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Immunisation newsletter - August 2017

In this issue

  • National Immunisation Program – Expansion
  • Who is eligible for free vaccine?
  • Offer free Meningococcal ACWY vaccine to 15-19 year olds
  • Preterm infant immunisation
  • Birth dose hepatitis B vaccine brands
  • Rotarix® vaccine replaces RotaTeq® vaccine

National Immunisation Program – Expansion

Immunisation poster catch up on your free vaccines nowThe National Immunisation Program has expanded to provide free catch-up vaccines for all individuals aged less than 20 years, and refugees and humanitarian entrants aged 20 years and over from 1 July 2017.


Download the vaccination provider factsheets for further advice and order the consumer poster and flyer

Download the new Government vaccine order form

Confused by DTP or dTp containing vaccines? Information about DTPa and dTpa containing vaccines and their use for children less than 10 years of age, and children from 10 years of age and adults. Read the factsheet.

Remember to display the updated poster.

Who is eligible for free vaccine?

Needles and cotton swabs in a dishInfants, children, adolescents, adults and special risk groups are eligible to receive some vaccines for free under the National Immunisation Program (NIP). The Victorian Government also funds the provision of some vaccines not included on the NIP. Catch-up vaccines can be given following a clinical assessment made by an immunisation provider based on the individual risk for the person.

View and download the eligibility criteria for free vaccines fact sheet

View and download the updated Victorian immunisation schedule and the enhanced schedule for additional information.

Offer free Meningococcal ACWY vaccine to 15-19 year olds

Free vaccine posterGPs in Victoria are encouraged to offer free Meningococcal A,C,W,Y vaccine, Menactra®, to people aged 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 years between 18 April 2017 - 31 December 2017.

A single dose of Menactra® provides protection against A,C,W,Y strains and will boost adolescents' protection from the C strain vaccine they likely received as a baby.

A person who received a dose of polysaccharide quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (Menomune® or Mencevax®) more than six months ago, can receive Menactra® vaccine, the conjugate quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine, for long term protection.

Local councils are delivering the vaccine in all secondary schools, GPs can vaccinate eligible young people who are not in school or are absent on the day of vaccination.

Add Menactra® vaccine when placing your next vaccine order.


Download translated meningococcal A,C,W,Y vaccine consent information for parents of secondary school students

Posters to promote the Meningococcal vaccine program for young people are being mailed to immunisation providers - order extra posters.

Preterm infant immunisation

Premature, particularly extreme prematurity (<28 weeks gestation) and low birth weight infants (<2000 grams) often have associated chronic (special risk) medical conditions. This can be associated with prolonged hospitalisation and frequent clinic visits.

These are some of the reasons premature infants are at a greater risk of vaccine preventable diseases and their complications. Preterm infants may also not respond as well to some vaccines (e.g. Hepatitis B).

Order Immunisation medical risk factor stickers - PH5017 (PCH) to put in the My Health and Development Record (green booklet) to remind the GP, nurse and family that additional vaccines are required at certain ages.

Birth dose hepatitis B vaccine brands

Baby lying in cotEngerix B Paediatric® or H-B-Vax II Paediatric® are now supplied for the birth dose of the hepatitis B vaccine. The Engerix-B and the H-B-Vax II vaccines are manufactured by different processes and the HBsAg content of these two vaccines is different however they are considered ‘equivalent’ doses. for infants at birth.

Review 4.5.4 Vaccines in the Hepatitis B chapter in the Australian immunisation handbook.

Rotarix® vaccine replaces RotaTeq® vaccine

Rotarix packagingRotarix® vaccine is now replacing RotaTeq® vaccine. Only 2 doses of Rotarix® vaccine are required at 2 months (from 6 weeks) and 4 months of age. During the brand switch period, some infants may potentially receive fewer rotavirus doses than routinely scheduled when using the RotaTeq® brand.

The specific recommendations will vary depending on the age of the child, rotavirus vaccination history and the vaccine brand in the fridge.

For information related to the use of Rotarix, and for additional support materials (about Rotarix and the transition from RotaTeq to Rotarix), please contact GSK on (03) 413 7665.

Read how to use rotavirus vaccines during the brand switch period



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