Population Health, including immunisation, is a key priority area of SEMPHN. The following is a quick-reference guide for GPs and Practice Nurses on frequently-used immunisation topics, guidelines, tips and support.
Immunisation and COVID-19
Click here to read more about immunisation service delivery and Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Seasonal influenza 2020
Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications.
Advice for immunisation providers about the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines can be found here.
2020 influenza vaccines
Free influenza vaccinations are available for the following at-risk groups:
- People aged six months to less than five years
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged six months and older
- Pregnant women (at any stage of pregnancy)
- People aged six months and older with medical conditions putting them at increased risk of severe influenza and its complications
- Read the latest immunisation update (30 April 2020) from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
- Information and resources for health professionals
Summary of Government-funded influenza vaccine availability (May 2020)
|Program||Brands funded for this program||Vaccine stock status|
|6 Months to less than 5 years||Vaxigrip Tetra||
|At-risk program - 5 years to less than 65 years||
|65 years and over||Fluad Quad||NOT available|
|Public hospital health care worker||
Ordering processes update:
When ordering more influenza vaccine please count and record all influenza brands currently in the fridge on your order form even if you are not ordering for that age group.
- Please do not resubmit orders
- If there is an outstanding influenza order for your service another order will not be accepted by Onelink until your existing order has been delivered
Supplies of Fluad Quad, influenza vaccine allocated for persons aged 65 years and over has now been exhausted. 1.06 million doses have been distributed for people aged 65 years and over in Victoria. This represents doses available for over 100% of this cohort.
The QIV Fluad Quad (Seqirus) contains an adjuvant and is recommended for people 65 years of age and older over other available QIVs.
If Fluad Quad is unavailable in your clinic and a person is unable to access a dose elsewhere, vaccination with another QIV is preferable to providing no vaccination. In this case, Fluad Quad does not subsequently need to be provided.
Pneumovax 23 – Vaccine shortage
There is currently a national shortage of Government Funded Pneumovax 23® vaccine. Please be aware that orders may not be filled at this time and will not be put on backorder. Please continue to request Pneumovax 23® on your order form and the vaccine will be sent if available.
Immunisation update webinar recordings
On 7 April 2020, SEMPHN hosted a virtual immunisation update for health professionals on Zoom. This webinar was led by Dr Peter Eizenberg.
Topics discussed in Part One:
- how COVID-19 may affect the flu season in 2020
- an overview of the 2020 seasonal influenza program
- adult pneumococcal vaccines, and
- maintaining a cool cold chain.
Topics discussed in Part Two:
- NIP Schedule
- AusVaxSafety reporting via SmartVax
- Immunisation resources and tools
View changes to the National Immunisation Program (July 2020) in this brief overview presentation from SEMPHN. To view you will need to register and the password is 8B?DkK.+)
AIR (Australian Immunisation Register)
The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is a national register that records vaccines given to people of all ages in Australia.
Recording information on the AIR is important because it can be used to:
- determine a person’s immunisation status, regardless of who immunised them
- determine a person’s eligibility for some family assistance payments
- provide an Immunisation History Statement so people can prove their immunisation status for child care, school, employment or travel purposes
- monitor immunisation coverage levels and service delivery, which can help to identify regions at risk during disease outbreaks
- measure vaccination coverage at a local, state and national level
Ph: 1800 653 809 for AIR general enquiries
Ph: 1300 650 039 for AIR internet helpdesk
Immunisation Unit, Department of Health & Human Services, Victorian Government
Ph: 1300 882 008 hours: 9am-12pm and 2-3pm Monday-Friday.
National Immunisation Information Line
Ph: 1800 671 811 Opening hours: 8.30am-5pm
Quick-links – resources and tools
- The Australian Immunisation Handbook - provides clinical guidelines for healthcare professionals and is continually updated.
- National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) – offers a range of resources including factsheets and regular webinars. The NCIRS developed Sharing Knowledge about Immunisation (SKAI), a set of online vaccination communication support tools.
- AusVaxSafety- provides active vaccine safety surveillance and information on vaccine safety for specific population groups.
