This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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

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Message from NSW Health

NSW Health thanks providers for their hard work during the COVID-19 vaccination roll out. As the program continues it is crucial to remember the importance of the proper management of all vaccines.

Influenza vaccination

While the peak influenza season has passed, international borders will soon begin to open. Vaccination providers are encouraged to retain any unexpired influenza vaccines to offer patients who have recently returned or intend to travel overseas.

Management of vaccines – Rotate stock and discard expired vaccines

Cold chain management principles should be followed for all vaccines. This includes ensuring the proper management of expired vaccines. Vaccines are sensitive biological substances and can become less effective once expired. It is important to ensure that the expiry dates are regularly checked, and expired vaccines are promptly discarded.

  • Regularly review stock and bring vaccines with the shortest dates to the front of the refrigerator so they are used first.
  • Check the vaccine expiry:
    • When placing vaccine orders
    • At the time of delivery
    • When rotating stock
    • Before administering vaccines
  • Discard all expired vaccines immediately and report them in the NSW State Vaccine Centre online ordering webpage.

For further information refer to:

Updated: NSW Immunisation Schedule

NSW Immunisation Schedule has been updated for October 2021 and is now available on the NSW Health website. The updated Schedule incorporates the extension of the Shingles catch-up program until 31 October 2023.

Routine vaccination remains an essential health service during the pandemic. Vaccination providers should follow up eligible patients who may benefit from the vaccine and may have missed out earlier in the program.

Authorised nurse immuniser course recognition

NCIRS has developed a new resource: Authorised nurse immuniser courses accepted in Australian states and territories. The resource provides information on the states and territories you would be authorised to give vaccines in based on your qualification and is a useful tool when deciding which course to undertake.

TGA approves booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, COMIRNATY

On 27 October 2021, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provisionally approved a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 18 years and older, which means they may receive a booster (third dose) at least six months after the completion of a COVID-19 vaccine primary series. This primary series can be of any of the COVID-19 vaccines registered for use in Australia.

Further advice on the use of boosters will be provided to government shortly by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). Minister Hunt expects that a general population booster program will commence no later than 8 November with original priority groups, including people in aged care and disability care settings, to be offered the option to receive a booster as a priority.

Since 11 October, severely immunocompromised individuals over 12 years have been able to receive a third COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Discussion guide for COVID-19 vaccine medical exemptions

new guide has been developed to support immunisation providers have discussions with patients seeking a medical exemption to a COVID-19 vaccine. This guide is informed by research in vaccine communication, de-escalation and clinical experience. It has conversational tips designed to help the patient consider their options and make a plan and, where necessary, manage any conflict.

COVID-19 Vaccination Training – update 27

Significant updates have occurred in the COVID-19 vaccination training program on Friday 22 October. Immunisation providers are expected to login and view the new information. A summary of the updates can be found in the COVID-19 Training Announcement Board.

Vaccine Clinic Finder now in 15 languages

The Vaccine Clinic Finder (VCF) includes translations in 15 languages aligned with the recently updated advice, ensuring as many people as possible have access to up-to-date information. Multilingual callers can contact Translating and Interpreting Services (TIS National) on 131 450, with priority connection through to the National Coronavirus Helpline. The service supports people with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to access relevant information or obtain assistance with finding vaccine appointments. 

Webinar video now available

Video for NCIRS webinar now available: Weighing up the benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccination: a focus on safety. This webinar was chaired by NCIRS Director Professor Kristine Macartney and was held on Wednesday 13 October 2021. Watch here.

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. Get involved by submitting questions and comments!

Details: Thursday 25 October, 11:30am (AEDT) | Click link to join

Catch up on previous webinars 

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