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This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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 – 10 August 2022

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Public Health Alert: Meningococcal Disease

On 5 August, NSW Health was notified of two cases of meningococcal disease, one of these cases was a man in his 40s who died with the disease. So far this year, there have been 15 cases of meningococcal disease reported in NSW. 

NSW Health is urging parents and young people to be alert to the symptoms of meningococcal disease and act immediately if they appear. Meningococcal cases tend to increase in late winter and early spring, with children under five and 15 to 25-year-olds at the greatest risk of contracting the disease.

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself:

  • meningococcal ACWY (Men ACWY) vaccine is provided free for babies at 12 months, Year 10 adolescents, and people of all ages with certain medical conditions.
  • meningococcal B (Men B) vaccine is provided free for Aboriginal children <2 years and people with certain medical conditions

For more information on vaccination or symptoms, transmission, risks and treatment of Meningococcal, see the NSW Health Public Health Alert and NSW Health Media Release.

Healthcare provider interviews – evaluate vaccination communication resources

NCIRS is working to improve conversations between healthcare providers and their patients about routine vaccinations in pregnancy and early childhood by evaluating and improving two key online resources: Talking About Immunisation and MumBubVax.

Interviews will be conducted on Zoom between Monday, 8 August and Friday, 26 August. Interviews will take around thirty minutes, and providers will be paid $150 for their time.

Complete expression of interest form to register. 

Co-administration of vaccines: a guide for immunisation providers

This NCIRS guide aims to assist immunisation providers identify vaccines that can be co-administered in people aged 18 years and older. It should be used in conjunction with the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

While most vaccines can be co-administered with other vaccines at the same schedule point, separate injection sites should be used to ensure adequate immune response is induced and to reduce adverse events.

Refer to the NSW Immunisation Schedule (funded vaccines) and NCIRS Immunisation schedules (includes recommended but not funded vaccines) for adults.

Flu reimbursement update

General practices who used privately purchased flu vaccines for the Free Flu vaccine program can seek remuneration for the purchase cost of vaccines administered between 1 June 2022 to 17 July 2022.

Practices should submit completed reimbursement form and vaccine purchase invoice to before Friday 26 August 2022

Next steps – following reimbursement submission: 

  • Practices will receive an email from NSW Health
    • From email: – ENVK Workflow Mailer 
    • Subject line: FYI: Invitation to register from eHealth NSW
    • Regarding: request to set up your practice as a vendor in the NSW Health system
  • Once your practice has been set up as a vendor, payment will be processed

Monkeypox (MPX) vaccination rollout in NSW 

When will MPX vaccination commence in NSW?

  • Vaccination will commence from Monday 8 August 2022 for high risk groups
  • The first phase of vaccination will prioritise community members at greatest risk of exposure to MPXV (monkeypox virus)
  • Vaccines will be administered at the State MPX Vaccination Clinic

Vaccine supply & availability 

  • NSW Health has secured a limited supply of the JYNNEOS vaccine
  • The MPX vaccination program will be rolled out in phases:
    • First phase: 5,500 doses in early August
    • Second phase: 30,000 doses expected in late September
    • Third phase: 70,000 doses in early 2023

Vaccine doses & protection

  • JYNNEOS is a two-dose vaccine given four weeks apart (28 days)
  • One dose offers some protection against monkeypox, however full protective effect begins from at least 2 weeks after second dose
  • WHO describes the vaccine’s efficacy as 85%, preventing 17 out of every 20 infections

Patients can now register their interest for MPX vaccine

Who should register?

  • People who are gay, bisexual, or other men who has sex with men (GBMSM) should register for the vaccine
  • GBSMS who have booked travel overseas to Europe or North America before 31 October 2022 
  • People wanting to receive the vaccine can register their interest 

How to register:

  • Complete the NSW Health online formto register interest for the MPX vaccine
  • Registration does not guarantee access to the vaccine

Process following registration:

  • Information will be passed to NSW Health for further assessment
  • Patients will be notified by NSW Health of the assessment outcome:
    • Patients eligible for the first round will receive vaccine from the stat MPX vaccination clinic in August
    • Patients not eligible for the first round will be contacted by NSW Health from the end of September
  • ACON is unable to comment or provide any information about assessment outcome

GP information: MPX vaccine

GPs are encouraged to regularly check the Immunisation News & Alerts webpage for the latest information on Monkeypox – information is updated daily.

Can GPs order MPX vaccine?

  • Currently, no – initial vaccine doses will be managed by NSW Health and administered at a state MPX vaccination clinic
  • Initial doses will be prioritised to manage the immediate outbreak and will focus on those at greatest risk of severe illness and acquisition of the monkeypox virus
  • GPs may be able to order MPX vaccines in the later phases of the vaccine rollout  

Where can GPs direct patients enquiring about MPX vaccine?

  • Direct patients to the ACON websitewhere patients can register their interest for the MPX vaccine:
  • Direct patients to key websites with MPX Information for LGBTQ+ communities in NSW
  • Direct patients to call Sexual Health InfoLink on 1800 451 624 for information on MPX vaccines

Can a GP directly refer a patient for vaccination?

  • Yes, GPs are able to directly refer high-risk patients for priority vaccination
  • High-risk patients eligible for this referral pathway include:
    • Vulnerable and marginalised high-risk gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM)
    • GBMSM who are HIV infected with CD4<200, sex industry workers, homeless, significant drug use, or Aboriginal and/Torres Strait Islander 
  • To refer a patient, GPs should call NSW Sexual Health Info Link on 1800 451 624

MPX training/education:

Monkeypox (MPX) special webinar

  • About: primary care update on Monkeypox (MPX) – key updates and Q&A
  • Click linkto join – Wednesday 10 August 2022 from 1:30pm-2:30pm (AEST)

ASHM Monkeypox webinar 

Monkeypox preparedness in General Practice          

Preparation for MPX vaccines – GPs should:

  • read ATAGI clinical guidance on vaccination against Monkeypox 
  • understand key population groups recommended to receive MPX vaccination 
  • know how to directly referhigh-risk patients for priority vaccine access
  • be able to direct patients to MPX helpline, information and resources

Preparation for managing suspected MPX cases – GPs should:

Preparation for MPX patient enquiries – Practice staff should:

Upcoming immunisation webinars

COVID-19 response update

  • About: primary care update on the COVID-19 response and the vaccine rollout – key updates and Q&A
  • Thursday 11 August 2022 at 11:30am (AEST) – Click linkto join

Immunisation news

Catch up on previous Immunisation Weekly Updates.

Keep up to date with the latest information on Monkeypox – updated daily.

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