This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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 – 27 April 2022

20190319 Immunisation Needle Icons 31

Childhood immunisation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have higher rates of some vaccine preventable diseases so extra vaccines (Bexsero for meningococcal B) are available free through the National Immunisation Program.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander routine childhood immunisation campaign was launched on 26 April 2022 to encourage routine childhood immunisations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Order Childhood Immunisation Education Campaign – Indigenous resources by calling 02 6269 1080 or emailing health@nationalmailing.com.au

  • IT0301 Free meningococcal B vaccine – poster
  • IT0300 Vaccinate to protect your baby against meningococcal B – brochure
  • IT0287 Protect your mob – poster
  • IT0286 Protect your mob – brochure

Fluad Quad now available in NSW pharmacies for people aged 65 years and over

For the first time, flu vaccine for those aged 65 years and over (Fluad Quad) will also be available from pharmacies, in addition to GP clinics. While the flu vaccine is free, pharmacies and clinics may charge an administration or consultation fee.

People aged 10 to 64 years can also receive flu vaccines from pharmacies, however these are not funded and must be purchased privately. Some people aged 10 to 64 years can receive a free flu vaccine from their GP clinic if they meet the NIP eligibility criteria:

  • children aged 6 months to <5 years
  • Aboriginal people
  • pregnant women
  • people at higher risk of severe flu illness such as those with diabetes, serious heart, lung, kidney or liver disease, immunosuppression and obesity.

Flu vaccine strongly recommended for children under 5 years

NSW Health urges parents of children aged six months to under five years to book their child in for a free flu vaccine with their GP, as this cohort is at risk of suffering serious illness from influenza. Influenza vaccination is safe and effective, and children aged six months to under five years are eligible for a free vaccine from their GP under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

Dr Vicky Sheppeard said young children are making up a higher proportion of flu cases than two years ago. “This year there is particular concern for those young children aged two and under, who have never lived through a flu season or gained any immunity to the virus.”

In NSW, 10,365 children have received the flu vaccine – see Influenza immunisation data (1 March 2022 to 25 April 2022).

MBS items for co-administration of COVID-19 vaccines and flu vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered (that is, given on the same day) with an influenza vaccine and may be provided to patients during the same attendance.

A vaccine suitability assessment MBS item would be billed for the COVID-19 vaccination. Influenza vaccine services are typically administered with standard MBS attendance items. While a medical practitioner is under no obligation to bulk-bill a patient receiving an influenza vaccination, a patient who also receives a COVID-19 booster vaccination as part of the same occasion of care must be bulk-billed for the MBS COVID-19 vaccine suitability assessment component of the overall service.  See the updated MBS Factsheet

COVID-19 vaccination uptake in children

The uptake of childhood COVID-19 vaccines in the Canterbury-Bankstown, Bayside and George’s River LGAs continues to be below average. Practices in these 3 LGAs are strongly encouraged to promote childhood COVID-19 vaccination and download the AIR42A report to identify all children due for the COVID-19 vaccine. Contact immunisation@cesphn.com.au for assistance.

Why is it recommended to get a COVID-19 booster?

Two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine provide very good protection against severe disease, but a booster dose will ensure the protection from the first two doses is stronger and longer lasting.

Everyone aged 16 years and over is recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.

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 28 April  2022 at 11:30pm (AEDT) | Click link to join

Immunisation news

Catch up on previous Immunisation Weekly Updates.