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In this issue:

  • Pregnancy and influenza vaccination
  • Are you on target? – avoid causing a shoulder injury
  • Childhood immunisation program schedule changes 
  • New functions on the Australian Immunisation Register
  • The second booster DTPa dose is recommended at 4 years of age
  • Refugees and Asylum seekers need catch-up vaccines

Pregnancy and influenza vaccination

Encourage pregnant women to receive pertussis and influenza vaccines. Women are more likely to be vaccinated if their health care provider specifically recommends it. Woman holding pregnant belly

  • If a pregnancy overlaps 2 influenza seasons and the woman has already received influenza vaccine in the prior season, she can also receive the current season vaccine later in pregnancy.
  • An influenza vaccine can be given at any time during the year, not just prior to the influenza season.
Be familiar with the ATAGI clinical advice for immunisation providers regarding maternal vaccination

Are you on target? – avoid causing a shoulder injury

Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) has been described as a rare complication of incorrect vaccine administration causing an immune-mediated inflammatory reaction locally within the shoulder joint.

Avoid causing a shoulder injury related to vaccine administration: Vaccine target

  • ensure you visualise the deltoid from the shoulder to the elbow
  • follow recommended administration techniques
  • aim for the middle of the deltoid
  • do not inject too high (near the acromion process) or too low near the insertion of the deltoid.
Report any suspected cases of SIRVA to SAEFVIC, Victoria’s vaccine safety service, for assessment, management and follow up.

Childhood immunisation program schedule changes

ChildhoodPrevenar®13 is administered at 2 (from 6 weeks), 4 and 12 months of age. Children presenting at 12 months of age until January 2019, receive a 4th dose of Prevenar®13, that is at 2, 4, 6 and 12 months. Medically at risk children always receive Prevenar®13 at 2, 4, 6 and 12 months of age.

A dose of Nimenrix® (meningococcal A,C,W,Y vaccine) is administered at 12 months of age.

A dose of ActHIB® (Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine) will routinely be administered at 18 months of age from January 2019.

Read the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation advice to understand the recent changes to the National Immunisation Program.

New functions on the Australian Immunisation Register


If you're a recognised vaccination provider, you can:

  • view immunisation information immediately after you’ve recorded it
  • view and print an Immunisation History Statement for your patients
  • record a planned immunisation catch up
  • correct any errors for your patient
  • view your patient’s immunisation history
  • record a patient’s overseas vaccinations
  • record an immunisation medical exemption.

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

Children should wait until their 4th birthday to routinely be administered the DTPa-IPV vaccine. 

The first cohort of children to routinely be administered the 18 month dose of DTPa vaccine are now turning 3 years and 11 months of age.

Parents of children about to receive a booster dose (aged 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. This is usually not associated with significant pain or limitation of movement and requires no specific treatment.

Order the free vaccine side effects tear off pad (PH002(PCH) to give to people who have been vaccinated.

Refugees and Asylum seekers need catch-up vaccines

A pilot project in Northwest Melbourne aims to improve immunisation access and coverage for refugees and asylum seekers. 

Findings indicate only 19% of refugees were up to date with immunisations 12 months post settlement.

Providers should assess immunisation for all refugees and asylum seekers. All catch-up vaccines are free for this population regardless of age.

A ‘Clinical Vaccinology Update’ for immunisation providers  Royal Children’s Hospital, Friday 14th September 2018 – ticket sales close 9th September.

Download and display the poster explaining DTPa and dTpa containing vaccine brands and their use for children less than 10 years of age and children from 10 years of age and adults.

View the summary evaluation findings of the Pharmacist-Administered Vaccination Program that commenced in June 2016 allowing appropriately trained pharmacists to administer influenza and pertussis-containing vaccinations to adults.


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