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Immunisation newsletter – April 2017

In this issue:

  • 2017 seasonal influenza vaccine program
  • Influenza vaccine brands and their use by age recommendation
  • Recommended needle size, length and angle for administering vaccines
  • Report all vaccines to the Australian Immunisation Register
  • Pharmacist immunisers
  • Immunocompromised persons - Zostavax™ contraindicated
Links to further reading

2017 seasonal influenza vaccine program

Woman standing with small childProviders should offer influenza vaccination throughout the influenza season. When considering when to vaccinate patients, please take note of the special needs of pregnant women (who should receive the vaccine at any stage during pregnancy) and young children 6 months to 9 years of age (who require 2 doses in the first year they receive the vaccine).

The influenza chapter of The Australian Immunisation Handbook was updated in March 2017.

Check your influenza vaccine pre-allocation.

View ATAGI advice


Report all vaccines to the Australian Immunisation Register

The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) is a national register that records details of vaccinations given to people of all ages living in Australia. Recognised vaccination providers send immunisation details of their patients to the AIR. Data should be transferred directly from the Practice Management Software (PMS) to the AIR. Download the latest version of the PMS and check with the software vendor if there are difficulties accessing the AIR.

Take the Australian Immunisation Register eLearning module-check your knowledge.

Visit the  Australian Immunisation Register.


Influenza vaccine brands and their use by age recommendation

Women holding childThe Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation provide advice regarding the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines. When vaccinating children, be sure to refer to Table 1. Seasonal influenza vaccines available for use in 2017 by registered age group.

Note: FluQuadri Junior is registered for 6 months to 35 months. Afluria Quad is registered for 18 years of age and over.

View ATAGI advice

See Recommended doses of influenza vaccine.


Recommended needle size, length and angle for administering vaccines

Elderly woman being vaccinated female doctorMinimise local adverse events and enhance the immunogenicity of vaccination by ensuring vaccine is administered according to the recommendations in The Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Very large or obese patients should have influenza vaccine administered intramuscularly by using a needle 38 mm in length.

View needle recomendations


Pharmacist immunisers

Man immunising a womanIn Victoria, Pharmacist Immunisers are authorised to administer influenza vaccines to adults aged 18 years and over. In addition they can administer pertussis –containing vaccines to adults aged 18 years and over. 

View immunisers in Victoria

Read Victorian Pharmacist-Administered Vaccination Program Guidelines


Immunocompromised persons - Zostavax™ contraindicated

Man's back with shingle soresZostavax™ is a live attenuated varicella-zoster virus vaccine. It is contraindicated in people with significant immunocompromise due to either a primary or acquired medical condition, or due to medical treatment. Routinely complete a pre-immunisation check to ensure the patient has no contraindication to vaccination.

Read Zoster vaccine FAQ

Read Important information on Zostavax and individuals who are immunocompromised

Order and use the pre-immunisation checklist pad (PH001) with every encounter to identify vaccine contraindications


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