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This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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 – 9 March 2022

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Floods and vaccines

The significant recent flooding across Queensland and New South Wales has impacted some vaccine deliveries. Practices are advised not to book appointments for patients until vaccine delivery has arrived.

General practices should be prepared to respond to flood or weather emergencies. In the past week alone, power outages occurred in the following CESPHN areas: Arncliffe, Bangor, Belfield, Campsie Caringbah, Centennial Park, Croydon Park, Engadine, Menai, Miranda, Paddington, Sutherland, Sylvania, Turrella, Wolli Creek, Woollahra, and Woronora. See Ausgrid website for power outage notifications and planned power outages.

General practices should work with their staff to make sure they are familiar with how to respond to an emergency. Review workforce to plan for staff being unable to attend work due to road closures. Remind staff about how to contact NSW State Emergency Services for help. General practice can replenish their stock of PPE via the CESPHN PPE request form if it is destroyed during a flooding event.

Please click here for further information on floods and vaccine storage distributed by CESPHN to general practices on 8 March 2022. Please click here for further information for pharmacies.

Japanese Encephalitis in NSW

On 7 March 2022, NSW Health confirmed two NSW residents with Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) are currently being treated in hospital. NSW Heath are warning the public to be vigilant and safeguard themselves against mosquito bites. See Media release and Factsheet on Japanese encephalitis.

Flu vaccine update

ATAGI released advice including an update on the influenza vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines to support vaccination providers ahead of the 2022 influenza season. The influenza vaccines can now be co-administered (on the same day) with a COVID-19 vaccine.

Pre-allocation confirmation process for influenza vaccine opened on 7 Mar 2022. Providers must log in to NSW Vaccine Centre portal to approve their pre-allocated order. For more information see CESPHN Influenza website

Vaccine administration errors

New ATAGI guidelines provide advice on the management of a range of possible vaccine administration errors, including when a replacement (repeat) dose is recommended.

With several COVID-19 vaccines available to Australians, there is an increased risk of administration errors. Please ensure that the correct formulation or dosage size is used as recommended for the individual’s age and health status:

  • People aged 12 years and over should receive the Pfizer 12+ formulation (purple-cap).
  • Children aged 5 to 11 years should receive the Pfizer paediatric formulation (orange-cap). This is a smaller dose than the vaccine for people aged 12 years and over.
  • The only COVID-19 vaccine approved for children aged 5 years is the Pfizer paediatric formulation
  • There are currently no COVID-19 vaccines licensed for children aged 4 years and under.
  • The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 to 11 years is half the dose used for the primary course for people 12 years and over but the same as the booster dose for adults. There is no paediatric-specific formulation for the Moderna vaccine.
  • Boosters are only authorised for people aged 16 years and over.

Should my child get a COVID-19 vaccine?

A new tool is now available to help parents make a decision about getting a COVID-19 vaccine for their children aged 5 to 15 years. Through five simple steps, the COVID-19 vaccine Decision aid for children (5 to 15 years) offers information to help parents and carers weigh up the risks and benefits of COVID-19 vaccination for their children.

Healthcare providers are encouraged to use this tool during consultations with patients to support discussions about COVID-19 vaccination in children. See also COVID-19 vaccine Decision aid (16+ years).

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 10 March 2022, 11.30am (AEDT) | Click link to join

Catch up on previous webinars.

Immunisation news

Catch up on previous Immunisation Weekly Updates on the CESPHN Immunisation News & Alerts webpage.