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In this issue:

  • Guidance to provide immunisation services during COVID-19
  • Avoid influenza vaccine error - Afluria Quad can only be administered from 5 years of age and older
  • Minimise vaccine cold chain breaches - protect influenza and other vaccines
  • Sharing Knowledge About Immunisation (SKAI) parent website contact card
  • Intradermal vaccination – Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC)
  • AusVaxSafety data – for all age cohorts and the 2020 influenza vaccine
  • New! Download the Australian Immunisation Handbook App
  • Links to further information

Recommendations to provide immunisation services during COVID-19

Recommendations have been produced by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to all health services providing immunisation services to their community. Immunisation is essential to promoting optimal public health and in the prevention of disease.

The current threat of COVID-19 to public health is unprecedented.

It is critical that all immunisation services continue to operate during this emergency. Services should implement alternate service delivery models which ensure the occupational health and safety of all staff and clients and enable compliance with transmission reduction measures recommended by DHHS.

Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation Clinical advice – Statement on the duration of observation after vaccination in the context of minimising risk of exposure to COVID-19 at health care facilities.


Avoid influenza vaccine error - Afluria Quad can only be administered from 5 years of age and older

Avoid influenza vaccine error by reading the packaging and the syringe label and confirm the age of the patient prior to administration.

Afluria Quad is a QIV that can only be administered from 5 years of age and older.

Vaxigrip Tetra® is a QIV, newly registered for use in adults and children from 6-months of age.

FluQuadri® is a QIV, has now been registered to include children from 6-months of age. The FluQuadri Junior® formulation is no longer available.

Fluad® Quad is an adjuvanted QIV, newly registered for use in adults 65-years of age and older.

All brands are 0.5 ml per dose.

Children aged 6 months to under 9 years require 2 doses (given 4 weeks apart) in the first year they receive the vaccine.

How do I know which influenza brand to use in the 2020 influenza season? – see the MVEC resource.

Download the influenza vaccine resources for providers and consumers including translated information.


Minimise vaccine cold chain breaches – protect influenza and other vaccines

All health services should have a written vaccine cold chain protocol.

The protocol should cover staff knowledge of cold chain, delivery and breach protocols, vaccine fridge requirements, and vaccine fridge monitoring and maintenance.

Tips to manage a power outage or refrigerator failure to protect vaccines.


Sharing Knowledge About Immunisation (SKAI) parent website contact card

This downloadable resource provides details of the SKAI website for parents.

Healthcare providers can give this card to parents to access the website at home. The SKAI website provides parent-friendly information about immunisation and provides answers to common questions.


Intradermal vaccination – Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC)

Intradermal vaccination is the delivery of vaccines into the outer layers of the skin and is used for a small number of vaccines such as BCG and Hepatitis B (for non-responders).

Find out more about intradermal vaccination, which vaccines can be given this way and how intradermal vaccines are administered.

MVEC recommends the following immunisation pathway for all hepatitis B vaccination non-responders.


AusVaxSafety data – for all age cohorts and the 2020 influenza vaccine

AusVaxSafety monitors adverse events following immunisation and facilitates early detection of potential vaccine safety issues.

Active surveillance of the 2020 influenza vaccine safety has commenced.

See the latest data in infographic format.


New! Download the Australian Immunisation Handbook App

To download the official Handbook App you will need either an Apple or Google account to access these app stores.

Download Instructions:

  1. Search for "Immunisation Handbook" in either of the above app stores on the device you wish to add the Handbook App.
  2. Select the Australian Immunisation Handbook App. (Depending on your device, this may have either “Australian Department of Health” or “Medical” as the sub-header.)
  3. Click the Download icon to start.
  4. When the download is finished, you can open the App.
  5. The first time you open the App it will take approximately 1-2 minutes. (This is to store all the data into your device.)


Links

Influenza vaccine effectiveness against influenza-associated hospitalization in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. In conclusion, in the pediatric population, influenza vaccination offered significant protection against influenza-related hospitalization and complete annual vaccination should be encouraged.

Coronavirus disease (COVID -19) – Information, updates and advice about the outbreak – Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria.

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