Immunisation weekly update – 21 September 2022

20190319 Immunisation needle icons 31

Rabies in general practice

General practices are seeing an increased number of international travellers returning to Australia who are at risk of rabies infection from contact with animals in a rabies endemic country. Overseas, dogs are the main transmitter of rabies (other animals include bats, monkeys, foxes, cats, raccoons, skunks, jackals and mongooses).

Rabies illness affects the central nervous system and is usually fatal - there is no cure. Disease can be prevented by rapid and thorough cleaning of the wound and by vaccination.

Managing rabies post exposure

GPs should contact the Public Health Unit (PHU) on 1300 066 055 for advice on patients who have been in contact with animals that could transmit rabies – either bitten, scratched by or exposed to infected animals’ saliva through the eyes, nose, mouth or broken skin. Where indicated, the PHU will help to arrange for rabies vaccines and immunoglobulin to be delivered to the GP clinic or hospital. 

In some cases, patients may commence post exposure vaccine treatment overseas. Patients are usually provided with a “post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) certificate” which will assist GPs and PHUs to assess the patient and complete the course of treatment where required.

More information can be found on the NSW Health website and in the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Transferring NIP vaccines – is it allowed? 

Can National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines be transferred between practices?

  • No, practices cannot transfer, swap, borrow or lend NIP vaccines to another practice.
  • The National Immunisation Program is funded by the Australian government and implemented by NSW Health
  • Only immunisation sites with VAN approval by the Public Health Unit can access NIP vaccines via the NSW Vaccine Centre ordering portal. 
  • Practices can contact the Public Health Unit on 1300 066 055 for case-by case approval of NIP vaccine transfers in special circumstances, such as permanent closure of practice.

Can COVID-19 vaccines be transferred between practices?

  • Yes, as per the Department of Health Transfer guidelines
  • Primary care COVID-19 vaccination sites may choose to transfer COVID-19 vaccines from one participating vaccination site to another. Stock cannot be transferred to a site that is not registered with the Program. All sites must be enabled for the transferred vaccine type and have completed the relevant site declaration in the COVID-19 Vaccine Administrative System (CVAS) before receiving stock.
  • Transfers must be reported through the Vaccine Stock Management Report via CVAS (by both the receiving and transferring sites) for the National COVID Vaccine Taskforce to track doses.

Moderna Bivalent 18+ rollout

Moderna Bivalent (Blue/Green) is only for use as a booster dose in adults 18 years and over. ATAGI has found Moderna bivalent vaccine showing a small incremental benefit over the original vaccine for Omicron neutralisation.

Onboarding

Moderna bivalent vaccine rollout commence from 10 October 2022. All sites currently participating in the COVID-19 Vaccine Program will be automatically onboarded for Moderna bivalent 18+ blue/green in tranches. CESPHN has sent an email to your practice to advise your assigned tranche and commencement date. Tranche 1 will commence administering the Moderna bivalent vaccine from 10 October 2022, Tranche 2 will commence from 17 October 2022, and Tranche 3 from 24 October 2022.

Site Declaration

  • Sites already administering Moderna do not need to complete another declaration. 
  • Sites new to Moderna vaccination are required to complete the Moderna Site Readiness Declaration – this will be uploaded on CVAS when your site’s ordering window opens. 

Ordering 

All sites will receive an ongoing allocation of 100 doses (20 vials) of Moderna bivalent per fortnight. Practices can order between 50 and 100 doses (10 to 20 vials) and can share their stock with another practice who has signed their declaration for Moderna. 

Sites can place their first Moderna bivalent order from the date their ordering window opens. Tranche 1 sites can place orders from 17 September 2022, Tranche 2 sites from 24 September 2022, and Tranche 3 sites from 1 October 2022.

Training Module

All participating sites must have completed the mandatory COVID-19 Training modules relating to the Moderna Bivalent (Blue/Green) vaccine prior to administering. Sites will be advised through the regular Provider Bulletin when we have additional information regarding this module when this module will be released.

Need help?

  • Haven’t received an email from CESPHN advising your  tranche? Contact coronavirus@cesphn.com.au
  • Having difficulty placing an order in CVAS? Contact VOC on 1800 318 208

NEW: COVID-19 vaccine exemption – patient factsheet 

The COVID-19 vaccine exemption factsheet has been developed to assist patients to understand what qualifies as a COVID-19 vaccine exemption. There are very few situations where a COVID-19 vaccine may not be safe to use. Medical exemptions can only be granted if there are no suitable alternative COVID-19 vaccines available. For this reason, permanent medical exemptions to COVID-19 vaccination will be rarely required. This factsheet outlines which contraindications qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine exemption, and what qualifies for a temporary COVID-19 vaccine exemption.

Nurse Scholarship: Authorised Immuniser course

CESPHN is inviting registered nurses to apply for a scholarship to become a qualified Authorised Nurse Immuniser in NSW. CESPHN are offering successful applicants 100% scholarship to the Understanding Vaccines and the National Immunisation Program.

For more information about the scholarship and to apply, see CESPHN Immunisation website. Applications close 30 September 2022.

Webinars: Upcoming and recorded 

CESPHN Immunisation Lunch & Learn series | Webinar 1: Monkeypox update

  • Watch 30 minute MPX update about the Monkeypox outbreak situation in CESPHN, vaccination rollout, identification, treatment, and case management. Presented by
  • Dr Vicky Sheppeard – Director, South Eastern Sydney Public Health Unit
  • Dr Kasha Singh – Infectious Diseases physician, Royal Melbourne Hospital; Clinical Researcher, The Peter Doherty Institute  

COVID-19 response update 

  • About: primary care update on the COVID-19 response and the vaccine rollout - key updates and Q&A
  • There will not be a webinar on Thursday 22 September, due to the National Day of Mourning in honour of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Next webinar: Thursday 29 September from 12:00pm-12:30pm

Immunisation news

Screenshot 2022-09-21 151553 monkey poix pic.jpg

immu update 2022.jpg

Catch up on previous Immunisation Weekly Updates.

Keep up to date with the latest information on Monkeypox.