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This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date.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

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ATAGI clinical guidance: Moderna New COVID-19 wave – Are your patients up to date with vaccines?

On 4 November, NSW Health sent a letter to general practitioners, noting that several indicators that show a new COVID-19 wave has begun, and that cases are expected to rise over the coming weeks. See message from Dr Kerry Chant about the predicted COVID-19 wave.

On 8 November, Professor Paul Kelly also released a statement on the increase in COVID-19 cases due to community transmission of a new Omicron variant XBB. The increase in case numbers indicates that this is the start of a new COVID-19 wave in Australia.

How can you support your patients?

General practices are encouraged to ensure patients are fully up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations by:

  • Opportunistic vaccination: for every patient presenting at the practice, ask the question‘Are you up to date with your flu and COVID-19 vaccinations?’. See Ask the question resources: brochurecard
  • Outreach: contact patients who not up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Providers can generate a list of patients by downloading the AIR042A report from the Australian Immunisation Register.

Did you know?

A recommendation by a GP or health professional increases the likelihood of getting a COVID-19 vaccine by more than 60%.

COVID-19 vaccine demand expected to increase – place order now

Having vaccines on hand will provide your practice with the opportunity to vaccinate patients when the opportunity arises.

Practices are reminded to continue to utilise the opportunity to vaccinate patients, if a patient presents and is eligible and requires a COVID-19 vaccine, do not delay, open a vial and vaccinate them.

3 months since first booster? Time for a second booster

second booster (aka fourth dose*) is recommended to be given 3 months after the first booster dose.

*for severely immunocompromised people, this second booster will be a fifth dose as they received 3 primary doses.

Who should get a second booster?

  • 50 years or older – all people
  • 16 years or older – specific population groups:
    • Residents of an aged care or disability care facility
    • People severely immunocompromised
    • People a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness
    • People with a disability.

ATAGI has advised people aged 30 to 49 years old can receive a second booster if they choose.

See summary of ATAGI recommended COVID-19 vaccines and doses (flowchart)

Significant updates to the ATAGI infographic: COVID-19 doses and vaccines

This infographic, updated 7 November, outlines which vaccines and doses are recommended for each age, grouped by:

  • General Population
  • Severely Immunocompromised
  • Special Populations (infants, children, pregnancy, at risk groups)

Previous versions of this infographic should be discarded as the information is out of date.

Expanded access to Japanese Encephalitis vaccine

From Friday 4 November, NSW significantly widened access to free Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine to a broader group of people. Supply of vaccine continues to be constrained in Australia, but people most at risk should get vaccinated with the supply available in NSW. 

JE vaccine is now recommended for people aged two months or older who live or routinely work in 39 LGAs with identified JE risk in the west of NSW who:

  • Spend significant time outdoors (four hours per day), for unavoidable work, recreation, education, or other essential activities, OR
  • Are living in temporary or flood damaged accommodation (e.g. camps, tents, dwellings exposed to the external environment) that place them at increased risk of exposure to mosquitoes, OR
  • Are engaged in the prolonged outdoor recovery efforts (clean up) of stagnant waters following floods

Immunisation Education

Vaccination in pregnancy

  • About: highlight the importance of vaccination in pregnancy and infancy and explore current barriers to delivering best practice care
  • When: Wednesday, 16 November 2022 | 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm
  • Register: Click link to join

COVID-19 response update

  • About: primary care update on the COVID-19 response and the vaccine rollout
  • When: Thursday, 24 November 2022 | 2.00 pm
  • Register: Registration not required – Click link to join.