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Immunisation Weekly Update:

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Immunisation education

Register for upcoming immunisation education webinars below. View past webinar recordings on our Immunisation | Education webpage.

In case you missed it: Introduction to the NIP – webinar recording

Practice nurse networking evening

Practice nurses are invited to join us for our Nurse networking evening. A face-to-face event where you can establish connections with other nurses, build relationships, share experiences and elevate your nursing knowledge. Hear from guest speakers covering topics related to Immunisation and Childhood Development while also enjoying drinks and canapes. The same event will be repeated at two locations, please only register for the location and/or date that suit you best.

World Immunisation Week

World Immunisation Week, celebrated in the last week of April, aims to highlight the collective action needed and to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease.

Through its convening power, WHO works with countries across the globe to raise awareness of the value of vaccines and immunisation and ensures that governments obtain the necessary guidance and technical support to implement high quality immunisation programmes.

The ultimate goal of World Immunisation Week is for more people – and their communities – to be protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. World Immunisation week is a timely reminder for Australians to encourage patients to book in for flu vaccines.

New Authorised Registered Nurse/Midwife Vaccination Standards and Authority

The Authorised Nurse Immuniser and Authorised Midwife Immunisers Policy Directive (PD2024_004) has been rescinded and replaced with the newly developed NSW Authorised Registered Nurse/Midwife Vaccination Standards (the Standards). Communication was sent to Authorised nurse/midwife immunisers regarding this change. 

The rescinding of PD2024_004 and the creation of the Standards mandate that all Authorised Nurse/Midwife Immunisers (ANIs) in NSW who initiate and administer a vaccine comply with both the Authority (page 1-2) and the Standards (page 3-7). This includes those working in primary care and private practice.

The mandatory conditions which ANIs must comply with to ensure effective and efficient immunisation service delivery are now outlined in the Standards. These conditions have not changed for ANIs working in NSW Health, the requirements in the Standards remain consistent with the previous policy. 

Interim Centre for Disease Control releases major new national HPV surveillance plan

The interim Australian Centre for Disease Control this week released the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Surveillance and Monitoring Plan 2023.

A major update to the previous (2013) national HPV surveillance plan, this document summarises the current status of HPV surveillance in Australia and the objectives included in the 2013 plan.

The new plan outlines key HPV surveillance objectives and indicators focused on monitoring circulating HPV types and HPV-related diseases, in the context of changes to HPV prevention programs – including the transition to a single dose of HPV vaccine on the National Immunisation Program and modifications to the National Cervical Screening Program.

Australia – which has a strong track record in the prevention of HPV infection and related diseases, having been the first country to fund a nation-wide, population-based HPV vaccination program, from 2007 – has committed to achieving equitable elimination of cervical cancer as a public health issue by 2035.

Study suggests revaccination safe for most children with history of AEFI

Several NCIRS experts have contributed to a notable prospective study on adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) published in Vaccine last week.

A personal or family history of an AEFI is an established barrier to vaccination uptake – but data evaluating adverse event recurrence in children to inform clinical decisions are limited.

This new study, the first of its kind in Australia, showed no significant risk of adverse event recurrence across the investigated cohort – children aged 16 years and under with a personal or family history of AEFI – and suggests it is safe to proceed with revaccination in most cases.

Updated AusVaxSafety Shingrix® data now available

AusVaxSafety has released updated vaccine Shingrix® safety data that have shown more than half of Shingrix® vaccine recipients (52.1%) experienced no adverse events in the three days following vaccination.

In those who did experience an adverse event, local reaction – mainly pain, swelling and redness at the injection site – was the most common.

The level of impact of Shingrix® vaccination on routine activities remained relatively low, with less than 7% of respondents reporting missing work, study or routine duties. Reported medical attendance rates were also low, at less than 0.5%.

While many people opt to receive Shingrix® by itself, the vaccine can be administered concomitantly with other inactivated vaccines, and AusVaxSafety has received responses from more than 4,000 people who received Shingrix® concomitantly.

Reassuringly, these individuals reported similar rates of adverse events, impact on routine activities and medical attendance as those who received only Shingrix.

Updated NCIRS resources

NCIRS RSV FAQs updated

NCIRS’ popular RSV FAQs resource was recently updated to reflect ATAGI’s clinical advice on the use of Beyfortus (nirsevimab) for the prevention of severe RSV disease in infants.

NCIRS community pharmacy information sheet updated

‘Vaccination from community pharmacy – at a glance’, is a handy snapshot of which vaccines are currently available from community pharmacies across the states and territories, has been updated to incorporate a range of recent changes to jurisdictional regulations, including for RSV and pneumococcal vaccines.

COVID-19 Supply update – 17 April bulletin

Moderna (XBB.1.5) 12 years+ PFS

The Commonwealth’s supply of the Moderna (XBB.1.5) 12 years+ PFS vaccine is nearing depletion and the last order window will likely close on 3 May 2024. After this time, additional orders for the Moderna (XBB.1.5) 12 years+ PFS vaccine can be requested through the Vaccine Operations Centre (VOC) and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to ensure equitable distribution and to minimise excess wastage of this vaccine.

Please be mindful that Moderna (XBB.1.5) 12 years+ PFS has a thawed-use-by of 30 days and you should only order what you need to meet demand.

Moderna has satisfied all deliveries under the current supply arrangements and the Commonwealth has sufficient supplies of alternative COVID-19 vaccine brands for 2024.

Pfizer 5-11 Years (Orange Cap)

The last ordering window for Pfizer 5-11 Years (Orange Cap) closed on Friday 5 April 2024. Sites receiving Pfizer 5-11 Years (Orange Cap) with a Requested Delivery Date of 19 April 2024 are reminded that you will have a shorter period of time to use the vaccine until it’s expiry on 30 April 2024. The Pfizer (XBB.1.5) 5-11 years (Light Blue) is available to replace this formulation.

Available COVID-19 Vaccines

The Pfizer Bivalent BA.4-5 12 years+ (grey cap), Pfizer (XBB.1.5) 5 – 11 years (Light Blue) and Pfizer (XBB.1.5) 12 years+ (grey cap) vaccines continue to be available in the National COVID-19 Vaccine Program for primary care sites to administer.