New: Routine Childhood Immunisation – Health Professionals’ Kit
This health professionals kit is designed to support immunisation providers in conversations with parents and carers about childhood immunisation. Health professionals are vital for communicating the benefits and safety of routine childhood immunisation and to counter misinformation.
Research has shown that a consistent recommendation from a healthcare professional plays an important role in parents’ decisions about childhood vaccination.
Australia has one of the world’s most comprehensive national immunisation programs. However, despite maintaining relatively high routine vaccinations among children in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a concerning downward trend in childhood immunisation coverage rates over the past 2 years, particularly for First Nations children.
Health professionals can play a key role in improving childhood immunisation coverage by:
Promoting routine childhood immunisation in your practice by downloading and displaying materials and communication tools to provide accurate information during your consultations with parents and carers.
Providing information and education by addressing concerns or questions parents and carers may have and provide information about the benefits of childhood immunisation.
Following up on overdue children who have missed scheduled vaccines. Providers can identify children who are due and overdue for vaccines and contact their parents or carers to schedule appointments. Request an overdue report to be emailed to your practice.
Using reminder systems to notify parents or carers when their child is due for a vaccine, such as phone calls, text messages or postcards.
Shingrix® vaccine on NIP from 1 November
From 1 November 2023, Shingrix® vaccine for the prevention of herpes zoster (shingles) and post-herpetic neuralgia will replace Zostavax® vaccine on the NIP (pending final regulatory approvals).
Vaccines can only be provided for free on the NIP after the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) has recommended that the vaccine, and the eligible cohorts, be included on the NIP.
PBAC has recommended Shingrix® vaccine as a two-dose primary course for the following eligible cohorts:
all adults aged 70 years (only)
First Nations Australian adults aged 50 years and older
immunocompromised people aged 18 years and older with conditions at ‘high risk’ of herpes zoster infection.
The general population aged younger than 70 years, or 71 years and older will not be eligible to receive Shingrix®.
Currently some adults may be unable to receive Zostavax® as it is contraindicated for immunocompromised people. From 1 November 2023, immunocompromised people will be able to receive Shingrix® under the NIP if they meet the eligibility requirements.
Communications to support the introduction of Shingrix® to the NIP Schedule will be undertaken in the coming months to support awareness and implementation of the program changes.
Continue to administer Zostavax® until 31 October 2023
Zostavax® continues to be available on the NIP for immunocompetent people aged 70 years, with a catch-up program from 71-79 years, until 31 October 2023. With supplies available, providers are encouraged to promote availability of Zostavax® to eligible patients, particularly to those who will not be eligible for Shingrix® under the expected program changes from 1 November 2023.
These program changes are being implemented following recommendations from the PBAC and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and other clinical experts.
people in at risk groups (all people with asplenia, hyposplenia, complement deficiency and treatment with eculizumab).
State-funded MenB vaccination programs:
in South Australia, a state-funded MenB vaccination program was introduced in 2018.
in Queensland, a state-funded MenB vaccination program will be introduced from 2024, in response to the increasing number of MenB cases, with 20 reported in Queensland in 2023 and a total of 26 cases in 2022.
Infants, children, and adolescents who are not eligible for funded MenB vaccination can purchase vaccines privately with a prescription from their GP.
New HPV vaccine resources for adolescents and parents
All students aged approximately 12 and 13 will be offered the HPV vaccine for free in schools as part of the National Immunisation Program. This short, animated video explains to students the benefits of getting the vaccine and how the vaccine is administered.
Vaccination is a simple and clever way to protect you from serious diseases now and later in your life. Clinical nurse Caroline Scott explains how vaccination protects you, why it’s important, and what to expect when you receive your human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination at school.
Vaccination is a simple and clever way to protect you from serious diseases now and later in your life. Clinical nurse Caroline Scott explains how vaccination protects you, why it’s important, and what to expect when you receive your HPV and dTpa vaccinations at school.
Accessing a Childhood Immunisation Overdue Report for your practice
CESPHN can provide practices with a regular Childhood Immunisation Overdue Report, extracted from AIR on your behalf. These reports can help your practice identify and follow up children overdue for NIP vaccinations.
If your practice does not already receive these reports from CESPHN, you can request to receive them by completing this online Request Form.
Children are included on your report as a provider at your practice was the last provider of a vaccination service for these children and AIR has not received any immunisation records for these children since.
When reviewing your report, check out our handy Actions Guide for guidance on steps to take for each scenario you find with the children listed on your report.
Lunch and Learn: How to Action Immunisation Overdue Reports
Join us online for an in-depth look at Childhood Immunisation Overdue Reports and learn the tips and tricks to reduce the number of children on your practice’s report.
About: Identify children marked as overdue for a scheduled immunisation using immunisation reports extracted from the Australian Immunisation Register.
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