The 2017 National Immunisation Program seasonal influenza vaccines are currently being distributed around the country.
Key features of the 2017 NIP influenza vaccines include that:
- Four age-specific quadrivalent influenza vaccines (QIVs) will be available free to eligible people under the NIP, including:
- pregnant women
- people aged 65 years and over
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged
- six months to less than five years
- 15 years and over
- people aged six months and over with medical conditions predisposing them to severe influenza
- Recent evidence suggests that protection following influenza vaccination may begin to wane after three to four months and timing of vaccination should aim at achieving the highest level of protection during the period of influenza virus circulation, usually around August.
- Please consider the special needs of pregnant women (who should receive the vaccine at any stage during pregnancy), people travelling to a destination where influenza is circulating, and young children six months to nine years of age (who should have two doses in the first year they receive the vaccine).
The materials available through the below link are being mailed out to vaccination providers (including general and specialist medical practitioners, and Aboriginal Medical Services) to promote the 2017 seasonal influenza vaccines.
Copies of the materials and translated brochures for people from non-English speaking backgrounds will be available on the Immunise Australia website.
Providers should note that the eligibility criteria for free influenza vaccines through the NIP has changed. Details of these changes are available at the Immunise Australia website.
How can you assist?
Vaccination providers will play a key role in informing patients about the 2017 seasonal influenza vaccines. To assist in promoting the vaccines we ask that you encourage vaccination providers to:
- promote the vaccine to eligible people through displaying the posters and brochures in your clinic;
- offer vaccination throughout the influenza season. In particular, those in risk groups, especially pregnant women can benefit from vaccination at any time of the year;
- ensure vaccine safety by checking you have the correct vaccine for the person’s age. Note all 2017 NIP vaccines include the age indication on the barrel of the syringe to make it easier; and
- report all influenza vaccinations to the Australian Immunisation Register.
If you have any questions about the materials please contact Darius Everett, Director, Immunisation Programs, Department of Health via Darius.email@example.com or on 02 6289 8725.