Immunisation weekly update – 13 July 2022

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CESPHN Authorised Nurse Immuniser Scholarship

Central and Eastern Sydney PHN is offering registered nurses working in General Practice within the CESPHN region the opportunity to apply for our Authorised Nurse Immuniser Scholarship. This qualification allows an RN to administer vaccines independent of a medical officer as per the NSW Authority.

CESPHN are offering successful applicants 100% scholarship to this course (valued at $350). If you are interested in applying, ensure you meet eligibility criteria and apply hereApplications close 31 July 2022.

Free flu vaccine ends this Sunday – 17 July 2022

Free flu shot program for NSW residents will end 17 July 2022. The NSW Health Minister has urged families to use the school holidays to book in for a free flu shot for children as well as adults. Flu vaccine can be given in conjunction with COVID-19 vaccines.

Expanded winter dose eligibility

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On 7 July, ATAGI updated its recommendations for a winter dose of COVID-19 vaccine to help reduce severe disease from the emerging surge of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariant infections, and to reduce the burden on Australian hospitals and the healthcare system in coming months.

Updated eligibility for winter booster:

In addition to people previously eligible for a winter booster dose, the updated recommendations include:

  • Adults aged 50 to 64 years are now recommended to receive a winter booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Adults aged 30 to 49 years can receive a winter booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, however the benefit for people in this age group is less certain.

Updated interval for winter booster:

  • The interval recommended between a recent SARS-CoV-2 infection, or the first booster dose and a winter booster dose is now 3 months.


Most people who get COVID-19 will get well within a few weeks, however there are some people who experience long-term health problems after having COVID-19. This is called ‘long COVID’, which can last for many months after a person no longer has the virus.

Research suggests that people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are less likely to report long COVID symptoms than people who are unvaccinated.           

How many COVID-19 vaccine doses do you need?

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People aged:

  • 50+ should receive 4 doses
  • 30 – 49 should receive 3 doses, option of fourth
  • 16 – 29 should receive 3 doses
  • 5 – 15 should receive 2 doses
  • Some people with severe or complex health needs may need additional doses.

See also ATAGI flowchart – which outlines recommended COVID-19 doses and brands by age group and special population groups.


CESPHN Webinar: Supporting GPs to manage influenza and respiratory infections

CESPHN is hosting a webinar next Thursday which will focus on:

  • the circulating respiratory viruses in current climate, and
  • how general practice can best manage patients with respiratory symptoms to support the community.
  • You will also hear from GPs in our community and how they manage

The webinar will be held on Thursday 21 July at 7.00pm to 8.30pm AEST. Register here.

Winter wellness: launch of ‘Ask the Question’ campaign

CESPHN have launched the Winter Wellness flu and covid-19 ‘Ask the Question’ campaign. We have a series of resources available for download on our website, or email us to request printed resource pack.

  1. What can you do?
  • Ask the question: “are you up to date with your flu and COVID-19 vaccinations?”
  • Every time you greet a patient or customer
  1. Who can ask the question?
  • General practice: reception staff, practice nurse, GPs
  • Pharmacy: pharmacy assistants, pharmacists
  1. Once they agree, then what?
  • Administer the vaccination then and there – vaccination is opportunistic, so the best time to do it is now, or
  • Offer to book them in for a vaccination appointment – although this often sees a drop off in vaccination, with patients not returning for their appointment.

To support conversations about vaccination:

  • The Consumers Health Forum of Australia has some great resources for GPs, practice nurses and community pharmacists, including training videos and tip sheets as well as resources to order.
  • NCIRS has consumer-focused decision aids that you could work through with your patient.

Upcoming immunisation webinars

GP weekly webinar: latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine

  • About: primary care update on the COVID-19 response and the vaccine rollout. The panel will provide key updates and answer participants’ questions. GPs and all health professionals are welcome.
  • Join webinar here on Thursday 14 July 2022 at 11:30am (AEST).

Pneumococcal Disease 2022 webinar

  • Details: Wednesday 20 July | 6.00pm to 7.00pm AEST
  • Topic: the latest facts about pneumococcal disease, currently available vaccines, the NIP and the PneumoSmart Vaccination Tool created to assist GPs, practice nurses, and other Immunisation providers to comply with the Australian Immunisation Handbook recommendations
  • Webinar registration here

Immunisation news

Catch up on previous Immunisation Weekly Updates.