Immunisation Weekly Update:

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Immunisation education

Register for upcoming immunisation education webinars, including CESPHN’s annual immunisation update. View past webinar recordings on our Immunisation | Education webpage.

REGISTER 14 March 2024 
7:00pm – 8:30pm
Webinar: CESPHN 2024 Immunisation update  
CESPHN’s annual update on the latest clinical information on RSV, influenza, COVID-19, emerging diseases and more.
REGISTER 27 March 2024
12:00pm – 1:30pm 
Webinar: Influenza and COVID-19 vaccination update
NCIRS latest updates relating to influenza and COVID-19 vaccination, including 2024 Australian Government program recommendations and available vaccines.
APPLY 1 May 2024 (all day)
2 May 2024 (all day)

Conference (2 days): Benchmarque 2024 Immunisation Conference
CESPHN is offering nurses an opportunity to attend a two-day face to face immunisation conference held at the Pullman Sydney Airport (Gadigal Country), valued at $600. More information.

New 2024 COVID-19 recommendations

ATAGI 2024 recommendations for COVID-19 booster doses and primary courses are now available. The following resources have been updated to reflect the 2024 ATAGI advice:

The Australian Immunisation Handbook | COVID-19 Chapter will be updated to reflect 2024 recommendations in the coming weeks.

Booster dose recommendations

Aged 75 years and overBooster dose recommended every 6 months.
Aged 65 to 74 yearsBooster dose recommended every 12 months. Can consider every 6 months.
Aged 18 to 64 yearsGeneral population: consider booster dose every 12 months. Severe immunocompromise: booster dose recommended every 12 months. Can consider every 6 months.
Aged 5 to 17 yearsGeneral population: booster dose not recommended. Severe immunocompromise: consider booster dose every 12 months.  
Under 5 yearsBooster dose not recommended.

Primary course recommendations

Aged 18 years and overRecommend a single dose primary course.
Under 18 years (no risk factors)Primary course not recommended.
Aged 5 to 18 yearsWith risk factors: consider a single dose primary course.
With severe immunocompromise: recommend a two-dose primary course. Consider a third primary dose.
Aged 6 months to 5 yearsWith risk factors: consider a two-dose primary course. Consider a third primary dose based on individual risk-benefit assessment.
With severe immunocompromise: recommend a two-dose primary course. Consider a third primary dose.

2024 seasonal influenza program

Providers should now be preparing the for the influenza season and take every opportunity to offer influenza vaccination to patients and their family members. Ensure readiness for the influenza season by:

  • discarding all expired flu vaccines.
  • confirming pre-allocated order via the State Vaccine Centre by 15 March 2024.
  • promoting the free NIP vaccine to eligible people and priority groups
  • considering opportunities to co-administer vaccines – you can give influenza vaccines on the same day as any COVID-19 vaccine

Key information and advice about the 2024 influenza program:

ATAGI information and adviceATAGI advice for immunisation providers regarding 2024 influenza vaccination is now available.

Key messages:

Influenza vaccination is recommended for all people aged 6 months and over.

Free seasonal influenza vaccine is funded under the NIP for eligible groups at higher risk of complications from influenza.

Influenza vaccine can be co-administered with any COVID-19 vaccine.

Flucelvax Quad, a cell-based influenza vaccine is funded under the NIP in 2024 for at-risk population aged 5 to 64 years. There is no preference for use between Flucelvax Quad and standard dose egg-based influenza vaccines.
Ordering NIP influenza vaccinesFirst order pre-allocations in 2024 will differ from previous years in line with available vaccine supply from the Commonwealth:

Pre-allocation approval window ends 15 March 2024.

Providers must log in and confirm pre-allocation.

Providers who do not confirm their pre-allocated order in time can place an online order when online ordering opens.

More information about the pre-allocation process is outlined in the 2024 Influenza Toolkit

Delivery and subsequent orders
First deliveries are expected to commence in late March 2024.

Subsequent orders can be placed once the provider has confirmed receipt of the pre-allocated influenza vaccine delivery.
NSW Health resourcesNSW Health has developed a range of resources to help immunisation providers prepare for the 2024 influenza vaccination program:

The 2024 Influenza Toolkit will assist providers with managing roll-out and implementation of their flu vaccination program in 2024.

The 2024 influenza vaccine information sheet contains images of influenza vaccine brands funded in 2024 and information on free vaccine eligibility criteria.

A recording of the Influenza Update 2024 webinar co-hosted by NSW Health and NCIRS is available for immunisation providers to watch.

Influenza vaccination resources in other languages are available to order.

Influenza resource order form (available in other languages)

Immunisation resource order form

See NSW Health website for further information on 2024 seasonal influenza vaccination.
Department of Health resources  This Department of Health and Aged Care resource collection provides information about getting vaccinated against influenza in 2024, including Information for consumers, advice for health professionals, resources for health care settings and campaign materials.

Key resources:
2024 Influenza vaccination – Program advice for health professionals
2024 Influenza (flu) vaccination – Consumer fact sheet
ATAGI Statement on the Administration of COVID-19 Vaccines in 2024

Babies in WA will soon be immunised against RSV

A free immunisation program to protect young babies and those at risk from RSV was announced by the WA government last week.

In 2024, all babies aged 8 months and under, and at-risk infants aged 8 months to 19 months will be eligible for the immunisation in WA. The RSV immunisation differs from other routine childhood vaccines – it will be a monoclonal antibody (nirsevimab) which was TGA approved in 2023.

For more information, see The Conversation article.

Moderna XBB.1.5 supply update

Moderna (XBB.1.5) 12 years+ PFS vaccine allocations will be reduced from 50 doses to 30 doses per fortnight from the ordering window commencing Saturday 9 March 2024.

The allocations for the Pfizer XBB.1.5 and the Pfizer Bivalent BA.4-5 vaccines have not changed. There are more than sufficient doses of XBB vaccines to ensure everyone in Australia eligible for a 2024 COVID-19 vaccine dose can receive it.

SKAI – Immunisation information for parents

Sharing Knowledge About Immunisation (SKAI) information and resources can help to support immunisation conversations with parents.

Order the SKAI – Parent contact card and encourage parents to access the SKAI website which provides parent-friendly information about immunisation and provides respectful and helpful answers to common questions parents have about immunisation.