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Immunisation Weekly Update

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State Vaccine Centre Christmas closure

The State Vaccine Centre will no longer be accepting vaccine orders. Orders placed before midday Tuesday, 19 December will be dispatched Wednesday, 20 December, and routine deliveries will recommence on Tuesday, 2 January 2024.

Please do not order excessive stock over this period to avoid vaccine wastages in the event of unexpected power outages.

COVID-19 vaccine program in 2024

In 2024, COVID-19 vaccines will remain free for everyone in Australia, with the ongoing requirement for the services to be bulk billed/free of co-payment:

  • Existing MBS items and Community Pharmacy payments supporting COVID-19 vaccination will remain unchanged until 31 December 2024.
  • The existing flag fall payments will continue to support in-reach vaccinations for aged care and disability care residents by primary care vaccination providers.
  • The Vulnerable People Vaccination Program will continue until 31 December 2024, to enable PHNs to develop and implement innovative, short-term COVID-19 vaccination activities tailored to the needs of priority populations in their regions to ensure that all Australians can access COVID-19 vaccination services.
  • The Vaccine Administration Partners Program (VAPP) arrangement will continue to operate as a whole-of-government panel available to Commonwealth, state, territory and local governments, private businesses and other enterprises to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations. The VAPP will also be able to address any shortfalls in primary care availability to administer vaccinations for priority populations, including residents in aged care homes and disability accommodation settings and First Nations communities in remote and regional areas.

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on vaccination rates

A new NCIRS report shows vaccination coverage in children has continued to decrease since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the need for further targeted strategies to increase vaccine uptake and protect more Australians from vaccine preventable diseases.

The 2022 Annual Immunisation Coverage Report is the first study to thoroughly examine the continuing impacts of the pandemic on vaccination coverage rates in children, adolescents and adults across Australia. Access the full and summary versions of this report below:

Register for 2024 overdue immunisation reports

CESPHN provides monthly Childhood Overdue Immunisation Reports to practices, extracted from the Australian Immunisation Register.

These reports can be used as a Quality Improvement Activity to identify and follow up children overdue for routine vaccinations.

Register your practice to receive monthly overdue reports in 2024 by completing the Request Form.

Catch up on immunisation news!

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

New mandatory AIR fieldsTwo new reporting fields (Vaccine type and Route of administration) will become mandatory from 1 March 2024.
AIR043A reportAIR043A Vaccine Details report can be used to extract and reconcile vaccination information previously reported to the AIR.
Zostavax® disposalProviders may discard Zostavax® vaccines prior to expiry date if there is no patient demand.
NIP vaccinations in pharmacyThe NIP Vaccinations in Pharmacy (NIPVIP) program commencing 1 Jan 2024 will allows patients to access free NIP vaccines in a community pharmacy.
COVID-19 Digital CertificateThe COVID-19 Digital Certificate has been decommissioned. AIR Immunisation History Statements can now be used for proof of vaccination.
Pre-travel vaccinationEncourage vaccination ahead of travelling to overseas destinations.
XBB.1.5 vaccine onboardingInformation for the onboarding of the three new monovalent Omicron XBB.1.5 COVID-19 vaccines, including ordering, administration on wastage.
Monovalent XBB.1.5Moderna and Pfizer Monovalent Omicron XBB.1.5 vaccines will be included in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program from 11 Dec 2023.
Moderna BA.4-5 discontinuedAll Moderna BA.4-5 vaccines are expiring 20 Dec 2023 and will no longer be available to order from CVAS.
ProQuad®ProQuad® will no longer be available on the NIP childhood schedule from Nov 2023. Priorix-Tetra® is still NIP funded for MMRV.
Shingrix® vaccine restrictionsNSW Health advised that Shingrix® vaccine ordering will be restricted during the initial roll out of the program until early 2024.
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

Resources: Immunisation

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

Following vaccination – what to expect and what to do Dec 2023This resource provides easy-to-read information on common reactions that may occur after vaccinations – updated Dec 2023 to include Vaxelis®.
Whooping Cough Day Nov 2023Whooping Cough Day campaign resources about whooping cough and simple ways that people can remain protected.
Adult vaccinations – NIP Factsheet Nov 2023Consumer factsheet about free adult vaccines available on the NIP.
Adult vaccinations – NIP Brochure Nov 2023Consumer brochure about free adult vaccines available on the NIP.
Shingles – Health professionals’ kit Nov 2023Shingles communication resource kit for health – includes email examples, social media content and talking points for practice staff.
Shield yourself from shingles – Resource collection Nov 2023A collection contains fact sheets, brochures, posters and a health professionals’ kit about shingles vaccinations for eligible people.
NSW Immunisation Schedule Oct 2023The NSW Immunisation Schedule was updated October 2023 to include NIP funded Shingrix®. Order here
Shingrix® program advice Oct 2023Factsheet for vaccination providers about the Shingrix program.
Multiple childhood vaccinations Sept 2023NCIRS poster affirming the safety of children receiving more than one vaccine at the same time. Order here
Health Professionals’ Kit – Childhood Immunisation Aug 2023This health professionals kit designed to support conversations with parents and carers about childhood immunisation.
Childhood injection sites poster June 2023Poster for vaccination providers – illustrates recommended sites for childhood vaccinations in NSW. Order here

Resources: COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccination advice is updated regularly, links to the most up-to-date information are listed below:

Vaccine Administration Error reporting form Dec 2023This form is to help vaccine providers report a vaccine administration error under the COVID-19 Vaccination Program.
CCB reporting form Dec 2023This form is to help vaccine providers report a potential cold chain breach under the COVID-19 vaccination program.
COVID-19 handbook chapter Nov 2023Chapter for COVID-19 in the Australian Immunisation Handbook was updated 27 Nov 2023 to include the new XBB.1.5 vaccine.
COVID-19 recommended doses Nov 2023Flowchart outlines ATAGI recommended doses by age and risk factors.
COVID-19 comparison poster Nov 2023Poster outlines key differences between each COVID-19 vaccine available in Australia.
AIR042A COVID-19 report 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 Oct 2023This guide contains information on storage, handling and administration of COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program (CVTP) Oct 2023This document contains all 18 modules of the former CVTP and their associated resources.