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In this issue:

  • Meningococcal ACWY vaccine to be added to National Immunisation Program at 12 months of age
  • Eligibility for free government supplied vaccination
  • Gardasil 9® Year 7 secondary school vaccine program
  • The second booster DTPa dose is recommended at 4 years of age
  • Free shingles vaccine – who is eligible?
  • Four free vaccination programs for men who have sex with men
  • No Jab, No Play legislation change

Meningococcal ACWY vaccine to be added to National Immunisation Program at 12 months of age

The Australian government will add the quadrivalent meningococcal ACWY (Nimenrix®) vaccine to the National Immunisation Program in the second half of this year for babies at 12 months of age.

In March 2018, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee will consider the listing of a Meningococcal ACWY vaccine for adolescents.

Read the media release


Eligibility for free government supplied vaccination

Infants, children, adolescents, adults and special risk groups are eligible to receive some vaccines for free under the National Immunisation Program (NIP). 

All individuals aged 10 to 19 years and refugees and humanitarian entrants aged 20 years and over are eligible to receive free catch-up vaccinations through an expansion to the NIP. The Victorian Government also funds the provision of some vaccines that are not included on the NIP. 

Download and review the latest Immunisation schedule Victoria and Eligibility criteria for free vaccine

Remember to report all vaccines given to people of all ages to the Australian Immunisation Register


Gardasil 9® vaccine — eligibility for free vaccine

Gardasil 9®, is a 2 dose course administered a minimum 6 months apart for Year 7 secondary school students (or ages 12 to 13 years in the community). Gardasil 9 vaccine

Immunocompromised people require 3 doses (0, 2 and 6 months) for adequate protection. 

Catch-up with Gardasil 9® can be used to complete a schedule started with Gardasil® or Cervarix® for people less than 20 years of age or age eligible vulnerable people.

Read the ATAGI clinical advice about Gardasil 9® for dose and age recommendations and catch-up guidance.

HPV vaccine resources for providers and parents, including an educational video and brochure for parents are available on the Australian government immunisation web site.


The second booster DTPa dose is recommended at 4 years of age

The second booster DTPa dose (dose 5), usually provided as DTPa-IPV, is recommended at 4 years of age. This second booster dose is essential to maximise pertussis immunity during childhood as waning occurs progressively with age.

The second booster DTPa

Parents of children about to receive a booster dose (18 months and 4 years) of a DTPa-containing vaccine, should be informed of the small but well-defined risk of extensive limb swelling and redness which is usually not associated with significant pain or limitation of movement and requires no specific treatment.

Report an adverse event such as an extensive limb swelling after vaccination to SAEFVIC, Victoria’s vaccine safety service

Free shingles vaccine - who is eligible?

Zostavax® vaccine is free for people aged 70 years plus currently a 5 year catch-up program for people aged 71 – 79 years. 

Actively target the 70 to 79 year old age cohort for Zostavax®. Check the Australian Immunisation Register and clinic records first to confirm that the patient has not already had a previous dose.Shingles 

Confidently identify patients who may be contra-indicated for shingles vaccine by using the Zostavax® GP Decision Aid. 


Four free vaccination programs for men who have sex with men

New, time-limited, free vaccination program for men who have sex with men (MSM) and people who inject drugs, to help combat an outbreak of hepatitis A. Read the Chief Health officer Alert which includes specific information for immunisation providers at the end of the alert. 

Time to immunise

Order the vaccines for eligible MSM from the routine Government vaccine order form.


No Jab, No Play legislation change

On 27 February 2018, the ‘No Jab, No Play’ legislation was amended to make an Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), the only form of documentation accepted for the purposes of confirming enrolment for a child in an early childhood education and care service. No Jab, No Play

GPs and local council immunisation providers need to encourage timely childhood vaccination and provide timely and accurate reporting to the AIR. 

The VaxOnTime app reminds parents and carers when immunisations for their children are due. This free app is available on iOS, Android and Windows mobile phones.

Read the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation statement on the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2018

The Victorian government announced a free influenza vaccine program for all Victorian children aged six months to under 5 years of age from this year

16th National Immunisation Conference 2018– call for abstracts and save the date

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