- Australian Immunisation Register eLearning modules - assist vaccination providers to understand how to access and use AIR, and manually record vaccination encounters.
- The Department of Health Immunisation website includes the Questions about vaccination booklet for parents. There are also short vides, in-depth articles and links to other supporting resources.
- The Immunisation Coalition- is a not for profit organisation that provides the PneumoSmart calculator, fact sheets and webinars.
- The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre- is based at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and can alert clinicians to schedule updates and new guidelines.
- Australian Immunisation Handbook catch up resources- catch up information is continually reviewed, and it is useful to check this resource regularly.
- The Immunisation Calculator for children up to 10 years of age is based on the Australian National Immunisation Program (NIP) for all Australian children prior to their 10th birthday. If vaccine doses are delayed or missed, the calculator can provide a catch-up schedule.
- Immunisation schedule Victoria
- Victorian immunisation catch-up guidelines for 10 years or older
- No Jab, No Pay – New immunisation requirements for Family Assistance Payments
- No Jab, No Play – Information for Immunisation Providers
- Victorian Government immunisation resources - includes information on vaccine orders and stock, adverse events reporting, provider information, vaccination resource ordering and more.
- Cold chain management
- Pharmacist administered vaccination program
Adverse events reporting
For all adverse events reporting, contact Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination In the Community (SAEFVIC)
SAEFVIC Immunisation Hotline:
Ph: 1300 882 924 (choose option 1)
Staff attend the line between 9am and 4pm. You can leave a message at other times.
Catch-up vaccination for migrants to Australia, including refugees and asylum seekers
People who arrive in Australia as a refugee or asylum seeker are not likely to be fully vaccinated. This is due to differences between the Australian immunisation schedule and country of origin schedules. People who are refugees and asylum seekers can be vaccinated so they are up-to-date with the Australian immunisation schedule.
Since 1 July 2017, refugees and other humanitarian entrants have been eligible for free catch-up vaccines on an ongoing basis through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
Find more information here.
- Information sheet for case workers and others working with families from refugee backgrounds, to support them to meet Australian immunisation requirements.
- Royal Children’s Hospital Immigrant Health Service – catch-up-immunisation in refugees
- Vaccination for migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum.
Catch-up immunisation fact-sheets in languages other than English
Hepatitis B vaccination
The following resources have information on Hepatitis B and immunisation, including at-risk groups. Note, on the government ordering form there is an additional risk section to order hepatitis B vaccine for at risk groups.
- Australian Immunisation Handbook – Hepatitis B
- Free Hepatitis B vaccines
- Hepatitis B immunisation
- Refugee Health Factsheet: Hepatitis B screening
- Immunisation for pregnancy
- NCIRS fact sheet on vaccinations during pregnancy
- Pregnant women and their partners - free whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine
MSM & PWID vaccination programs
- In Victoria, free hepatitis B vaccine is provided for men who have sex with men (MSM), people living with HIV and people who inject drugs (PWID).
- All MSM, people living with HIV and people who inject drugs can access the vaccine through GP clinics and other registered immunisation providers in Victoria, including sexual health clinics.
- Important health information for men who have sex with men: a guide for health professionals and immunisation providers - factsheet
- Important health information for people who inject drugs: a guide for health professionals and immunisation providers
A single dose of shingles vaccine is recommended and funded for adults at 70 years of age. Adults 71-79 years of age are also eligible under a five-year catch up program until 31 October 2021.
Zostavax® contains live attenuated varicella-zoster virus and is contraindicated in immunocompromised people. Use the Zostavax – GP Decision Aid to identify patients who may be contra-indicated for the vaccine.
Find more information here.
The Australian Government Department of Health has a range of human papillomavirus educational and vaccine related resources developed for health care providers, parents and students. The resources include videos, a personal story, brochure and fact sheets.
Clinical advice for GPs on Gardasil®9 can be found here
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South Eastern Melbourne PHN acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land our catchment covers, the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people. We pay respect to them, their culture and their Elders past, present and future, and uphold their relationship to this land.
While the Australian Government Department of Health has contributed to the funding of this website, the information on this website does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.