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In this issue:

  • Vaccinating during COVID-19 - follow the advice provided about adapting service delivery
  • Identifying adverse events in diverse skin colour
  • Immunisation recommendations for preterm infants
  • Immunisation for children and adolescents in out-of-home care
  • Prophylactic use of paracetamol for children aged <2 years receiving Bexsero
  • Meningococcal ABCWY vaccine study in adolescents/young adults
  • Hospital based immunisation services for people with complex issues
  • Links to further information

Vaccinating during COVID-19 - follow the advice provided about adapting service delivery

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

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.

Compare Victoria to other jurisdictions by reviewing a range of immunisation coverage data, surveys and reports for children and adults from the Australian government.


Identifying immunisation adverse events in diverse skin colour

The prompt assessment of skin for clinical signs and symptoms is important when identifying adverse events following immunisation (AEFI). Most dermatological assessment guidelines commonly refer to the presentation of symptoms in patients with light skin tones.

The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre’s new resource assists to identify AEFI such as pallor, cyanosis, erythema and urticaria, which may appear differently in varied skin tones.


Immunisation recommendations for preterm infants

Prematurity can increase the child’s risk of vaccine-preventable diseases. Despite their immunological immaturity, preterm infants generally respond well to vaccines. Provided they are medically stable and there are no contraindications to vaccination, preterm infants should receive vaccines according to the recommended schedule at their chronological age, without correction for prematurity.

Infants born less than 32 weeks gestation or weighing less than 2000 grams or with risk conditions are recommended additional vaccines.

Order immunisation medical risk factor stickers (code PH5017 (PCH)) to stick in a pre-term infants green, child health record booklet to highlight their need for additional vaccines.


Immunisation for children and adolescents in out-of-home care

Updated Department of Health and Human Services factsheets provide immunisation information for carers, immunisation providers, child protection staff and case managers in community service organisations for children in out-of-home care.

Topics include:

  • immunisation is routine medical care and why it is important
  • gaining consent, and mature minor consent
  • how to find if a child is up to date with their immunisation
  • immunisation requirements for benefits and payments and to enrol the child in childcare, kindergarten, primary school and secondary school.

Prophylactic use of paracetamol for children aged <2 years receiving Bexsero

It is recommended that paracetamol be given to children aged <2 years with each dose of the meningococcal B vaccine, Bexsero, 30 minutes before vaccination followed by 2 post-vaccination doses at 6 hourly intervals, regardless of the presence of fever. Further doses of paracetamol may be given afterwards if required.

Both MenACWY (Nimenrix) and Bexsero vaccines are recommended for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 2 months to 19 years. Bexsero is NIP-funded for infants from 6 weeks of age, with catch-up available for those under 2 years of age until June 2023.

Download the current Victorian immunisation schedule.

Review the current vaccine coverage data tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Victoria – Timely immunisation is important for best protection.


Meningococcal ABCWY vaccine study in adolescents/young adults

Do you know anyone aged 10 to 25 years who hasn’t received a MenB or MenACWY vaccine?
The Vaccine and Immunisation Research Group (VIRGo) are inviting adolescents/young adults to take part in a clinical trial of an investigational MenABCWY vaccine to assess the safety and immune response. All visits will be at your home or in a study clinic.

To find out more, phone VIRGo on 8344 9325 or email virgo-studies@unimelb.edu.au


Hospital based immunisation services for people with complex issues

Hospital-based immunisation services provide children and adults with complex problems access to immunisation specialist paediatricians, ID physicians, nurse practitioners and nurse immunisers.

Who should be referred to the services:

  • has previously experienced an adverse event following immunisation
  • at risk of an adverse event following immunisation
  • child or adult with underlying complex medical health problems (includes oncology, transplant, immune suppression, allergy)
  • child requiring observation following immunisation
  • Family with immunisation needs unable to be met within a community setting such as vaccine hesitancy, travel.

Hospital immunisation hotline - 1300 882 924 and choose

Option 1: SAEFVIC, the Victorian vaccine safety service
Option 2: The Royal Children’s Hospital immunisation service
Option 3: BCG vaccines for children.
Option 4: Monash Immunisation Service. 


Links

SAEFVIC (Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination In the Community) specialist service helps immunisation providers report and look after children and adults who have had an Adverse Event Following Immunisation.

Patients with vaccine hesitancy? Find links to information to help address questions about immunisation, in multiple formats for a broad range of queries from the Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre.

Purchase your ticket for the virtual MVEC Clinical Vaccinolgy Update on Monday, December 7, 2020.

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