New NSW Immunisation Schedule from 1 July 2018

27 June 2018

The new NSW Immunisation Schedule has been released, effective from 1 July 2018. Here are the changes:

  • Pneumococcal (Prevenar 13): The third dose of pneumococcal vaccine will now be given at 12 months (moved from 6 month schedule point). Children with at risk medical conditions will receive an additional dose at 6 months of age
  • Meningococcal ACWY (Nimenrix): A vaccine that protects against 4 serogroups (A, C, W, Y) of meningococcal disease will now be given to children at 12 months of age replacing Menitorix (meningococcal C – Hib combination)
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Act-HIB): The Hib component of the Menitorix vaccine currently administered at 12 months of age will now be given as the monovalent vaccine, Act-HIB, at 18 months of age. Visit the NCIRS website for handy Vaccine Specific Fact Sheets

The schedule changes, schedule (including A3 poster) and FAQs are now live on the NSW Health website.  

The vaccine online ordering system has been updated so that providers can order the new vaccines Nimenrix and Act-HIB. Practices should place orders today or asap to ensure they receive the new vaccines as quickly as possible. Please also note that there are restrictions on orders for Act-HIB vaccine which will be rectified by September.

Frequently asked questions

Can I give Menitorix (MenC/HibB) to 18 month olds?

The advice from the Ministry of Health is as follows: if a Child born between 1 January 2017 and 30 June 2017 received their 4th dose of Hib at 12 months then they do not need to have another dose at 18 months. It is however safe for them to have it if the parent/carer or GP want them to have an additional dose (5th dose). If a child requires Hib vaccination at 18 months then Act-Hib or Menitorix can be used (provided it has been at least 8 weeks since the child received a Meningococcal containing vaccine).

This advice is available from the National Immunisation Program advice for vaccination providers factsheet: https://beta.health.gov.au/resources?f%5B0%5D=field_audience%3A446 and has been included in FAQs: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/Pages/schedule-changes.aspx

What if we have not received Nimenrix yet and need to vaccinate a 12 month old?

If a child presents for their 12 months vaccines and Nimenrix is not available the child should receive all other 12 month vaccines and have another appointment scheduled for Nimenrix as soon as it is available. As the delay in vaccine availability should only be a few days at the most this shouldn’t affect family benefit payments.

What about catch-up doses for Meningococcal ACWY - is this funded?

There is no catch-up program for this vaccine as it is a ‘vaccine replacement’. Children who have already received their 12 month meningococcal C vaccine prior to 1 July 2018 are not eligible to receive the meningococcal ACWY vaccine under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) but may purchase it from the private market. Care should be taken to ensure that there is a minimum interval of 8 weeks from their last meningococcal vaccine dose..

Entering Immunisation data into practice software

As practice software vendors have yet to release an update for the immunisation schedule change, users are adviced to cease using the built in schedule for children, and to follow the new NSW Immunisation schedule. All immunisations should be entered manually until the sotware is amended in a future release. Keep an eye out for future notifications.

To assist immunisation providers with with data entry relating to entering correct dose numbers in practice software, CESPHN has developed this Immunisation schedule with dose numbers resource, which is available on the Immunisation page under "Resources-Immunisation Schedule".

Further Information

NSW Health website: NSW Immunisation Schedule (1 July 2018)

NSW Immunisation schedule with dose numbers 1 July 2018