ATAGI has made recommendations on a “winter booster dose” of COVID-19 vaccine for selected population groups who are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19:
Adults aged 65 years and older
Residents of aged care or disability care facilities
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older.
People aged 16 years and older with severe immunocompromise
The winter booster dose can be given from 4 months after a person’s first booster dose, or from 4 months after a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (if infection occurred after the person’s first booster dose). The winter booster can be provided at the same time as the annual flu vaccine.
‘Hey EVA’ – book your COVID-19 vaccination appointment
Easy Vaccine Access (EVA) is a simple callback service to help people book a COVID-19 vaccine. If patients need help making a COVID-19 vaccine booking, SMS ‘Hey EVA’ to 0481 611 382. An agent from the National Coronavirus Helpline will call to help patients book their appointment in their preferred language.
If patients are concerned about their COVID-19 symptoms and they don’t speak English, advise them to call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 and select ‘option 8’ for free interpreting assistance.
Flu vaccine deliveries
Influenza vaccine deliveries commenced on 28 March 2022 to practices that have confirmed their pre-allocation on the NSW Vaccine Centre
The first order may be delivered over a couple of deliveries. It can take up to 4 weeks for all pre-allocated orders to be delivered.
Vaccine deliveries are processed according to the date the pre-allocation was confirmed.
Subsequent orders and delivery
Once a complete order of influenza vaccines has been received and the provider has confirmed receipt, a subsequent order can be placed (if required).
Providers who do not approve their pre-allocated order in time before 28 March, can place an online order through the usual process once online ordering opens (only online orders will be accepted).
Patients not eligible for a NIP funded flu vaccine should be offered a privately funded flu vaccine
2022 influenza vaccination resources now available
The 2022 influenza vaccination resource collection is now available. These resources include a range of clinical and program support material about getting vaccinated against influenza in 2022. Hardcopy resources and advice are being posted and should arrive in General Practices by mid-April.
Influenza program 2022 key messages:
2022 influenza vaccines on the NIP will become available from 4 April through a range of providers including GPs, community health clinics and eligible pharmacies
The public are encouraged to start to book their appointments from mid-April to ensure the best protection at the peak of the season which is usually between June and September.
Influenza vaccines can be safely co-administered with COVID-19 vaccines.
Influenza vaccination is particularly important this year. With the easing of international and domestic public health measures arising from the COVID-19 global pandemic, a resurgence of influenza is expected in 2022.
NSW Health is also offering catch-up vaccination during 2022 to students who missed out in 2020 and 2021. Alternatively, parents can attend their GP for free catch-up vaccine for their child up until 19 years of age.
ATAGI has advised that there are no minimum intervals between:
COVID-19 vaccination and other routine vaccinations
COVID-19 infection and vaccination against other diseases, as long as the individual has recovered from their COVID-19 infection
COVID-19 vaccination coverage in children
On 24 March, NSW Health reported the death of a two-month-old infant who had no underlying health conditions. The death was first publicly reported in January and it was determined this week the infant died due to COVID-19 infection. The infant was infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19, as was a two-year-old child from Sydney whose death due to COVID-19 was reported on 21 March this week.
Practices, particularly in the Canterbury-Bankstown and Bayside LGAs, are strongly encouraged to download the AIR42A report to identify all children due for the COVID-19 vaccine. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Webinar – NCIRS Influenza and SARS-CoV-2 in winter 2022
NCIRS’s annual influenza webinar will be held on Monday 5 April 2022 at 12.00 pm – 1.30 pm AEST. Register now to find out what you need to know to be prepared for influenza and COVID-19 vaccination in 2022.
the 2022 influenza vaccination program, including administration of influenza vaccines with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters
influenza vaccination recommendations across the life-span, including for pregnant women, infants and children, and the elderly
considerations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities and more…
‘It’s worth the shot’ – online training package
‘It’s worth the shot’ is a free online training package to support GPs, practice nurses and pharmacists to conduct opportunistic conversations with patients who feel reluctant to vaccinate, or are complacent about having booster shots.This package is based on the growing body of research that shows that COVID-19 vaccination trust is best built through ‘sharing and caring’, rather than ‘telling and selling’.
The training package includes a training video and role-play, and tip sheets individualised for GPs, practice nurses and pharmacists. It also includes two sets of illustrated story cards to use as engaging visual aids to stimulate conversations about feelings of hesitancy towards vaccination.
New COVID-19 resources
COVID-19 vaccine QR codes This is a A4 poster for vaccine providers to print and display, assisting patients who would like further information on types of vaccines.
ATAGI immunocompromise provider guide: Severely immunocompromised people aged 16 years and older are recommended to receive an additional winter booster dose, from 4 months after their first booster dose.
ATAGI severely immunocompromised recommendations: People aged 16 years and older who received a 3-dose primary course due to severe immunocompromise and a booster (4th) dose are now recommended to receive an additional winter booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine, from 4 months after their first booster.
ATAGI booster dose recommendations: Information on additional booster doses to increase vaccine protection for winter for high risk groups has been included.
Patient consent form: Additional booster doses are also available for specified people from 4 months after the first booster
COVID-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme FAQs: This document outlines the frequently asked questions of COVID-19 vaccines claims scheme to reimburse people who suffer a moderate to significant impact following an adverse reaction to an approved COVID-19 vaccine.
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.
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