In this issue:
- National Immunisation Program (NIP) childhood schedule changes from 1 July 2018
- Victorian weekly influenza reports
- Seasonal flu vaccine supply 2018
- Pneumococcal vaccine recommendations for adults
- Upper age limits for dosing of Rotarix® vaccine
- Maternal vaccination through the National Immunisation Program
Changes to the childhood immunisation schedule have been designed to improve protection against meningococcal, pneumococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type b diseases including:
Infant pneumococcal vaccination (Prevenar 13®) will now be given at age 2 months (from 6 weeks), 4 and 12 months instead of at 2 months (from 6 weeks), 4 and 6 months.
- Children at a higher risk will continue to receive this vaccine at age 2 months (from 6 weeks), 4, 6 and 12 months as recommended prior to this change.
- The combined meningococcal C conjugate-Haemophilus influenzae type b (Menitorix®) vaccine which was scheduled at age 12 months will no longer be given. Instead, it will be replaced by 2 vaccines:
- A dose of meningococcal ACWY conjugate vaccine (Nimenrix®) given at age 12 months.
- A dose of monovalent Haemophilus influenzae type b (ActHIB®) vaccine given at age 18 months – this is the 4th Hib- containing vaccine in the NIP schedule and serves as a booster dose.
The changes are being implemented following recommendations from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and other clinical experts.
Updated Victorian resources
Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre NIP schedule changes 1 July 2018 - FAQ's
During Victoria's annual influenza season (typically April to October), the department has commenced issuing weekly reports on influenza activity across the state.
The reports make use of a range of indicators and surveillance systems to monitor the magnitude (size), severity and spread of the influenza season. Respiratory outbreaks and hospitalisations and a snapshot of regional influenza are also included in the report.
Reports will be issued on Tuesdays. The first report was made available on 29 May 2018.
Access the current report
Australia and Victoria are experiencing an unprecedented demand for influenza vaccines this year across the public and private market. The department is rationing the distribution of influenza vaccine to ensure incoming stock can be carefully matched against need.
Pneumococcal vaccine is provided free on the National Immunisation Program schedule for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders (ATSI) from 50 years of age or from 65 years for non ATSI. The dosage recommendations, age and vaccine brands depend on whether the adult is healthy, in the increased risk category for disease or the highest risk category.
Access this simple table to easily identify what vaccine(s) to give a healthy or medically at risk adult and know if they are recommended further doses.
The upper age limit for receipt of the 1st dose of Rotarix® is immediately prior to turning 15 weeks old, and the upper age limit for receipt of the 2nd dose is immediately prior to turning 25 weeks old.
The vaccination course of Rotarix® consists of 2 doses, at 2 and 4 months of age. The 1st dose should be given between 6 and 14 weeks of age (i.e. prior to turning 15 weeks old), and the 2nd dose should be given by 24 weeks of age (i.e. prior to turning 25 weeks old). The interval between the 2 doses should not be less than 4 weeks.
Vaccination is the best way for pregnant women to protect themselves and their babies from whooping cough and influenza.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has provided advice for immunisation providers regarding vaccination for pregnant women.
The maternal whooping cough vaccine will now be provided under the NIP. The Victorian Government will continue to fund the Victorian partner whooping cough immunisation program.
ATAGI’s clinical advice on maternal vaccination in full
ATAGI clinical advice on the use of Gardasil®9 vaccine including recommendations and catch-up to complete an HPV schedule.
Live zoster vaccination in an immunocompromised patient leading to death secondary to disseminated varicella zoster virus infection.
Presentations from 16th National Immunisation Conference 2018, Immunisation for all: Gains, gaps and goals