There have been two recent cases of measles arriving in NSW from overseas:
A seven-month-old infant who had recently returned from the Middle East – 17 January 2024
A nine-month-old infant who had recently returned from Asia – 16 January 2024
Measles advice for infant travellers
Providers are reminded that infants may receive MMR vaccine from as young as 6 months of age after an individual risk assessment, if they are travelling to countries where measles is endemic, or where measles outbreaks are occurring.
These infants will still need to receive the two NIP scheduled doses of MMR vaccine at 12 months and 18 months of age.
Measles advice for adult travellers
All adult travellers need to ensure they have had two doses of measles vaccine. People who are unsure if they have had two doses should get a measles vaccine as additional doses are safe. This is particularly important prior to travel. The measles vaccine is free in NSW for anyone born during or after 1966 who hasn’t already had two doses. MMR vaccine is available from GPs (all ages) and pharmacies (people over 5 years of age).
Immunisation providers can use the NCIRS Measles vaccination catch-up guide to assist with clinical decision making for MMR vaccine. An information sheet is available for NSW General Practitioners which outlines measles presentation, suspected case management and measles vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccination advice for 2024
Updated COVID-19 vaccine recommendations will be provided in early 2024 from the Department of Health and Aged Care. Current advice should be followed until this time:
Patients who have not yet received all recommended COVID-19 vaccinations in 2023 should get vaccinated and not wait until the updated 2024 advice is provided.
Patients who have received all recommended doses should wait until updated recommendations are advised in early 2024.
The Australian Immunisation Handbook includes a COVID-19 Chapter that provides information about COVID-19, vaccines, and recommendations for vaccination. Providers can find guidance on patient eligibility, suitability, dosage and administration for all available COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 vaccine – Supply update
Novavax can no longer be ordered from CVAS and all Novavax vaccines will expire on Wednesday31 January 2024.
Sites who require Novavax vaccine can contact CESPHN at email@example.com to assist in facilitating a vaccine transfer from another site.
Moderna Bivalent BA.4-5 12 years + PFS
The Commonwealth supply of the Moderna Bivalent BA.4-5 12 years + PFS vaccine expired on 20 December 2023.
Sites are reminded to discard any remaining stock to avoid potential Vaccine Administration Errors. Discarded vaccines must be reported as wastage in CVAS.
There are a range of mRNA vaccines that continue to be available for people aged 12 years and over. These include:
Moderna (XBB.1.5) 12 Years + (PFS) vaccine
Pfizer (XBB.1.5) 12 years + (Grey) vaccine
Pfizer Bivalent (BA.4/5) 12 Years + (Grey) vaccine
Excess COVID-19 vaccines?
Practices with an oversupply of COVID-19 vaccine stock on hand are encouraged to notify CESPHN via the Excess COVID-19 vaccine to help reduce wastage and help facilitate transfer to another site.
Decommissioned: Coronavirus Helpline and Easy Vaccine Access
The National Coronavirus Helpline (NCH) and Easy Vaccine Access (EVA) services have been decommissioned. Providers are reminded to update any website or materials to remove references to NCH and EVA. Alternative services include:
Healthdirect website provides general COVID-19 health advice, including symptoms, testing, vaccines, long COVID, and what to do if you have COVID-19.
Service Finder helps patients find a COVID-19 vaccine provider and book an appointment.
If someone feels very unwell or needs COVID-19 advice for a person in their care, they should talk with a health professional right away or speak with a nurse by calling the HealthDirect helpline on 1800 022 222. The helpline is available 24/7 and has free interpreting help.
High level of COVID-19 transmission in NSW with greater Sydney approaching levels not seen since late 2022. Omicron variants EG.5 and JN.1 appear to be driving most transmission, with JN.1 increasing in prevalence.
Novavax is no longer available to order from CVAS with last doses expiring 31 January 2024. A new Novavax XBB.1.5 formulation (Nuvaxovid) is expected to be available in time for the 2024 autumn respiratory season.
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