This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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 weekly update – 1 December 2021

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Infanrix Hexa supply issues

Due to supply issues of Infanrix Hexa, there are currently restrictions on the number of doses practices can order through the  NSW Vaccine Centre and possible delays in receiving this vaccine. The Commonwealth and GSK have advised that these supply issues are expected to resolve during December. A notice about this shortage is being placed on the Alerts page of the. For more information, refer to the TGA medicines shortage page or GSK supply updates page.

New clinical guidelines for anaphylaxis management 

The first national standard of care for patients with anaphylaxis has now been released. The guideline emphasises the need for prompt treatment and continuity of patient care between acute and general practice healthcare settings. It includes key information for health care professionals on the recognition of anaphylaxis, the administration of adrenaline, correct positioning, and observation following anaphylaxis.

My Health Record COVID-19 vaccination dashboard

My Health Record has a new COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, including vaccination details, COVID-19 test results, relevant medicines and allergy information and links to the COVID-19 vaccine clinic finder and side effect checker.  Consumers can use the new COVID-19 Dashboard tab as a quick reference before a vaccination or booster dose or to get proof of vaccination. This link shows an example dashboard screen. Contact My Health Record Help line 1800 723 471 (Option 2) for assistance 

What is the definition of “fully vaccinated”? 

ATAGI have developed advice on the definition of fully vaccinated (published 26 Nov) for the purposes of people returning from overseas travel, those individuals who are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This definition may be updated over time based on emerging evidence, as required.

Updated guidance on temporary medical exemptions

There are very few situations where a vaccine is contraindicated and as such, medical exemption is expected to be rarely required. ATAGI have developed guidance for providers (updated 26 Nov) outlining valid reasons and medical conditions that warrant a temporary medical exemption relevant for COVID-19 vaccines.

Pfizer and Moderna – thaw use by date vs manufacture expiry date

It is vital that sites are aware of the differences between the thaw use by date and the manufacture expiry date for the mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer):

  • The manufacture expiry date on the vial indicates the expiry for the vaccine vial.
  • The thaw use by date commences at the time the vials are removed from the freezer or ultra low storage to commence thawing.

Practices must have clear processes to identify and action these dates to prevent vaccine administration errors. Whichever date is earliest is the last date the vaccines should be administered to a patient.

  • The use by date for Moderna is 30 days from the thaw date, when vials are stored unopened at 2° to 8°C
  • The use by date for Pfizer is 31 days from the thaw date, when vials are stored unopened at 2° to 8°C

FAQs for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots 

This resource is designed to assist health care professionals answer common questions about COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. The resource includes information on why booster shots are required, whether they will be required every year, which vaccines should be used for boosters, and more.

FAQs about pregnancy and COVID-19 vaccination 

This factsheet (available language translations) answers commonly asked questions about pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccines, including when and why pregnant women should get the COVID-19 vaccine, which vaccine to get, and possible side effects.

COVID-19 vaccine safety data for specific populations groups

AusVaxSafety has now published COVID-19 vaccine safety data for the following population groups:

These data provide individuals with a short-term adverse event profile of what to expect in the days following COVID-19 vaccination and are a great resource to assist immunisation providers when counselling patients or answering questions regarding COVID-19 vaccination.  

The role and responsibilities of an EN 

The role of an Enrolled Nurse (EN) in primary health care is often unclear – what they can do, how their supervision needs to be undertaken, and how to ensure they’re working to their full scope of practice. The APNA podcast addresses roles and responsibilities of an EN in general practice.

FREE online course on the National Immunisation Program

Promoting Participation in the National Immunisation Program is a 2 hour online course designed to help students support a change of practice within their health organisation to make immunisation activities more conducive to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

The course is usually $95 but is available free until 1 January 2022. See brochure.

The program is designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge to work directly with patients, clients, families and communities to provide advice and encouragement to ultimately improve immunisation rates for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people.

Doherty and NCIRS course in vaccinology and immunisation science 

The Doherty and NCIRS course in vaccinology and immunisation science is designed for people relatively new to the area of immunisation and for those wanting to broaden and update their understanding of vaccines, vaccine development and the principles underpinning the introduction and running of immunisation programs.

A short survey for immunisation providers 

Help improve vaccine safety surveillance in Australia. Immunisation providers are invited to participate in a short survey to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices of immunisation providers regarding vaccine safety monitoring in Australia. The survey is part of a study being conducted by researchers at NCIRS.

NCIRS webinar: COVID-19 in children and adolescents: vaccines, transmission at school and disease outcomes

The final webinar for 2021 will focus on COVID-19 in children and adolescents with an update on:

  • vaccine recommendations and safety in children and adolescents
  • the latest data on transmission in schools in Australia, including the experience in NSW since the return to face-to-face learning outcomes in children with COVID-19 and long-term follow-up.

Time: Wednesday 8 December 12:00 – 1:30pm AEDT. Register here

COVID-19 live stream update for GPs 

Join the latest COVID-19 vaccine live stream update for GPs. The panel will provide latest key updates and answer participants’ questions live about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Get involved by submitting questions and comments!

Details: Thursday 2 December, 11:30am (AEDT) | Click link to join

Catch up on previous webinars