health.vic logo Victorian Government Logo

Immunisation newsletter – March 2017

In this issue:

- 2017 seasonal influenza vaccine program 
- Immunisation for special risk groups
- Immunocompromise – a Zostavax™ contraindication
- Meningococcal W vaccine - free school-based program
- Vaccine cold chain breach management
- Immunisation Calculator – planning catch-up vaccines

Links to further reading

2017 seasonal influenza vaccine program

Elderly woman being vaccinated female doctorAnnual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications. Recent evidence suggests protection against influenza may start to decrease from 3 to 4 months following vaccination and early vaccination needs to be balanced with this.

While influenza continues to circulate, it is never too late to vaccinate. The quadrivalent influenza vaccine is pre-allocated to all medical clinics in early April. Top-up vaccine can be ordered on receipt of your pre-allocation.

For advice for immunisation providers regarding the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2017, Visit Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) 

Read the updated Influenza chapter of The Australian Immunisation Handbook, 10th Edition (6 March 2017)

Immunisation for special risk groups

Women holding childIn Victoria special risk groups are eligible to receive some vaccines for free: vulnerable people, children in out-of-home care, medically at-risk people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and refugees and asylum seekers (regardless of Medicare status).

See Information and fact sheets to assist immunisation providers to meet the vaccination needs of special risk groups.

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.

Report any unexpected or significant adverse event following  immunisation to the Victorian vaccine safety service, SAEFVIC.

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


Meningococcal W vaccine - free school-based program

Child with meningococcal wSince 2014, there has been an increase in the number of notifications of Invasive Meningococcal Disease due to Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W (also known as serogroup W135) in Victoria.

A one year free school-based vaccination program for Meningococcal W for 15 to 19 year olds will commence in Term Two of the 2017 school year.

Read the update: Increase in Meningococcal W disease in Victoria

Vaccine cold chain breach management

Vaccine fridge posterAll immunisation providers should follow the principles of safe vaccine storage management to ensure that clients receive effective and potent vaccines. The principles are contained in the National vaccine storage guidelines: strive for 5.

Visit Cold chain management

See Table 3 for the number of notified cold chain breaches in Victoria between 2007 to 2016

Immunisation Calculator – planning catch-up vaccines

The Immunisation Calculator is based on the Australian National Immunisation Program for all Australian children prior to their 10th birthday. 

If vaccine doses are delayed or missed, the Calculator can provide a catch-up schedule.

Save time and use the Immunisation Calculator



Follow us on Twitter  @vicgovdhhs

Get the latest health news and updates

Connect with us

Twitter Facebook YouTube RSS
© Copyright State of Victoria