General practices are seeing an increased number of international travellers returning to Australia who are at risk of rabies infection from contact with animals in a rabies endemic country. Overseas, dogs are the main transmitter of rabies (other animals include bats, monkeys, foxes, cats, raccoons, skunks, jackals and mongooses).
Rabies illness affects the central nervous system and is usually fatal – there is no cure. Disease can be prevented by rapid and thorough cleaning of the wound and by vaccination.
Managing rabies post exposure
GPs should contact the Public Health Unit (PHU) on 1300 066 055 for advice on patients who have been in contact with animals that could transmit rabies – either bitten, scratched by or exposed to infected animals’ saliva through the eyes, nose, mouth or broken skin. Where indicated, the PHU will help to arrange for rabies vaccines and immunoglobulin to be delivered to the GP clinic or hospital.
In some cases, patients may commence post exposure vaccine treatment overseas. Patients are usually provided with a “post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) certificate” which will assist GPs and PHUs to assess the patient and complete the course of treatment where required.
Primary care COVID-19 vaccination sites may choose to transfer COVID-19 vaccines from one participating vaccination site to another. Stock cannot be transferred to a site that is not registered with the Program. All sites must be enabled for the transferred vaccine type and have completed the relevant site declaration in the COVID-19 Vaccine Administrative System (CVAS) before receiving stock.
Transfers must be reported through the Vaccine Stock Management Report via CVAS (by both the receiving and transferring sites) for the National COVID Vaccine Taskforce to track doses.
Moderna Bivalent 18+ rollout
Moderna Bivalent (Blue/Green) is only for use as a booster dose in adults 18 years and over. ATAGI has found Moderna bivalent vaccine showing a small incremental benefit over the original vaccine for Omicron neutralisation.
Moderna bivalent vaccine rollout commence from 10 October 2022. All sites currently participating in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program will be automatically onboarded for Moderna bivalent 18+ blue/green in tranches. CESPHN has sent an email to your practice to advise your assigned tranche and commencement date. Tranche 1 will commence administering the Moderna bivalent vaccine from 10 October 2022, Tranche 2 will commence from 17 October 2022, and Tranche 3 from 24 October 2022.
Sites already administering Moderna do not need to complete another declaration.
Sites new to Moderna vaccination are required to complete the Moderna Site Readiness Declaration – this will be uploaded on CVAS when your site’s ordering window opens.
All sites will receive an ongoing allocation of 100 doses (20 vials) of Moderna bivalent per fortnight. Practices can order between 50 and 100 doses (10 to 20 vials) and can share their stock with another practice who has signed their declaration for Moderna.
Sites can place their first Moderna bivalent order from the date their ordering window opens. Tranche 1 sites can place orders from 17 September 2022, Tranche 2 sites from 24 September 2022, and Tranche 3 sites from 1 October 2022.
All participating sites must have completed the mandatory COVID-19 Training modules relating to the Moderna Bivalent (Blue/Green) vaccine prior to administering. Sites will be advised through the regular Provider Bulletin when we have additional information regarding this module when this module will be released.
The COVID-19 vaccine exemption factsheet has been developed to assist patients to understand what qualifies as a COVID-19 vaccine exemption. There are very few situations where a COVID-19 vaccine may not be safe to use. Medical exemptions can only be granted if there are no suitable alternative COVID-19 vaccines available. For this reason, permanent medical exemptions to COVID-19 vaccination will be rarely required. This factsheet outlines which contraindications qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine exemption, and what qualifies for a temporary COVID-19 vaccine exemption.
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