From 1 July 2023, Vaxelis® will be added to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) as an alternative vaccine to Infanrix® hexa, not as a replacement vaccine. Having an alternative product for DTPa-hepB-IPV-Hib vaccination available under the NIP will support and strengthen the program.
Vaxelis® comes in pack sizes of one or 10 pre-filled syringes.
From 5 July 2023, providers will receive either Vaxelis® or Infanrix® Hexa from the NSW Vaccine Centre.
Providers will have the option to place a special order for the alternate hexavalent vaccine for children who have commenced their primary course with that vaccine brand.
Vaxelis® is funded on the NIP for use in the primary vaccination series against DTPa-hepB-IPV-Hib for children at 2, 4 and 6 months of age.
Vaxelis® is also suitable and funded for use in catch-up vaccination of children under 10 years of age who have not previously received DTPa-hepB-IPV-Hib vaccination.
A primary series should be completed with the same vaccine brand where possible (for example, three doses of Vaxelis® or three doses of Infanrix® hexa).
Check AIR records to confirm vaccine brand used in any previous primary doses.
There is no preferred brand to use between Vaxelis® and Infanrix® hexa.
Vaxelis® vaccine is a single dose 0.5mL pre-filled syringe in a ready to use formulation containing all components. It does not require reconstitution.
Infanrix® hexa vaccine consists of a single dose 0.5 mL pre-filled syringe and a vial containing a lyophilised pellet that needs reconstitution.
From 1 July 2023, the meningococcal B (Bexsero®) catch-up vaccination program will be ongoing. The program, originally due to end on 30 June 2023, focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants under 2 years of age.
Primary vaccination: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants receive the meningococcal B vaccine at 2, 4 and 12 months of age. Infants who have certain risk conditions need an extra dose at 6 months of age.
Catch-up vaccination: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children can catch up on missed meningococcal B vaccines up until they turn 2 years of age. If they receive their first dose before turning 2 years of age, they can complete the other doses even after turning 2 years.
The Sharing Knowledge About Immunisation (SKAI) website offers evidence-based information designed to be accessible and helpful in supporting conversations about vaccination between community members and healthcare professionals.
The new SKAI website now has a fresh new look and includes three different sections:
The report highlights the positive impacts the National Immunisation Program has had on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in Australia, as well as some of the continuing challenges.
COVID-19 vaccine reminders
Encourage 2023 COVID-19 booster dose
Encourage: all eligible adults should be encouraged to receive a 2023 COVID-19 booster dose as soon as they are eligible.
Timing: booster doses are recommended 6 months following the most recent COVID-19 vaccine dose or confirmed infection (whichever is the most recent).
Eligibility: Booster eligibility has been updated to include recommending a 2023 COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for all adults aged 65 years and over; and adults aged 18-64 years who have medical comorbidities that increase their risk of severe COVID-19, or disability with significant or complex health needs.
Minimise the risk of infection
COVID-19 vaccines available for use in Australia do not contain antimicrobial preservatives, so it is important to take steps to minimise the risk of infection when administering COVID-19 vaccinations.
Providers are encouraged to review key differences on the storage, handling and administration requirements between each COVID-19 vaccine, as per ATAGI guidelines, please refer to the COVID-19 Vaccines in Australia poster.
Vaccine expiry dates for mRNA vaccines
mRNA vaccines have both a manufacture expiry date and a thaw expiry date.
Manufacture expiry date only applies when mRNA vaccines are stored frozen. Vaccines can no longer be thawed and used after this date.
Thaw expiry date applies once mRNA vaccines are thawed. Once thawed, the vaccine must be used within a shortened timeframe, between 30 days – 10 weeks depending on the vaccine type.
The earlier of the two should be taken as the final date the vaccines can be used.
Moderna BA.4-5 PFS allocation increase
· For sites administering Moderna BA. 4-5 pre-filled syringes (PFS), allocations were increased to 100 doses per fortnight from 10 June 2022.
Additional CVAS orders
An additional order can be placed in CVAS if more vaccines are required after a normal order is placed.
There is no limit to the number of doses that can be ordered in an additional order.
There is no limit to the number of additional orders that can be placed.
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