Severe heatwave conditions are forecast in NSW in the coming days. Read more


Immunisation Weekly Update:

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Vaccination coverage in RACF

Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) data suggests that only 36% of people aged 70+ living in the central and eastern Sydney PHN region are immunised against Pneumococcal diseases.

Immunisation providers are reminded to check AIR immunisation history statements of patients going into Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) and of current residents to ensure they are up to date with all recommended vaccinations including Pneumococcal, COVID-19, Influenza and Zoster.

If you need assistance in how to access AIR immunisation history statements via practice management software please contact us.

Shield yourself from shingles

The new “Shield yourself from shingles” resource collection contains factsheets, brochures, and posters about shingles vaccinations for eligible people.


First Nations people aged 50 and over – Brochures and posters

People aged 65 and over – Brochures and posters

20231115 Immunisation Update

NCIRS shingles webinar videos now available

Recordings of the NCIRS webinar ‘New shingles vaccine on the NIP’ are now available.

A knowledgeable panel of domestic and international experts presented and answered questions on topics including the disease burden of shingles in Australia, details about Shingrix®, including clinical trial results and mechanism of protection, and the new Australian shingles program, including eligibility for NIP-funded vaccination.

NCIRS resource: Shingles FAQs

NCIRS has released a new shingles FAQs digital resource that provides answers to over 20 common questions about shingles, including:

  • How many doses of a shingles vaccine are required?
  • Should a person receive a shingles vaccine if they have had a chickenpox (varicella) vaccine?
  • Can a person receive other vaccines at the same time as shingles vaccines?
  • If a person has already received a dose of Zostavax®, can they receive Shingrix®?

The resource includes the latest information about Shingrix® (and its predecessor on the NIP, Zostavax®), and gives a detailed description of NIP eligibility as well as an overview of shingles disease.

AusVaxSafety commences Shingrix® surveillance

AusVaxSafety is conducting enhanced active surveillance of Shingrix® across Australia to provide reassurance that the short-term safety profile of the vaccine is consistent with previous data.

Shingrix® vaccine safety data will be published on the AusVaxSafety website and updated monthly once enough data are collected to allow meaningful analysis.

COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Error (VAE) reporting form

Vaccine providers can now report a COVID-19 vaccine administration error using the new VAE reporting form.

Pertussis (whooping cough)

NSW Health have cautioned GPs that whooping cough infection is starting to increase in NSW and GPs should order a PCR test for people with clinical features of pertussis, even if fully vaccinated. If pertussis is suspected, ask the patient to avoid contact with babies and pregnant women while the result is pending.

Ensure that all patients are up to date with recommended vaccinations; this is especially important for:

  • pregnant women, who should be vaccinated between 20-32 weeks gestation (ideally at 28 weeks) to provide antibodies to their infant for protection in the first few months of life infants and their siblings
  • adults who care for infants (aged under 6 months) who have not received a booster in the last 10 years
HealthPathways provides health professionals in CESPHN with access to up-to-date clinical information and resources to support assessment, management, and referral of their patients.
For more information visit the Pertussis (Whooping Cough) pathway:
HealthPathways – South Eastern SydneyContact SESLHD team for login details.
HealthPathways – SydneyContact SLHD team for login details.

Education and events

Workshop: Overseas Encounters and Catch Ups REGISTERThis webinar will workshop two scenarios of translating overseas vaccination records and developing catch-up schedules. Catch up planning will include both paper-based method and online calculator method. Date: Thursday 30 November
Time: 8.00pm – 9.00pm
Webinar: 2023 Shingles Update REGISTERThis webinar will discuss the latest on shingles epidemiology, changes to the National Immunisation Program schedule and more. Date: Wednesday 15 November
Time: 6.00pm to 7.00pm
Webinar: RSV disease and prevention REGISTERThis webinar will provide an update on Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) burden of disease and discuss the possible impact of prevention. Date: Tuesday 12 December
Time: 6.00pm – 8.00pm

News highlights

In case you missed anything, catch up on the latest immunisation news:

Shingrix® vaccine restrictionsNSW Health advised that Shingrix® vaccine ordering will be restricted during the initial roll out of the program until early 2024.
Shingrix® orderingProviders can place orders for NIP Shingrix® vaccine via the NSW Vaccine Centre portal starting Monday, 30 Oct 2023.
Shingrix®From 1 Nov 2023, Shingrix® will replace Zostavax® on the NIP and will be funded for 65+ years, First Nations 50+ years and immunocompromised 18+ years.
Zostavax®Zostavax® funding for people aged 71 to 79 years ends 31 October 2023
Cold Chain AuditFrom Oct 2023, CCM audits will commence for general practices and pharmacies administering NIP-funded vaccines.
Cold Chain Breach (CCB)From Aug 2023, SESLHD will only accept online CCB reporting form.
Nurse ScholarshipLimited scholarships available for Authorised Nurse Immuniser course.

Latest immunisation resources

Access to the most recent information is essential, as immunisation advice is updated regularly:

Whooping Cough Day Nov 2023Whooping Cough Day campaign resources about whooping cough and simple ways that people can remain protected.
Adult vaccinations – NIP Factsheet Nov 2023Consumer factsheet about free adult vaccines available on the NIP.
Adult vaccinations – NIP Brochure Nov 2023Consumer brochure about free adult vaccines available on the NIP.
Shingles – Health professionals’ kit Nov 2023Shingles communication resource kit for health – includes email examples, social media content and talking points for practice staff.
Shield yourself from shingles – Fact sheet Nov 2023Consumer factsheet about the shingles vaccine.
Shield yourself from shingles – Fact sheet – First Nations Nov 2023Factsheet for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about the shingles vaccine.
NSW Immunisation Schedule Oct 2023The NSW Immunisation Schedule was updated October 2023 to include NIP funded Shingrix®. Order here
Shingrix® program advice Oct 2023Factsheet for vaccination providers about the Shingrix program.
Multiple childhood vaccinations Sept 2023NCIRS poster affirming the safety of children receiving more than one vaccine at the same time. Order here
Health Professionals’ Kit – Childhood Immunisation Aug 2023This health professionals kit designed to support conversations with parents and carers about childhood immunisation.
Childhood injection sites poster June 2023Poster for vaccination providers – illustrates recommended sites for childhood vaccinations in NSW. Order here

Latest COVID-19 resources

COVID-19 vaccination advice is updated regularly, links to the most up-to-date information are listed below:

COVID-19 vaccine CCB reporting form Oct 2023This form is to help vaccine providers report a potential cold chain breach under the COVID-19 vaccination program.
AIR042A COVID-19 report Oct 2023eLearning module and Simulation video for Health Professionals on accessing the AIR042A COVID-19 vaccination report feature from AIR.
COVID-19 Vaccine Reference Guide Oct 2023This guide contains information on storage, handling and administration of COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program (CVTP) Oct 2023This document contains all 18 modules of the former CVTP and their associated resources.
COVID-19 handbook chapter Oct 2023Chapter for COVID-19 in the Australian Immunisation Handbook 19 now live.
COVID-19 recommended doses Oct 2023Flowchart outlines ATAGI recommended doses by age and risk factors.
COVID-19 comparison poster Oct 2023Poster outlines key differences between each COVID-19 vaccine available in Australia.