This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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

20190319 Immunisation needle icons 31

Novavax training module

New COVID-19 vaccine Novavax Module now available. The Novavax training module must be completed by health professionals prior to administering the Novavax (NUVAXOVID) COVID-19 vaccine.

ATAGI recommends that Novavax COVID-19 (Nuvaxovid) can be used for the primary course of COVID-19 vaccination in people aged 18 or older, it is not currently registered by the TGA as a booster. Subject to successful TGA batch testing, the Novavax vaccine will be available to be administered from the week of 21 February 2022.

Vaccine deferral after COVID-19 infection reduced to 4 months

ATAGI advises people who have had COVID-19 infection can defer vaccination for up to 4 months post recovery, a recent change from the 6-month timeline. This is due to the increased risk of re-infection with the Omicron.

ATAGI continues to advise that previous infection is not a contraindication to vaccination and that vaccination can occur following recovery of acute illness from COVID-19. See ATAGI Expanded Guidance on temporary medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines

Booster doses for 16-17 years

On 28 January 2022, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provisionally approved the Pfizer COVID-19 booster dose for people aged 16–17 years old in Australia. Advice from ATAGI is expected to be provided to government shortly. Continue to prioritise boosters for people 18 years and over, until the Department of Health announces eligibility change to the Commonwealth COVID-19 Vaccination Program. See Product Information.

Booster doses are now listed on COVID-19 digital certificates

COVID-19 digital certificates now list all COVID-19 vaccinations that have been reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) including booster doses. The ‘valid from’ date on the digital certificate will be the date of the last primary dose. Further information about accessing COVID-19 digital certificates is available on the Services Australia website.

Rapid Antigen Testing – Concessional Access Program factsheet

The Australian government is introducing a temporary Rapid Antigen Test Concessional Access program. This new program starts on 24 January 2022 and ends on 30 April 2022. The new short-term rapid antigen test concessional access program provides people with valid, eligible Commonwealth concession cards access to up to 10 free rapid antigen tests.

COVID-19 vaccine well tolerated by children

Children aged 5–11 years are reporting fewer side effects following Comirnaty (Pfizer) dose 1 vaccination than older Australians, new COVID-19 vaccine safety data from AusVaxSafety have shown. 29% per cent of children experienced one or more expected side effects in the first 3 days following their Pfizer dose 1 vaccination, which is 8 percentage points lower than the Australian population aged 12 years and older (37 per cent).

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.

Details: Thursday 3 February 2022, 11:30am (AEDT) | Click link to join

Catch up on previous webinars.