This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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

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EOI: Immunisation working group

CESPHN is seeking expressions of interest from General Practitioners and Practice Nurses who would like to be involved as members of an immunisation working group. This will involve attending two video conference meetings per year with CESPHN and the Public Health Unit, and participate in discussions around immunisation planning and review of strategies. Representatives will be paid for their attendance as per the rate in the CESPHN Representation Policy.

To apply, please complete this form.

Adolescents may present at GP for routine vaccination

Closure of schools in Terms 3 and 4 has interrupted NSW Health’s routine school-based vaccination program, resulting in adolescents needing access to routine vaccinations via their GP in the interim. Adolescents may present to general practice for routine HPV, dTpa or MenACWY vaccination. Providers are encouraged to offer a free HPV, dTpa or MenACWY vaccine to eligible students upon request. See the full NSW Health statement. More general advice for parents and schools is available on the NSW Health website.

Recording COVID-19 vaccine dose numbers for boosters

When entering directly onto the AIR site, there is no requirement for entering a dose number for adults.  AIR record all adult doses as V (valid). The immunisation history statement does not list doses for adults. 

For children it does require you to enter dose number.  There are no boosters yet for children, but further information will be provided as advice changes.

If you are required to enter a dose number, it can be entered as ‘3’ but AIR will count them according to date given so it does not need to be changed if it automatically defaults to ‘1’ in practice software.

Updated training modules for COVID-19 booster shots

The mandatory training modules for COVID-19 vaccination providers have now been updated with new information on COVID-19 booster shots. Log in to the COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program to view updates.

Updated: COVID-19 vaccines and the AIR

COVID-19 vaccines given overseas since 1 October 2020 that have been recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) can now be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

  • AstraZeneca COVISHIELD
  • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
  • Bharat (Covaxin)
  • Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine
  • Moderna Spikevax
  • Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty
  • Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV
  • Sinovac Coronavac

It is important that country of immunisation and batch number are recorded. A list of all vaccines currently able to be reported to AIR is available on the AIR vaccine code page which is updated regularly.

Smart Traveller also has advice for international travel and COVID-19 vaccination.

Use of a different COVID-19 vaccine as the second dose

While it is preferable to use the same brand for both doses of the primary course, an alternative brand can be used for the second dose in select circumstances including if a patient is unable to access or not accepting of a second dose of the same brand. There is emerging data supporting the safety and efficacy of mixed brand schedules. See ATAGI clinical advice on use of a different COVID-19 vaccine as the second dose in special circumstances

COVID-19 vaccination for women who are pregnant

Pregnant women who completed a 2-dose primary schedule can receive a booster dose 6 months or more after their second dose. Pregnant women with severe immunocompromise are recommended to receive 3 primary doses of COVID-19 vaccine. No further (i.e., 4th) doses are recommended at this time. See COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy

COVID-19 vaccination of people with immunocompromise: updated information

Updated recommendations

Updated guidelines

Myocarditis and Pericarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccines

What has been updated in the latest guidelines:

  • Updated information on the rate of myocarditis or pericarditis temporally associated with mRNA vaccines
  • Updated guidance on the precautions for people with a past history of pericarditis or myocarditis; ‘recent’ myocarditis or pericarditis is defined as within the last 3 months (previously 6 months).
  • Updated guidance on assessment and referral of suspected myocarditis or pericarditis in primary care and emergency departments.
  • Updated guidance on revaccination after suspected myocarditis or pericarditis.
  • Figure 2: Approach to revaccination in people with pericarditis attributed to an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine
  • See Guidance on Myocarditis and Pericarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccines(updated 9 November) 

ATAGI 2021 annual statement on immunisation

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) 2021 Annual Statement on Immunisation has been published in the Communicable Diseases Intelligence journal. It is the first publication in what will be a regular series.

The statement highlights the key successes, trends and challenges in the use of vaccines and control of vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) in Australia in 2020. The statement also signals ATAGI’s priority actions for addressing key issues for 2021 and beyond.

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

Catch up on previous webinars