This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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 – 20 January 2021

20 January 2021

20190319 Immunisation needle icons 31

Calling South Eastern Sydney LHD Nurses  

SESLHD Public Health Unit is updating theirNurse Immunisation Distribution list. The Public Health Unit is calling for all AHPRA registered nurses in the SESLHD regionwho are willing and able to help with the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations to fill out this  survey.

Scholarship for Authorised Nurse Immuniser course

Central and Eastern Sydney PHN is offering practice nurses the opportunity to apply for a 75%* scholarship to complete The Benchmarque Group’s Immunisation Endorsement Program. This course is to become an authorised nurse immuniser in NSW and administer vaccinations independent of a medical officer, which will include COVID-19 vaccine. The Authority will be further updated to include the COVID-19 vaccine once it has been listed in the Commonwealth Poisons Schedule.

The Course 

The Benchmarque Group’s Immunisation Endorsement Program course involves 112 hours of online study and assessment in addition to a half day workshop. The course is accredited by Health Education Services Australia (HESA) and conforms with the National Immunisation Education Framework for Health Professionals.  

Upon completion of this course, registered nurses and midwives will have the qualification to administer vaccinations in NSW, independent of a medical officer, as per NSW Health Authority

The Scholarship  

CESPHN invites registered nurses working in general practice in the CESPHN region to apply for a scholarship for the Benchmarque Immunisation Endorsement Program (full cost $567).  

Eligibility criteria: Registered nurses working in general practice within the CESPHN region, who have not completed the Authorised Nurse Immuniser qualification. 

Recipients will be eligible for the following, upon successful completion of the course: 

  • 75% of course fee reimbursement ($425) upon course completion prior to 31 March 2021
  • 50% of course fee reimbursement ($284) upon course completion prior to 30 June 2021  
  • 25% of course fee reimbursement ($142) upon course completion prior to 31 December 2021

How to apply

Submit your application now to commence your course and receive the scholarship: 


For more information and resources on immunisation, read our latest Immunisation Weekly Update or contact immunisation@cesphn.com.au


AusVaxSafetywon the contract for expanded and enhanced active surveillance system to monitor adverse events following Immunisation. See AusTender website for further details. 

AusVaxSafety is an active vaccine safety surveillance system that monitors the safety of vaccines in Australia. Using de-identified data reported directly from people receiving the vaccines, AusVaxSafety monitors adverse events following immunisation and facilitates early detection of potential vaccine safety issues.

Register for SmartVax

AusVaxSafety has completed detailed vaccine safety analyses of all National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines using SmartVax data. Register free for SmartVax

Australian Immunisation Register Amendment (Reporting) Bill 2020

The Australian Immunisation Register Amendment (Reporting) Bill 2020, entered parliament on December 3, 2020. The effect of the amendments in the Bill is to ensure all vaccination providers report all vaccines given, to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). 

When will this take effect?

The Bill includes mandatory reporting of COVID-19 vaccine from 1 March 2021, and mandatory reporting of all other vaccines to be entered from 1 July 2021. 

Penalties for non-compliance

There are provisions for a civil penalty of 30 penalty units (equivalent to $6660) should the provider fail to comply. If your software is transmitting information to the AIR, please perform quality checks to ensure this is in fact happening.

Supporting the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine

The need for the Australian Immunisation Register Amendment (Reporting) Bill 2020 arose from the need to provide more Australians with information about their immunisation history, to support the roll out of a COVID-19 vaccine and the ongoing administration of the National Immunisation Program.

These changes will ensure that every Australian can access their vaccine history through this safe and secure register. This initiative will also support the administration of COVID-19 vaccines.

Public consultation

Public consultation on the proposed changes indicated a high level of community support for these improvements and key stakeholders, including health peak bodies indicated their public support.

Australian Immunisation Register Amendment (Reporting) Bill 2020 and the explanatory memorandum is available here.

Expired vaccines and Disposal of vaccines

When is a vaccine considered “expired”?

Please remember that any vaccines with an expiry noted for example as 01/2021 are valid and able to be used until 31/01/2021. Please do not consider these as expired until the end of the month noted.

Check your flu vaccines

2020 influenza vaccines may be nearing expiry. Now is a good time to stocktake vaccine fridge and discard expired vaccines.

How to dispose of vaccines

  1. Report expired vaccines via NSW State Vaccine Centre online ordering system
  2. Complete NSW Health survey regarding NIP flu vaccine stock
  3. Dispose expired vaccines at your local pharmacy
  • These will be sent off for proper destruction via the RUM program (National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines)
  • Needles should be disposed of in your sharps container
  • Vaccine boxes should also be discarded – only the vial/medication component should be provided to the pharmacy

COVID-19 national roll-out strategy

Update from the Australian Government:Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine national roll-out strategy.

This document identifies:

  • Priority populations for vaccination, and the phases in which vaccines will be provided in Australia
  • Details for how vaccines will reach frontline healthcare workers, quarantine and boarder workers, and aged and disability care residents and workers
  • Initial locations, across Australia, at which vaccines will be administered.

The strategy is available on the Department of Health website.

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: 2 February 2021 

Time: 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm 

Register now 

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

Latest COVID-19 articles 

The Conversation: The Oxford vaccine has unique advantages, as does Pfizer’s. Using both is Australia’s best strategy.

Ausdoc: When can GPs register for COVID-19 vaccine roll-out?

World Health Organisation: Behavioural considerations for acceptance and uptake of COVID-19 vaccines