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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This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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 – 8 June 2022

20190319 Immunisation Needle Icons 31

Free flu vaccine in June for all NSW residents

Free flu vaccinations will be available to all NSW residents from 1 June 2022 to 30 June 2022. People aged 6+ months will be able to access free flu vaccine from general practices. See the NSW Heath factsheet for general practice with information on the “NSW free flu vaccine in June” program.

Where can practices order flu vaccines for the “NSW free flu vaccine in June” program from?

Nsw Free Flu Vaccine In June

GPs will be able to obtain FluQuadri vaccine to vaccinate all NSW residents aged 5 years to 64 years under this program. These vaccines are funded by the NSW State government and can be ordered from State Vaccine Centre under “Adult influenza vaccine state funded”.  

Should the National Immunisation Program (NIP) funded vaccines be used for the “NSW free flu vaccine in June” program?

For people aged 5 years to 64 years, the NIP flu vaccines (VaxigripFluarix and Afluria) are only funded for people who meet the NIP eligibility criteria. These vaccines are funded by the Commonwealth government and can be ordered from State Vaccine Centre under Adult influenza vaccine”. GPs should continue to prioritise NIP supplies for NIP eligible patients.

What should practices do with privateley purchased flu vaccines?

General practices can use privately purchased flu vaccines for the NSW free flu vaccine in June” program. Practices will be able to submit a declaration form at the conclusion of the program (30 June 2022) to seek remuneration for the purchase cost of quantities administered during the month of June. The declaration form is in development and will be circulated early June – check CESPHN | Influenza website for updated information.

Are non-Medicare patients eligible for a free flu vaccine under this program?

Yes. People without a Medicare card can access the flu vaccination at no cost from pharmacies. From general practice, the flu vaccine will be free however clinics may charge a consultation fee.

Is it safe to get the influenza and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time?

June 22 Imm Update 2

Zostavax supply issues

NSW Health has been advised of a national shortage of Zostavax vaccine, following an unanticipated increase in demand. Ordering of this vaccine will be suspended temporarily until additional stocks have been received. Practices should contact their Public Health Unit regarding issues for further information if required:

Whooping cough vaccine can be safety co-administered with flu and COVID-19 vaccine in pregnancy

The whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine is free for all pregnant women through the National Immunisation Program. Vaccination is recommended as a single dose between 20 and 32 weeks in each pregnancy. This patient brochure has been updated to include advice that whooping cough vaccine can be safely given at the same time as an influenza and/or COVID-19 vaccine.

Japanese encephalitis virus – Health professionals Kit

The Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) health professionals kit includes information for stakeholders about the current Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) outbreak. It contains key information about symptoms, transmission and vaccination against JEV.

The ATAGI and CDNA advice on JEV vaccines can be found on the Department of Health website. There are 2 JEV vaccines are registered for use in Australia:

  • Imojev is a live attenuated vaccine given as a single dose and is recommended for use in people aged 9 months and over. Imojev is not suitablefor immunocompromised people, pregnant people, or infants aged less than 9 months.
  • JEspect is an inactivated vaccine given as 2 doses 28 days apart and is recommended for use in people aged 2 months and over. Doses can be administered 7 days apart in adults if they are at risk of immediate exposure to the virus.

Reminder for patients: Get ready for winter

This year Australia will be managing COVID-19 and an influenza season for the first time. As we move into the winter 2022 season it is increasingly important that people protect themselves from both COVID-19 and influenza:

  • If it has been more than 6 months since the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the individual is no longer considered to have an ‘up to date’ COVID-19 vaccination status.
  • This poster explains that to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination, an individual must have had all the doses recommended for their age and health needs.
  • This poster explains that winter often brings more infections from respiratory viruses, like influenza and COVID-19, which is why it’s important to stay up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccinations and also get a flu vaccine.

mRNA COVID-19 vaccines can be used until the end of the day on the thaw use-by date

Immunisation providers are reminded that thawed mRNA vaccines can be used until the end of the day on the thaw use-by date. Vaccination site are encouraged to use the COVID-19 vaccine Expiry Calculator  to determine thaw use-by date. Thaw use-by date is summarised on the COVID-19 comparison chart and is defined as:

  • 30 days after the thaw date for Moderna vaccine
  • 31 days after the thaw date for Pfizer 12+ years vaccine
  • 70 days after the thaw date for Pfizer 5-11 years vaccine

Webinars

COVID-19 live stream update for GPs

  • COVID-19 vaccine live stream for GPs – key updates and live Q&A
  • Details: Thursday 9 June 2022 at 11:30am (AEDT)
  • Click link to join

Immunisation news

Catch up on previous Immunisation Weekly Updates.