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In this issue:

  • Free MMR vaccine catch-up program for adults
  • Eligibility for free influenza vaccination in 2019 - keep vaccinating
  • Promote meningococcal ACWY vaccine for adolescents aged 15 to 19 years
  • Free hepatitis A vaccine ceasing 30 June 2019
  • New - Vaccination reminders with MCH app
  • Pharmacy acquired vaccine and the cold chain
  • One or two influenza vaccine doses for children?

Free MMR vaccine catch-up program for adults

There is a measles outbreak and overseas travellers with only one measles-containing vaccine are now regularly introducing measles into Victoria.

There is a good chance that your patient in their late twenties to early fifties has only received one dose of measles-containing vaccine and may not be fully protected. Please offer the free MMR vaccine from the Government (Priorix or MMR-II) now to any patient without evidence of two documented doses of valid MMR vaccine or without serological evidence of immunity. There is no need to test first. Do not delay, especially if your patient is travelling. 

Order stock now from the Department as part of this free MMR vaccine catch-up campaign. Please consider bulk-billing your patient and don’t forget to report all MMR vaccine doses administered to the Australian Immunisation Register. 

Order MMR vaccine using the Victorian Government vaccine order form

Eligibility for free influenza vaccination in 2019 - keep vaccinating

People eligible for free influenza vaccine:

  • All children aged 6 months to less than 5 years - Victorian government funded
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged from 6 months
  • All adults aged 65 years and over
  • All people aged 6 months who have certain medical conditions which increase the risk of influenza disease complications; for example, severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes
  • Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy).

It takes about five working days for a vaccine delivery during the 'flu' season so plan orders to avoid running out of stock.


Promote meningococcal ACWY vaccine for adolescents aged 15 to 19 years

The vaccine is free through the National Immunisation Program to:

  • Year 10 students (aged 14 - 16 years) through secondary school-based programs.
  • Adolescents aged 15 to 19 years of age through their GP or primary care provider and who missed receiving the vaccine at school.

The meningococcal ACWY vaccine provides protection against four types of meningococcal disease, including two types which have become more common in Australia in recent years, caused by the type W and Y bacteria.

Adolescents from 15 years of age are at increased risk of meningococcal disease and are more likely to spread the bacteria to others.


Free hepatitis A vaccine ceasing 30 June 2019

The time-limited hepatitis A vaccine program ends 30 June 2019 for men who have sex with men, homeless rough sleepers, people who have injected drugs in the past 12 months and adult prisoners.

The vaccine program was initiated to help combat an outbreak of hepatitis A that started in late 2017.

In addition, men who have sex with men are also eligible for free Gardasil® vaccine until 31 October 2019.

Order the free hepatitis A vaccine for eligible cohorts from the Government vaccine order form until 30 June 2019


New - Vaccination reminders with MCH app

From May 7 the VaxOnTime app has been decommissioned and is included in the Maternal and Child Health app (MCH app). The MCH app combines reliable information for health and development and helps parents stay up to date with their child's growth as well as immunisation with vaccination reminders embedded within the app.

And with Nora the digital assistant on hand to answer parent’s questions, it's like having an MCH nurse available 24 hours a day.

The MCH app is available in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Dari, Khmer, Persian, Punjabi, Spanish and Vietnamese. It's a great tool for parents and carers, so share it with someone today. 

Download the free MCH app from the App Store or Google Play.

Visit the Maternal and Child Health phone app page on Better Health Channel for more information


Pharmacy acquired vaccine and the cold chain

Pharmacy best practice is to advise the patient that the prescription vaccine should be kept in the pharmacy until the patient's appointment or to take it immediately to the clinic either for storage or administration.

Clinicians providing a vaccine prescription should tell the patient to collect the vaccine directly prior to administration or take the vaccine to the clinic to be stored until it is administered. 

Storing vaccine in a domestic fridge is not best practice.


One or two influenza vaccine doses for children?

Children aged ≥6 months to <9 years require two doses of influenza vaccine (given at least 4 weeks apart) in the first year they receive the vaccine. 

One annual dose of influenza vaccine is required in following years even if only one dose was given in the first year.

All children aged ≥6 months to <5 years are eligible for free influenza vaccine in Victoria.


Links

View the current AusVaxSafety vaccine surveillance data for HPV, pertussis, zoster and early data for influenza vaccine

Download the updated Victorian immunisation catch-up guidelines that now include all ages from 10 years and older

Correct injection technique is of paramount importance when administering vaccines to ensure optimal immune response, minimise side effects and to reduce the risk of injury to the patient. Refresh your knowledge

Immunisation Nurses Special Interest Group would like to invite you and your colleagues to the INSIG Biennial Immunisation Conference 2019

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