Immunisation Weekly Update:

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From 1 July 2024, MenQuadfi® will be funded through the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for adolescents aged 14 to 19 years. Nimenrix® will continue to be available for free through the NIP for all other eligible groups. See Program advice for health professionals.

Meningococcal ACWY vaccines are funded on the NIP for the following eligibility groups:

  • children aged 12 months
  • adolescents aged 14 to 16 years
  • young people aged 15 to 19 years on catch-up schedules
  • people with specified medical conditions that increase their risk of serious complications from meningococcal disease.

The National Immunisation Program schedule and Following vaccination – what to expect and what to do resource has been updated to include MenQuadfi®.

Updated: National Immunisation Catch-up Calculator

The Catch-up Calculator has been updated and now includes catch-up recommendations for all infants, children and adolescents under 20 years of age (previously 10 years). This includes those who may have one or more medical at-risk conditions, and those who may have received vaccinations overseas.

Other enhancements include:

  • ability to print the schedule
  • a live vaccinator indicator
  • refinements to the medical at-risk conditions
  • ability to select birth weight and low birth weight baby options

New RSV chapter in Handbook

A new chapter on Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) has been published in the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

The chapter provides detailed advice for health professionals on the safest, most effective use of RSV immunisation products and information on the nature, clinical features and epidemiology of the disease.

COVID-19 vaccines for older adults

The Department has advised that patients no longer need to wait 6 months between last infection and having a COVID-19 vaccination.

Current ATAGI recommendations for older adults:

  • Everyone aged 75 years and over is recommended to have a COVID-19 vaccination every 6 months.
  • For those aged 65 to 74 years, a COVID-19 vaccination is recommended at least every 12 months.

Older age continues to be the biggest risk factor for severe COVID-19 disease. COVID-19 vaccination rates are lower than needed to protect the older community, particularly aged care residents.

Every interaction is an opportunity for immunisation. Primary care providers hold a critical role in delivering immunisation services and maintaining high vaccination coverage in the community. Primary care providers are ideally positioned to promote or provide immunisation during routine care to protect their patients against severe illness.

Snapshot of the latest NSW flu vaccine coverage from AIR data as at 30 June 2024: NCIRS Influenza vaccination coverage data.

Age groupAll people NSW coverageAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people NSW coverage
6 months to under 5 years20.5%13.7%
65 years and over56.4%59.3%

As at 30 June 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:

  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • all children aged 6 months to less than 5 years of age
  • all individuals aged 5 years and over with medical risk conditions
  • pregnant women (influenza vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy)
  • people aged 65 years and over (a vaccine that is specifically designed to produce a higher immune response is available for this group).

To help promote the uptake of flu vaccine, clinics can order free Respiratory Illness materials.

Reminder: Free child vaccine clinics in SESLHD

SESLHD have extended free childhood vaccination clinics until September 2024 to support those who are Medicare ineligible or find it difficult to access a local GP. More information and dates can be found here.

Authorised Aboriginal Health Practitioner Immunisers

On 26 June 2024, NSW Health advised that the new Authority and Standards for NSW Aboriginal Health Practitioners (AHP) have now been approved to allow Authorised Aboriginal Health Practitioner (AHP) immunisers to supply and administer influenza vaccines to people aged 5 years and over:

New Poliovirus Detection Outbreak Response Plan

A new version of the Poliovirus Detection Outbreak Response Plan for Australia 2024 is now available. The plan ensures Australia is prepared for possible outbreaks of infection wild poliovirus (WPV) or circulating vaccine derived poliovirus (cVDPV).