Sheild yourself from shingles

In this range of videos for consumers and health professionals, Dr Richard Mills and Registered Nurse Trina Scott encourage people to shield themselves from shingles with a vaccine and answer questions about the shingles vaccine.

Flu vaccine coverage in NSW

As at 6 July 2024, NSW flu vaccine coverage in NSW remains suboptimal. Immunisation providers are reminded to encourage vaccination at every opportunity, especially for those medically at risk and eligible for free vaccination under the NIP.

Snapshot of the latest NSW flu vaccine coverage from AIR data as at 6 July 2024: NCIRS Influenza vaccination coverage data.

Age groupNSW coverage (all people)NSW coverage (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people)
6 months to under 5 years21.3%14.4%
65 years and over57%60.0%