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Immunisation newsletter – May 2017

In this issue:

  • Can I give zoster vaccine on the same day as other vaccines?
  • Hepatitis B Vaccine available for Aboriginal Victorians
  • Free influenza vaccine for Aboriginal children and adults
  • Meningococcal vaccines for Australians: Information for providers, NCIRS factsheet
  • Administering multiple vaccine injections at the same visit
  • Vaccinations during pregnancy
  • Confused by DTPa and dTpa containing vaccines?
Links to further reading

Can I give zoster vaccine on the same day as other vaccines?

Vaccine formsZostavax can be given on the same day as all inactivated (e.g. pneumomoccal and influenza vaccines) or live viral vaccines. If zoster vaccine is not given on the same day as other live viral vaccines (e.g. MMR, yellow fever), separate administration by four weeks.

When more than one vaccine has been given on the same day, document which limb received each vaccine in the event of a localised vaccine reaction.

Order and use the pre-immunisation checklist pad (PH001) to identify vaccine contraindications and vaccine side effects pad (PH002) to identify vaccine administration into each limb.

Order immunisation resources

Zoster vaccine FAQ


Free Hepatitis B vaccine available for Aboriginal Victorians

Aboriginal Victorians experience disproportionately higher rates of hepatitis B than non-Aboriginal Victorians. To address this, the Victorian Government provides free hepatitis B vaccination to all Aboriginal Victorians, with no restriction. This provision is in addition to the free vaccine available to the household contacts of people living with hepatitis B, people living with hepatitis C, injecting drug users and people who are on opioid substitution therapy, gay and bisexual men, people who are living with HIV and prisoners.

Read further information about hepatitis B

Order the hepatitis B vaccine for this vulnerable at risk group


Free influenza vaccine for Aboriginal children and adults

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged six months to five years, and adolescents/adults aged 15 years and over, are eligible for free flu vaccine under the National Immunisation Program.

Please remember to check the Aboriginal identification status of all clients to ensure eligible children and adults can receive vaccine.

Order the influenza vaccine for Aboriginal children and adults from the government funded vaccine order form

Seasonal influenza vaccines available for use in Australia in 2017 by age

Influenza fact sheet – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people


Meningococcal vaccines for Australians: Information for providers, NCIRS factsheet

Child with meningococcal wMeningococcal disease is a rare but serious infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. There are 13 serogroups; those that most commonly cause disease are A, B, C, W and Y.

The incidence of invasive meningococcal disease (IMD) fluctuates naturally over time. The national notification rate declined from 2002 to 2013, but has increased since 2014. Serogroup B disease has been dominant until recently, but has been naturally declining even in the absence of widespread vaccination against this serogroup. There has been a recent increase in serogroup W disease since 2013; this is now the main serogroup causing meningococcal disease (44.5% of cases with identified serogroup) in Australia in 2016.

Meningococcal vaccines factsheet

Summary of cases of vaccine preventable diseases in Victoria for each of the past four weeks; total and rate for the previous 12 months; the year to date for the current and previous three years and; annual total for the previous three years. Read the summary.


Administering multiple vaccine injections at the same visit

Four vaccine syringes standing upWhen sequentially administering multiple vaccines to children, give the most painful vaccine last (e.g. pneumococcal conjugate vaccine). Evidence suggests that this may decrease the overall pain response.

Adults can also receive multiple vaccines on the same day such as prior to travel. Separate vaccines given in the same limb by 2.5 cm.

The vaccine side effects pad should be used for the patient so if a local adverse event occurs, the implicated vaccine(s) can be identified.

Report all vaccines to the Australian Immunisation Register


Confused by DTPa and dTpa containing vaccines?

Boostrix packagingAvoid confusion and vaccine errors using diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis containing vaccines. Childhood combination vaccines (recommended for use in those less than 10 years of age) should not be used for adults as their antigen content differs and there may be an increased risk of adverse event(s), such as injection site reactions. The childhood combination vaccines are not registered for use in children aged 10 years and over, adolescents or adults.

Download a poster with images and information about DTPa and dTpa containing vaccines and their use for children aged less than 10 years and from 10 years of age to adulthood.

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