Immunisation Weekly Update:

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Meningococcal ACWY vaccines: NIP program changes

vaccine flyer

From 1 July 2024, there are changes to the meningococcal ACWY vaccines under the National Immunisation Program (NIP). Key points include:

  • From 1 July 2024, the NIP will fund meningococcal ACWY vaccine MenQuadfi® for adolescents aged 14 to 16 years and those aged 15 to 19 years on catch-up schedules. Children aged 12 months and people with specified medical conditions will continue to receive Nimenrix®.
  • Vaccines will be delivered through school vaccination programs and health services, including pharmacies, for those young people on catch-up schedules.
  • It is mandatory to report all meningococcal ACWY vaccines you have administered to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

Further information will be available on the Department of Health and Aged Care’s website when the change takes effect on 1 July 2024.

Flu cases surge across NSW

As flu cases continue to surge across the state, NSW Health is once again urging people aged 65 years and over to book in for their free flu vaccine, in a Media release on 13 June 2024.

At present, only around half of people aged 65 years and over (52.4 per cent) in NSW have received their flu vaccine.

Flu vaccine coverage in NSW

As at 16 June 2024, NSW flu vaccine coverage in NSW remains suboptimal. Immunisation providers are encouraged to actively and opportunistically recommend flu vaccination to all NIP eligible patients. To help promote the uptake of flu vaccine, clinics can order free Respiratory Illness materials.

Age groupNSW coverage (AIR data as at 16 June 2024)
6 months to under 5 years18.4%
65 years and over54.2%

Data source: NCIRS Influenza vaccination coverage data.

Order 2024 respiratory campaign resources

NSW Health has launched their 2024 Respiratory Campaign Toolkit for influenza (flu), COVID-19 and RSV.

Immunisation providers can place an online order for materials and resources from the NSW Health Respiratory Illness campaign to be delivered to their clinic.

The aim of this campaign is to promote flu vaccination, emphasise the benefits and ease of getting vaccinated, while also raising awareness of other respiratory illnesses.

Survey: GPs servicing RACFs in the region

The Public Health Unit (PHU) in South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) is working with the residential aged care facilities (RACF) in SESLHD to improve the resident vaccination rates for 4 age-recommended vaccines, specifically COVID-19, influenza, pneumococcal and shingles.

The PHU would appreciate your opinions on the barriers and enablers for vaccinating RACF residents.

Can you please complete this survey by Friday 5 July 2024.

Participation in the survey is voluntary, and your responses are anonymous and confidential.

If you have any questions or comments about the survey, please email Dr Karen Chee at the PHU (karen.chee@health.nsw.gov.au).

Revised NSW Pharmacist Vaccination Standards

The revised NSW Pharmacist Vaccination Standards (the Standards) and NSW Pharmacy Vaccine Authority (the Authority) have been published with the following key changes:

  • Inclusion of rabies vaccine (only administered via intramuscular injection) for pre-exposure prophylaxis to immunocompetent people aged 5 years and over;
  • Inclusion of recombinant respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) pre-fusion F protein vaccine (Abrysvo) to people aged 60 years and over.

The changes to the Standards and Authority will enable pharmacist immunisers to administer pre-exposure rabies vaccine and Abrysvo vaccine to eligible cohorts.

Improving immunisation service delivery for migrants and refugees in Australia

There are gaps in vaccine coverage across the lifespan for people from migrant backgrounds.

A new online course developed by researchers from Australia and New Zealand supports:

  • learning to identify who is at risk of vaccine preventable diseases and their immunisation needs
  • how services can be enhanced to ensure they are culturally responsive
  • how to create catch-up plans to support timely uptake
  • strategies to promote immunisation acceptance.

This course is open to general practitioners and nurses. Use the code AUSX824IISDMR to access the free course.

Any questions about the course, please reach out to imaceducation@auckland.ac.nz.

Education & Networking

Register for upcoming immunisation education webinars below. View past webinar recordings on our Immunisation | Education webpage.

REGISTER 26 June 2024 6:00pm – 7:00pm2024 RSV webinar The Immunisation Coalition’s update on RSV will provide an overview of RSV epidemiology, disease burden and an update to new RSV vaccines and monoclonal antibody, TGA Registrations and their availability. Consideration is given to the introduction of these preventatives including ATAGI recommendations, surveillance, education and advocacy.
REGISTER (Sans Souci) 27 June 2024 6:30pm – 9:00pmPractice nurse networking evening Practice nurses are invited to join us for our Nurse networking evening. A face-to-face event where you can establish connections with other nurses, build relationships, share experiences, and elevate your nursing knowledge. Hear from guest speakers covering topics related to Immunisation and Childhood Development while also enjoying drinks and canapes.