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This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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 – 18 August 2021

18 August 2021

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Maintaining routine immunisation services during the COVID-19 pandemic

Immunisation is an essential health service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Immunisation providers must maintain routine immunisation services and ensure on-time vaccination according to the current recommended schedules. These routine services include:

  • infant and early childhood immunisation sessions providing the National Immunisation Program (NIP) schedule vaccines
  • adolescent vaccination for catch-up of NIP vaccines
  • influenza vaccination program
  • adult vaccination for provision of NIP vaccines
  • provision of additional recommended vaccines as required.

The ATAGI Guiding Principles for maintaining immunisation services during COVID-19 pandemic provides further information for immunisation providers and is available on the Australian Government Department of Health website. 

Pfizer doses for people aged 16-39 in LGAs of concern

From Thursday 19 August, those aged 16 to 39 living in the 12 Local Government Areas (LGA) of concern will be given priority access to the Pfizer vaccine at a number of NSW Health clinics.

People will be able to book an appointment from 9am Wednesday 18 August at the listed NSW Health clinics.

Aged care and disability COVID-19 vaccine clinics

Healthcare Australia (HCA) have opened a new vaccination hub at Rosebery for the aged care and disability sector, commencing Monday 23 August. These HCA vaccination hubs located in Ashfield, Burwood, and Rosebery are open only to:

  • Disability clients (NDIS participants)
  • Disability workers and disability carers (carers of NDIS participants)
  • Residential aged care facility workers

Book online via Ashfield/Rosebery COVID-19 Booking System or Burwood COVID-19 Booking System

Authorised worker priority appointments

Authorised workers are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination if they live in one of the Local Government Areas (LGAs) or suburbs of concern and fall into the authorised categories: health care, aged care and disability care; construction; freight and transport; including bus drivers; meat processing; food production/processing/retail; Primary, Secondary and Early Childhood school staff.

More information about eligibility and how to book an appointment is available on the NSW Government website.

COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker updates

Updates to the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker are now live and include:

  • Pregnant women prioritised to receive Pfizer
  • Updated content to prioritise Registered Aged Care Facility workers getting vaccinated
  • Updated eligibility to include 12-15-year-olds with underlying medical conditions and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to enable them to access Pfizer surfacing all clinics nationally administering Pfizer
  • Removed reference to COVID-19 vaccine intervals on different vaccine types with the updated advice from ATAGI on intervals being more flexible in outbreak areas

Visit the Vaccine Eligibility Checker for further information.

COVID-19 vaccines for Medicare ineligible patients

The vaccine will be available free of charge to everyone within Australia regardless of Medicare or visa status. This includes refugees, asylum seekers, temporary protection visa holders, bridging visas and those whose visas have been cancelled. Non-citizens who have overstayed their visas can also access the COVID-19 vaccines for free.

Individuals who do not have a Medicare card can access free vaccinations at Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics, State or territory vaccination clinics or Community Pharmacies.

Pharmacists can lodge a claim in the PPA Portal using special Medicare number 25437529911 if the patient does not hold a Medicare card. 

TGA provisionally approves Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine

On 9 August 2021 the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) granted provisional approval to Moderna Australia Pty Ltd for its COVID-19 vaccine—Spikevax.  The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is provisionally approved in individuals 18 years of age and older. It is recommended that the vaccine is given in two doses that are administered 28 days apart.

For further information see TGA website and Spikevax product information.

Updated COVID-19 vaccination resources

 The suite of ATAGI provider and patient COVID-19 vaccination resources have been updated and released.  This includes:

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

Catch up on previous webinars