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IMPORTANT NOTICE

This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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

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Influenza vaccine 2022

Early advice has been released for vaccination providers on seasonal influenza vaccination under the National Immunisation Program in 2022. Key points include:

  • 2022 influenza vaccines will be available from April on the NIP
  • Influenza vaccines can be co-administered with COVID-19 vaccines (on the same day)
  • With borders reopening, it is even more important that people receive an influenza vaccine in 2022

Ordering advice is available on the CESPHN Influenza website.

AIR042A report update

The AIR042A COVID-19 Status Report has been updated. The report will now identify individuals who have started but not completed their primary COVID-19 vaccination course.

See user guide on how to access the AIR042A report on the AIR site via HPOS.

NSW Health exemption form

From 25 February 2022, the NSW COVID-19 medical contraindication form will no longer be an acceptable form of evidence for exemption from the requirement for mandatory vaccination under the various public health orders. The AIR IM011 form immunisation medical exemption is now the only valid exemption form.

Boosters required for up-to-date status

ATAGI advises that all individuals aged 16 years and over are recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose to maintain an “up-to-date” status. This booster dose is now recommended from 3 months after the last primary dose. This is called the ‘due date’.

Booster – updated advice 

ATAGI have updated their recommendations on the use of booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine. What’s changed:

  • Novavax can be used as a booster in people 18+ years if all other COVID-19 vaccines are unsuitable.
  • AstraZeneca is no longer recommended as a booster dose for people who received AstraZeneca for the first and second dose. AstraZeneca is now only recommended when mRNA vaccines are contraindicated or if patient decline an mRNA vaccine.
  • Pfizer or Moderna is preferred as booster for people 18+ years.
  • Only Pfizer should be used as a booster for people aged 16 – 17 years.

VCF Connect

All primary care vaccination providers currently registered with CVAS (who are also currently on the VCF) will have already received a registration email with details on how to register to use VCF Connect. The email will have come from CV19.Products@health.gov.au. If you have not received this email, phone 1800 316 375. For more information, see VFC Connect FAQs.

Appointment translation

The NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service’s online Appointment Reminder Translation Tool allows providers to translate appointment details into the patient’s language.

Tree of community

The “Tree of community informed strategies to increase childhood vaccination rates” resource presents practical strategies for health services to improve childhood vaccination rates in communities that may generally support vaccination, but experience socio-economic disadvantage and access barriers to immunisation services. The ‘tree’ may also be used by communities to start a conversation about what makes it difficult or easy to get children vaccinated on time in their community, and advocate for changes. 

Updated COVID-19 vaccination resources

Temporary medical exemptions

Updated ATAGI expanded guidance on COVID-19 vaccine temporary medical exemptions – changes include:

  • Rapid antigen tests (that where possible have been reported to the relevant State or Territory reporting system) are now considered acceptable proof of infection for the purposes of a temporary medical exemption to delay vaccination.
  • The time frame for temporary deferral of vaccination following SARS-CoV-2 infection has been updated from 6 months to 4 months.
  • The guidance supports the AIR IM011 form immunisation medical exemption.

Palliative care and/or end-of-life care

Updated COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for people receiving palliative care and/or end-of-life care – changes include:

  • Information on Nuvaxovid (Novavax) COVID-19 vaccination has been added
  • Information on COVID-19 vaccine boosters has been updated
  • Information on Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna) in children aged 6-11 years has been added

People with immunocompromise

Updated ATAGI provider guide to COVID-19 vaccination of people with immunocompromise – changes include:

  • people aged 16 years and older who have received a 3-dose primary course due to severe immunocompromise are recommended to receive a booster (i.e. 4th) dose 3 months or more after their 3rd dose
  • information on Nuvaxovid COVID-19 Vaccine (Novavax) has been included
  • people aged 6 to 11 years can now receive Spikevax (Moderna) (half the adult dose)
  • This guide contains information about the COVID-19 vaccines Comirnaty (Pfizer), Spikevax (Moderna), Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) and Nuvaxovid (Novavax)

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 March 2022, 11:30am (AEDT) | Click link to join

Catch up on previous webinars.

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