This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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

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COVID-19 vaccination following infection with COVID-19

As the number of cases of COVID-19 rises daily, it is important to remind providers that ATAGI clinical guidance (page 15) recommends delaying COVID-19 vaccination up to 6 months if a patient has PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. With the number of workplaces requiring vaccination increasing, providers may use this form to indicate a temporary exemption following recovery – COVID-19 vaccine medical contraindication form..

Further advice is available on NCIRS COVID-19 FAQ page, including information on COVID-19 vaccination interval post infection, and also COVID-19 vaccination post infection having already had 1st dose.

Call out for RNs and pharmacist immunisers to work shifts in general practice delivering COVID-19 vaccines

CESPHN is calling out for RNs or pharmacist immunisers that have availability to work extra shifts in general practice COVID-19 vaccination clinics to please fill out this form. We are requesting 1-2 days a week on a casual basis for roughly 12 weeks, in the LGAs of Georges River, Bayside and Canterbury-Bankstown. Thank you to those who have already filled out this form.

Pfizer for adolescents aged 12 -15 years

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) now supports the use of COVID-19 Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine in all adolescents between 12 and 15 years of age. Further details are provided in the ATAGI Statement and Recommendations.

From 13 September, bookings will be available through GPs, Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations via the updated Eligibility Checker for people aged 12 to 15 who are not in a priority group. People aged 12 to 15 who are in a priority group can book now

Recording COVID-19 vaccinations for non-Medicare patients on the AIR

Vaccination providers must record COVID-19 vaccinations administered to all individuals, including those not eligible for Medicare. This information is recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), via practice software or using the AIR Secure Site.

Health professionals should ask the patient to create an IHI, as this is the best way to match non-Medicare patients.

If the patient does not yet have an IHI, health professionals need to include as much detail as possible to these records to allow for future matching including: first and last names, address, date of birth, postcode. These individuals will be given a supplementary identification number (SIN). This record can be used to record future immunisations, or until the individual has completed a IHI or Medicare registration.

Further information on AIR for providers can be found on the Services Australia website or call Services Australia’s dedicated AIR hotline on 1800 653 809. Health professionals can also access education modules on using the AIR Secure Site.

Patients can use the Request an IHI form in other languages can be found here. Patients can also call 1300 361 457 and request a translator if required. 

No Fault COVID-19 Indemnity Scheme

From 6 September 2021, Australians who suffer injury and loss of income due to their COVID-19 vaccine will be able to register their intent to claim from the COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme webpage. The Scheme is designed to help the small number of people who unfortunately experience a moderate to significant adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine and will cover the costs of injuries above $5,000 due to a proven adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccination. The COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Scheme will be backdated to February 2021. More information available here.

Pfizer aged care and disability vaccine hubs

Dedicated aged care and disability vaccine hubs administering Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations are now open in NSW for residential, and community and in-home aged care workers, as well as NDIS participants and staff/carers (12 years and older). Book at a hub in Ashfield, Burwood, Rosebery or Engadine via this link.

The Public Health Order requires RACF staff and service providers of first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination in order to enter or remain at the RACF after 9am on 17 September 2021.

Spikevax (Moderna) mandatory e-learning module now available

The Department of Health has released an online learning module on the use of Spikevax (Moderna) COVID-19 vaccines in Australia. Access training here.

NSW Pharmacist Vaccination Standards

The NSW Pharmacist Vaccination Standards were updated on the 27 August 2021. The recent changes include addition of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine and Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine. This will support pharmacist immunisers working in a GP setting to administer COVID-19 vaccines.

Childhood coverage rates continue to improve within CESPHN region

The latest childhood immunisation coverage rate data has been released by the Department of Health. This data provides immunisation coverage rates for three age groups (1, 2 and 5-year-olds) for all PHN regions of Australia.

Over the past 18 months, CESPHN has worked with practices within LGAs experiencing low or declining immunisation rates in an effort to improve the overall rates within the CESPHN region. We are proud to say that the combined efforts of general practices and the CESPHN immunisation team has been reflected in the latest coverage rate data. CESPHN has shown improvement for coverage rates across all age groups. These latest results are the highest CESPHN has ever experienced. Of particular note, the 1-year-old age group have surpassed NSW rate, as well as the national target of 95% coverage for the first time.

Age groupPercentage fully vaccinatedCESPHN regionPercentage fully vaccinated NSW
1 year old95.0794.8
2 year old91.8492.5
5 year old92.9095.0

Source:annualised data – all children (1 July 2020 – 30 June 2021) – released June 2021

Whilst the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is forefront, we strongly encourage practices to ensure routine childhood vaccination maintained during these unprecedented times in general practice.

Congratulations to all practices on your continued efforts to address overdue children and ensure all children maintain on-time vaccination. With many children caught up and vaccinated, data errors corrected, and overseas children notified to AIR, we are pleased to see these improvements in vaccination rates for our region.

Meningococcal Vaccination

Important reminder to maintain routine vaccinations and ensure on time vaccination of all vaccines on the National Immunisation Program, as well as those recommended but not funded on the NIP.

The Australian Immunisation Handbook recommendations for meningococcal vaccines by age group states all children 6weeks-23 months should be recommended to be vaccinated against MenB and MenACWY. It is funded under the NIP for certain population groups as stated on the NSW Immunisation schedule. There is a suite of NCIRS fact sheets and FAQs to further assist providers

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 September, 11:30am (AEDT) | Click link to join

Catch up on previous webinars.

New resources

This fact sheet explains the potential long-term effects of COVID-19.

This fact sheet provides accurate, evidence-based answers to common questions about COVID-19 vaccines. It also answers questions for multicultural communities.

This language set contains translations of a poster which explains that COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone in Australia.

The ATAGI clinical statement provides recommendations for the Zoster vaccine and Shingrix vaccine.

What’s next for Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine program? Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and model predictions 

Catch up on previous webinars