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In this issue:

  • Immunosuppression and vaccines – MVEC immunisation reference page
  • When to use Pneumococcal vaccines on the National Immunisation Program (NIP)
  • Influenza vaccination is recommended at any stage of pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding and immunisations – new MVEC immunisation reference page
  • Gardasil®9 – Vaccine clinical and catch-up advice fact sheet
  • Links to further information

Immunosuppression and vaccines – MVEC reference page

Having certain medical conditions or taking specific medications can lead to immunosuppression and the decreased ability to fight infections. For these patients, prevention of disease is critical. MVECs new reference page outlines additional vaccines to consider, and specific vaccines that may be contraindicated.

Use the Zostavax® GP Decision Aid to assist in deciding if a patient can safely receive Zostavax

Zostavax vaccine TGA Safety advisory - not to be used in patients with compromised immune function


When to use Pneumococcal vaccines on the National Immunisation Program (NIP)

The recommended age for pneumococcal vaccination for non-Indigenous adults without risk conditions has been changed to 70 years from 65 years of age. The vaccine now recommended at ≥70 years of age is a single dose of Prevenar 13. This is funded under the NIP.

Prevenar 13, followed by 2 doses of Pneumovax 23 is also funded for patients with certain risk conditions.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults aged ≥50 years without conditions associated with an increased risk of pneumococcal disease should receive 1 dose of Prevenar 13, followed by 2 doses of Pneumovax 23.

There are no changes to the routine infant schedule for Prevenar 13.

NIP Pneumococcal vaccination schedule – Clinical decision tree for vaccination providers

National Immunisation Program schedule changes: what you need to know – the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance


Influenza vaccination is recommended at any stage of pregnancy

Influenza vaccine is recommended in every pregnancy and at any stage of pregnancy.

It provides protection to the pregnant woman, foetus and infant. Infant protection lasts for up to 6 months at which time the infant should receive influenza vaccine.

Pregnant women receiving an influenza vaccine late in 2020 or with 2020 stock in early 2021, revaccination is safe with the 2021 influenza vaccine once it becomes available (about April 2021) before the end of their pregnancy.

Continue to order and administer the free 2020 influenza vaccine for pregnant women as some brands do not expire until early 2021.

Report vaccines administered to the Australian Immunisation Register.

Order the consumer brochure – Protecting your baby against influenza starts when you're pregnant

Order influenza vaccine using the Government vaccine order form


Breastfeeding and immunisations – new MVEC reference page

Immunising breastfeeding mothers can not only protect the mother from vaccine preventable diseases but also provide passive immunity to the baby.

MVECs new reference page details different vaccines and scenarios for consideration when immunising a mother who is breastfeeding.


Gardasil®9 – Vaccine clinical and catch-up advice fact sheet

Quickly manage patients presenting for overdue or missed HPV vaccination. The fact sheet provides Gardasil 9 recommendations to vaccination providers including catch-up advice. Gardasil 9 catch-up is free for people under 20 years of age.

The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) accepts data on vaccines administered to people of all ages. Providers are required to submit data to the AIR on all the vaccines administered, including the HPV vaccine.


Important updates have been made to the AIR relating to recording Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, catch-up schedule information and amended pneumococcal rules


Links

Immunisation is an essential service which should continue during the Covid-19 pandemic, follow the advice about adapting service delivery

COVID19 Road to a vaccine podcast series from the MVEC

Quizzes to test your vaccine knowledge at the MVEC

Download a quick reference list for popular immunisation contacts and resources for your immunisation service

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