Immunisation

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

More information


Summary of Government-funded influenza vaccine availability (May 2020)

ProgramBrands funded for this programVaccine stock status
6 Months to less than 5 years Vaxigrip Tetra

Limited 

At-risk program - 5 years to less than 65 years
  • Afluria Quad
  • Fluarix-Tetra
  • FluQuadri

Limited

65 years and over Fluad Quad NOT available
Public hospital health care worker
  • Afluria Quad
  • FluQuadri

Low

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 

Fluad Quad 

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.  

Source: 2020 National Immunisation Program influenza vaccines – reference guide for vaccination providers 

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
  • Measles
  • AusVaxSafety reporting via SmartVax
  • Immunisation resources and tools

Click here to view Part One (approx. 70 minutes) | Click here to view Part Two (approx. 40 minutes)


Phone support

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. 

EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

National Immunisation Information Line

Ph: 1800 671 811 Opening hours: 8.30am-5pm


Quick-links – resources and tools


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.

More information


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.


Pregnancy


MSM & PWID vaccination programs


Zostavax

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.


Gardasil®9

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 


Keep an eye on the SEMPHN events calendar for immunisation events, and subscribe to the SEMPHN's Network News for other updates.


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