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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This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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 – 20 July 2022

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NSW free flu vaccine program – Reimbursement form  

The state funded Free Flu vaccine program for NSW residents ended on 17 July 2022. General practices who used privately purchased flu vaccines for this program can seek remuneration for the purchase cost of vaccines administered between 1 June 2022 to 17 July 2022.  

How to claim:

  • Complete: reimbursement form (one form per practice)
  • Attach: all relevant invoices 
  • Email to: MOH-NSWHealth@health.nsw.gov.au
  • Deadline: COB Friday 26 August 2022
  • For help: contact Immunisation Team on 1300 986 991 (option 3, selection 2)

Access to NIP free flu vaccines 

After 17 July 2022, immunisation providers can only provide free flu vaccines to all patients who meet the NIP eligibility criteria, which include: 

  • all children aged 6 months to less than 5 years
  • all people aged 65 years and over
  • all pregnant women 
  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • people with specific medical conditions aged 6 months and over

New education resources website 

The new Health Professional Education Resources website provides education resources across all Services Australia health programs. It includes infographics, eLearning modules, simulations and videos on topics including:  

  • COVID-19 vaccination (COVID-19 MBS items, COVID-19 General Practice Incentives Program)
  • AIR (accessing the AIR, submitting information to the AIR)
  • and many more useful topics

Scholarship available for Authorised Nurse Immuniser Course 

Central and Eastern Sydney PHN is offering registered nurses working in General Practice within the CESPHN region the opportunity to apply for our Authorised Nurse Immuniser Scholarship. This qualification allows an RN to administer vaccines independent of a medical officer as per the NSW Authority.  

CESPHN are offering successful applicants 100% scholarship to this course (valued at $350). If you are interested in applying, ensure you meet eligibility criteria and apply hereApplications close 31 July 2022.

Need to improve booster and winter booster doses  

ATAGI notes that coverage with the first booster and 4th doses (winter booster) of COVID-19 vaccine in those people who are already eligible is suboptimal. Adults aged 65 years or older who have not yet received a winter dose of COVID-19 vaccine should get this as soon as possible.   

Reaching a higher level of coverage of the COVID-19 winter booster dose in older adults, including those aged 50 to 64 years, is likely to reduce the number of COVID-19 related hospitalisations over the coming months. 

Sydney LHD has arranged a number of Pop-Up Vaccination Clinics for July 2022. 

Clinic LocationOpening HoursLast Scheduled Day (may be extended)
Burwood Pop Up Vaccination ClinicBurwood Plaza, 42 Railway Parade, Burwood 9:30am – 5:00pm Thursday – Saturday 30 July 2022 
Leichhardt Pop Up Vaccination ClinicMarketplace Leichhardt, 100/122-138 Flood Street, Leichhardt 9:30am – 5:00pm Friday – Sunday 31 July 2022 
NSW Health Vaccination Centre – Sydney Olympic Park1 Figtree Drive, Sydney Olympic Park 8:00am – 4:00pm Friday – Saturday 30 July 2022 

ATAGI advises that other public health and social measures will have the greatest impact against the surge in infections. This may include increased use of masks, working from home and increasing the use of antiviral treatment in people diagnosed with COVID-19, including in people aged 50 years and above. 

Interval between SARS-CoV-2 infection and re-infection / vaccination  

ATAGI notes there is now a difference between: 

Evidence suggests that BA.4/5 is associated with a higher re-infection rate compared to previous variants, and this is likely to be due to immune evasion. 

The interval between the first booster and the winter booster (4th dose) has been reduced to 3 months (from 4 months) to provide earlier protection from the additional vaccine over the coming winter months. 

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People with disability urged to get booster 

With a new wave of COVID-19 cases continuing to increase across the state, people with disability are encouraged to get the latest COVID-19 vaccine booster dose. COVID-19 booster doses are recommended for anyone 16 years and older who had their last dose of a primary course at least three months ago. 

The COVID-19 vaccine can be taken at the same time as the influenza vaccine, which people with disability are also being urged to take. 

While the free flu vaccination program in NSW ended on 17 July 2022, those considered to be at higher risk of severe illness from influenza remain eligible for a FREE flu vaccine beyond this date, under the National Immunisation program.  

The NSW Government is also providing up to 7.9 million rapid antigen tests (RATs) to people with disability and other vulnerable community members with the program recently expanded to 31 October 2022. 

If your practice would like further support and education around intellectual disability, contact our CESPHN GROW team here

Updated VCF Connect User Guide 

Vaccine Clinic Finder (VCF) Connect allows vaccination providers to self-manage vaccination service information. The user guide provides information about how to get started and use VCF Connect as well as contact details if you need help. Download the new User Guide Version 3.1 – July 2022

Upcoming immunisation webinars 

Supporting GPs to manage influenza and respiratory infections webinar

  • Details: Thursday 21 July 2022 | 7.00pm to 8.30pm AEST
  • Topic: This webinar will focus on the circulating respiratory viruses in current climate, and how general practice can best manage patients with respiratory symptoms to support the community. You will also hear from GPs in our community and how they manage.
  • Register: webinar registration

GP weekly webinar: latest updates on COVID-19 

  • About: primary care update on the COVID-19 response and the vaccine rollout. The panel will provide key updates and answer participants’ questions. GPs and all health professionals are welcome. 
  • Click link to join webinar on Thursday 21 July 2022 at 11:30am (AEST).

Pneumococcal Disease 2022 webinar

  • Details: Wednesday 20 July 2022 | 6.00pm to 7.00pm AEST
  • Topic: the latest facts about pneumococcal disease, currently available vaccines, the NIP and the PneumoSmart Vaccination Tool created to assist GPs, practice nurses, and other Immunisation providers to comply with the Australian Immunisation Handbook recommendations
  • Register: webinar registration

Immunisation news 

Catch up on previous Immunisation Weekly Updates

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