This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date. Please see our most recent update here.

Immunisation Update

10 November 2020

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Immunisation November eNews out now!

Check out the latest issue of Immunisation eNews November 2020!

This update covers childhood immunisation rates in CESPHN, co-administration of vaccines, updates to AIR and much more.

To subscribe, email

Updated PneumoSmart Vaccination Tool now available!

The PneumoSmart Vaccination Tool  has been updated to the reflect the July 2020 changes to pneumococcal vaccination recommendations. 

The Tool  has been developed to assist GPs and other immunisation providers determine (based on patient’s age, indigenous status, specific medical conditions and vaccination history):

  • appropriate pneumococcal vaccine recommendations 
  • if the vaccines will be NIP funded based on the current eligibility criteria 
  • appropriate intervals between doses

PneumoSmart Vaccination Tool is endorsed by State and Commonwealth Health Departments and other peak bodies.

Changes to NSW Vaccine Centre webpage 

From Thursday 5 November 2020, all immunisation service providers will be required to record the Medicare provider number* of each health professional administering vaccines at the practice on the NSW Vaccine Centre webpage. 

Why have these changes been made?

  • to support roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination program when a vaccine becomes available.
  • to ensure NSW Health can track the journey of every vaccine dose distributed from the warehouse, administered to the patient and reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

It will not be used for Medicare billing purposes.

*The provider number is a unique number issued to health professionals at each location they work and does not expire. 

See full communication from NSW Health. (37 KB)

Amendment to the Australian Immunisation Register Act 2015

Public consultation is now open seeking feedback on a proposed amendment to the Australian Immunisation Register Act 2015 that would make it mandatory for all vaccination providers to report vaccines given to the Australian Immunisation Register. 

The Department welcomes feedback on all aspects:

  • the proposed change: all vaccination providers will be required to report vaccines administered to all individuals in Australia to the AIR at the time of vaccination
  • the proposed timing: COVID-19 vaccinations and influenza vaccinations from 1 March 2021; all NIP vaccinations from 1 July 2021
  • the compliance measures: Education and support; Public disclosure of vaccination providers who fail to report; Suspension of the provision of NIP vaccines; Penalty provisions.

Feedback can be provided via the consultation hub prior to midnight on Sunday 15 November 2020

Strategies to improve child influenza vaccination uptake

Most children who are hospitalised due to influenza have not had their influenza vaccination before becoming unwell with the virus.

Despite influenza causing more hospitalisations among children than any other vaccine preventable disease in Australia, uptake of influenza vaccine in children remains low.

A new study published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health identifies barriers and potential strategies to improve influenza vaccination uptake in children. 


The authors of the study surveyed parents of children hospitalised due to acute respiratory illness across five paediatric hospitals to identify the strongest factors associated with not receiving an influenza vaccine in 2019:

  • the parent did not receive an influenza vaccination recommendation for their child from their healthcare provider
  • the parent not remembering to book an appointment
  • the parent could not get an appointment
  • the parent thought their friends were also not vaccinating their children
  • the parent did not believe in vaccinating against influenza
  • the child is not normally vaccinated against influenza
  • the parent is not normally vaccinated against influenza.


Potential strategies to improve influenza vaccination uptake:

  • Healthcare providers should recommend influenza vaccination to all patients.
  • Interventions including parental prompts and reminders are also likely to help parents remember to make an appointment for their children’s vaccination.
  • Improving access by offering influenza vaccination through a broader range of avenues, and increasing opportunity through extended periods of access may also help improve uptake.

Read full article.


Download the new NSW Immunisation Schedule – July 2020  

Keep up to date with Immunisation information on our PHN Immunisation webpage

Keep up to date with coronavirus information on our PHN Coronavirus webpage