This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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 – 2 December 2020

2 December 2020

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WEBINAR: Preparing your practice for COVID-19 vaccinations 

This important webinar will focus on the current status in regard to the rollout of COVID vaccines and help you start preparing your practice now for mass vaccination. 

Presenters: Katrina Otto and Michelle Horswood

Date: Wednesday 7 December 2020 
Time: 6:30pm to 7:30pm 
Register now

Target audience: GPs , practice nurses, practice managers and practice staff

Discount codes for Benchmarque course!

The Benchmarque Group is offering 10 FREE discount codes for practice nurses to access the Foundations of Immunisation  online course free of charge (valued at $95) to celebrate the restructure of their Immunisation course.

What has changed?

The “Course in Immunisation Practice” has now been divided into three individual modules:

  1. Foundations of Immunisation
  2. Immunisation needs in: Adults / Influenza / Pregnancy / School
  3. Practice of Immunisation

The Foundations of Immunisation Program aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge required to work within the framework of immunisation and public health, with a focus on an understanding of the immune system, how vaccines work, communicable disease management and assessing a client’s eligibility for vaccinations. 

The course involves approximately 15 hours of self-paced online learning.

This foundations module is recommended for nurses new to the general practice setting or those wishing to refresh their skills.

Eligibility criteria

  • Nurse working in general practice within the CESPHN region
  • One discount code per general practice
  • These codes expire on Saturday 12 December 2020 so students must enrol before expiry date.

How to access discount code

Contact the PHN Immunisation team secure one of the 10 codes. Information required: full name, place of employment, job title, email, mobile, current qualification.

Register for a PRODA account to prepare for COVID-19 vaccine!

Will COVID-19 vaccine reporting be mandatory?

Yes. It will be mandatory for vaccination providers to record all COVID-19 vaccinations  on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

AIR will be the unifying national system to monitor COVID-19 vaccine  overall  immunisation coverage rates and individual immunisation status

How do you upload vaccine records to AIR?

The fastest way to upload vaccine records to AIR is via your clinical software (e.g. Best Practice and Medical Director). Most software have the capability to electronically upload vaccine records directly to AIR.

Check with your software vendor if you are unsureif your clinical software is integrated with AIR and has capabilities electronic upload to AIR. 

Need help? Contact our Digital Health team at or call 1300 986 991 (option 2).

Why do I need PRODA

A PRODA account (Provider Digital Access)allows providers direct online access to AIR records. 

All immunisation providers (GPs and nurses) will need to register for a PRODA account prior to COVID-19 vaccine roll-out because:

  • COVID-19 vaccine will likely be a twodose vaccine, and providers will need to check a patient’s immunisation history in AIR to determine appropriate dosage intervals
  • Multiple brands of COVID-19 vaccine may be available, so providers will be required to check a patient’s immunisation history on AIR to ensure the same brand is administered for the second dose.
  • Patients may be required to provide  evidence to prove their COVID-19 immunisation status,so providerswill need to print an Immunisation History Statement  which  can be downloaded from online AIR.

How do I access AIR?

  • A GP PRODA account will have automatic access to AIR
  • A Nurse PRODA account will require GP delegations to access AIR

Register now

Register for PRODA now to avoid delays due to anticipated large number of new registrants.Register here.

Further information

Need help?Contact or call 1300 986 991 (option 3).

See the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Policy released by the Commonwealth. 

Protect your vaccines over summer!

Over the weekend, temperatures soared up to 41degrees and many practices experienced cold chain breaches due to power outages. 

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As we approach summer and temperatures rise, power outages become more common due to significant strain on the electricity system. It is important that all staff in your practice are aware of:

Each immunisation facility should have a back-up plan and alternative vaccine storage if a power failure or fridge failure occurs, such as:

  • Back-up power supply e.g. generator or battery/solar back up (UPS)
  • Cooler or esky large enough to fit all vaccines (also accommodating ice/gel packs and bubble wrap, and a min/max thermometer per cooler)
State Vaccine Centre Christmas and New Year closure dates

The State Vaccine Centre SVC closure dates for the Christmas period:

  • Routine vaccine orders received prior to midday on Monday 21 December 2020 will be processed and delivered Tuesday 22 December.
  • The SVC will reopen Monday 4 January 2021 and begin delivering that day.

The SVC online system has been updated with this information.

Update your VAN  details for ordering of COVID-19 Vaccine

Prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine!

Medicare Provider numbers are required by the State Vaccine Centre to support roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination program. This is to ensure NSW Health can track the journey of every vaccine dose distributed from the warehouse, administered to the patient and reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

Log in to the NSW Vaccine Centre webpage to record Medicare provider numbers now!

Is this mandatory?

Yes. All practices with an active Vaccine Account Number (VAN) must record the Medicare Provider numbers of every Medicare approved provider administering vaccines at their practice (i.e. all GPs, midwives, and nurse practitioners). This does not include practice nurses.

The Medicare Provider number will have a format such as 1468Y, it is not the prescriber number, AHPRA number or the AIR Registration number. The Medicare Provider number is a unique number issued to health professionals at each location they work and does not expire. 

Do practice nurses have a Medicare Provider number?

No, unless they are also a nurse practitioner. The term ‘practice nurse’should not be confused with the term ‘nurse practitioner’. A practice nurse is an enrolled nurse or a registered nurse (including nurse practitioners) who is employed by, or whose services are otherwise retained by, a general practice.

Need help?

Contact the CESPHN Immunisation team on 1300 986 991 (option 3), or email

See full communication from NSW Health.

COVID-19: Impact on routine childhood vaccination uptake

A new NCIRS report “COVID-19: Impact on routine childhood vaccination uptake in Australia” released this week found no substantial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vaccination uptake in children at national or state/territory level, for vaccinations due up to July 2020.

This is a welcome finding, which likely reflects consistent messaging from health authorities that it is important to maintain immunisation through the pandemic and efforts to provide COVID-19 safe vaccination services.

Read the report here.


Download the new NSW Immunisation Schedule – July 2020   

Keep up to date with Immunisation information on our PHN Immunisation webpage 

Keep up to date with coronavirus information on our PHN Coronavirus webpage.