Immunisation weekly update - 28 April 2021

28 April 2021

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Recalibration of COVID-19 vaccination program

The National Cabinet met on 19 and 22 April 2021 to discuss the recalibration of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program. National Cabinet has agreed to a series of changes to the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy. These changes include:

  • bringing forward the commencement of vaccinations for Australians 50 years and older (currently under Phase 2a) to 3 May 2021 for State, Territory and Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics, and 17 May 2021 (or earlier where supply is available) for general practice;
  • limiting use of AstraZeneca vaccines to people 50 years and over;
  • providing additional AstraZeneca doses to Primary Care sites;
  • limiting the use of Pfizer vaccine to Australians under 50 years (with a few exceptions) until general availability later in the year as supply increases;
  • this includes Aged Care workers, Disability Care Workers and residents, critical and high risk workers, healthcare workers, and people with underlying medical condition.
  • a progressive geographical expansion of State/Territory Pfizer Clinics to ensure distribution to those eligible Phase 1a and 1b under 50s; and
  • expanding the number of Commonwealth and state and territory-operated Pfizer vaccination sites as supplies increase.

National Cabinet reinforced that general practice (including Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services) will continue to be the primary model of delivery for people 50 years and older

The most up to date information can be found on the Department of Health website:

Reporting adverse events following immunisation (AEFI)

Reporting suspected side effects and adverse events assists to maintain and improve the safety of vaccines. Every report is valuable and adds to safety monitoring. 

Serious adverse events are notifiable conditions in NSW. Healthcare providers are required to report Adverse Events Following Immunisation to NSW Health and the Therapeutic Goods Administration. 

Report a side effect after COVID-19 vaccination 

 

World Immunisation Week

World Immunisation Week runs from 24 until 30 April 2021 and promotes awareness of vaccines in protecting people of all ages against disease.  

While Australia’s childhood vaccination rates are one of the best in the world, there are still pockets in our region that remain consistently low. CESPHN is committed to improving the immunisation coverage rates of children in the region and continues to work closely with practices towards the goal of achieving the national immunisation target of 95%.  

Using this year’s theme ‘Vaccines bring us closer’, World Immunisation Week 2021 will urge greater engagement around immunisation globally to promote the importance of vaccination in bringing people together, and improving the health and wellbeing of everyone, everywhere throughout life.  

Recent information from the World Health Organisation on immunisation services during the COVID-19 pandemic states that, where feasible, immunisation for the prevention of communicable diseases should be prioritised. Disruption to services can increase numbers of susceptible individuals, raising the likelihood of outbreak-prone diseases such as measles.  

While the world focuses on critically important new vaccines to protect against COVID-19, there remains a need to ensure routine vaccinations are not missed. Many children have not been vaccinated during the global pandemic, leaving them at risk.  

World Immunisation Week is an opportunity for us to refocus our attention on ensuring all Australian children are safe from preventable diseases by having them immunised.

Advertising COVID-19 vaccines lawfully

The TGA has published information to assist you in advertising COVID-19 vaccines to the Australian public without breaking the rules.

COVID-19 vaccination training - update

Significant updates have occurred in to the COVID-19 vaccination training program on Friday 23 April. Module progress and completion have not been affected.

Immunisation providers are expected to login and view the new information. A summary of the updates can be found in the announcement forum. All changes within the modules are identified by 'NEW' in red.

Upcoming webinars

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine program reset: navigating safety, acceptance and uptake

Our expanded webinar program will include the updated Australian Government plan for roll out of COVID-19 vaccines, and an update on thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) and AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine. We will also discuss practical communication strategies for improving COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and uptake.  
Date: Friday 30 April 2021 
Time: 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm REGISTER HERE 

In this webinar: 

  • hear an update on the Australian Government COVID-19 vaccine roll out plan and what this means for immunisation providers 
  • get further information on thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) and AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine 
  • learn practical strategies for communicating with your patients to increase vaccine acceptance and uptake 

COVID-19 vaccine updates for GPs

Join the latest COVID-19 vaccine live stream update for GPs

The panel will provide latest key updates and answer participants’ questions live about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Target audience: GPs and all health professionals  
 
Details: Thursday 29 April11:30am-12:30pm (AEDT) 
 
Use this link to join: 

https://publish.viostream.com/app/s-dfj9qky

Share link with colleagues and get involved by submitting questions and comments

Catch up on previous webinars

CESPHN scholarship for authorised nurse immuniser course

Central and Eastern Sydney PHN is offering practice nurses the opportunity to apply for a 75%* scholarship to complete The Benchmarque Group’s Immunisation Endorsement Program. This course is to become an authorised nurse immuniser in NSW and administer vaccinations independent of a medical officer, which includes COVID-19 vaccine.  

For further information and to apply click here

New resources

Weighing up the potential benefits against risk of harm from COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca

  • Information about the AstraZeneca vaccine to help patients make informed decisions. 
  • Find out more about why people over 50 can still have the vaccine.
  • How has ATAGI assessed the risks and benefits?  

Patient information sheet on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS)

  • Patient information about the AstraZeneca vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccination program.

COVID-19 vaccination – Information on COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine

  • This information sheet provides an update for a COVID-19 vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca