Immunisation weekly update - 12 January 2022

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COVID-19 vaccine stock management and delivery delays

Has your COVID-19 vaccine delivery been delayed? Call CESPHN on 1300 986 991 option 7 for COVID-19 or email coronavirus@cesphn.com.au to access emergency Pfizer 12 years+ (Purple) vaccine supplies or notify us of excess vaccines available for redistribution.

VOC has advised due to the high demand for vaccines over the holiday period, all Pfizer 12 years+ (Purple) primary care sites with orders arriving in the week ending 7 January 2022 or 14 January 2022 will include a one-off top-up of additional doses. All primary care sites that have placed orders scheduled to arrive in the week ending 14 January 2022 will be provided an extra 240 doses of Pfizer (12 years+).

COVID-19 vaccine comparison tools

 There are 4 different COVID-19 vaccines available for use in Australia. The below tools can assist with managing the different storage conditions and expiry requirements.

Download the CESPHN COVID-19 vaccine Defrost Expiry Calculator.

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The COVID-19 vaccine comparison chart provides key differences between the 4 COVID-19 vaccines.

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COVID-19 vaccine Delivery Note

 A delivery note is provided with each COVID-19 vaccine delivery. Immunisation providers and relevant staff should be familiar with how to interpret expiry dates from the Delivery Note below:

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Childhood COVID-19 vaccination program (5-11 years)

 The COVID-19 vaccination program for children aged 5 -11 years started on Monday, 10 January 2021 and appointments can be made through the Vaccine Clinic Finder.

Paediatric Pfizer training modules, consent form templates and clinical information can be found on the CESPHN COVID-19 vaccine webpage.

‘MFG Date’ on Paediatric Pfizer vials

As outlined in the COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program, the expiry date will NOT be printed on each individual vial, only the manufacture date (MFG), so it is vital that the outer carton expiry date is checked and noted. The expiry date and thaw date will be labelled on the carton prior to dispatch from DHL.

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Check that the expiry date and thaw date has been labelled on the outer carton when delivered. The label on the carton should reflect the refrigerated expiry date and the original expiry date. The earlier date must be used.

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Uploading Paediatric Pfizer vaccines to AIR

All Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination encounters including 5-11 year old and 12+years will be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) under the same Pfizer Comirnaty “COMIRN” AIR vaccine code.

The only way for GPs and other providers to distinguish between paediatric and adult Pfizer COMINARTY doses on the AIR and in their Practice Management Software (PMS) is to ensure they record the correct batch number for the Pfizer COMIRNATY vaccine being administered.

Medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines

There are very few situations where a vaccine is contraindicated and as such, medical exemption is expected to be rarely required. ATAGI expanded guidance on acute major medical conditions that warrant a temporary medical exemption relevant for COVID-19 vaccines document explains this further. Providers are advised to contact NSWISS (SCHN-NSWISS@health.nsw.gov.au) for advice on individual patient situations as required.

Who can provide immunisation medical exemptions? General practitioners, paediatricians, clinical immunologists, infectious disease, general or public health physicians, gynaecologists, or obstetricians.

Booster incentive

All people aged 18 years and older, including pregnant women, who have had a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago, are now eligible for a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. See ATAGI recommendations.

MBS Item 93666 is a new temporary incentive payment of $10 per eligible vaccine suitability assessment service to patients receiving a COVID-19 third dose or booster vaccination. The incentive is available from 23 December 2021 until 30 June 2022and payments will be made to primary care providers through existing payment mechanisms. 

Booster (4th dose) for the immunocompromised

ATAGI recommends that immunocompromised individuals who have received 3 primary doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged to also receive a booster dose, in line with the timing for the general population, that is, 4 months from their primary course.

 

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