July has seen the introduction of a new Victorian Immunisation Schedule following changes to the National Immunisation Program.
There are three new changes to the Pneumococcal vaccine schedule:
- Pneumococcal vaccine schedule for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50+ consists of 1 dose of Prevenar 13 from age 50 years then 2 lifetime doses of Pneumovax 23, 12 months later then a minimum interval of 5-years later.
- Pneumovax 23 is no longer given at 65 years of age. From 70 years of age, healthy non-Indigenous adults receive 1 dose of Prevenar 13.
- All people with eligible risk conditions aged over 12 months are now funded to receive Prevenar 13, plus 2 lifetime doses of Pneumovax 23, at a minimum of 5-year intervals.
To assist clinicians there is a highly recommended resource Pneumococcal vaccination schedule– Clinical decision tree for vaccination providers which includes the updated list of risk conditions, available to download or order in hard copy. Only some of the risk conditions listed are eligible for government-funded vaccine, others are recommended but not eligible for free vaccine. The resource is easier to read in the Word format. NCIRS has published updated Pneumococcal fact sheet, FAQs and webinar about the recent changes. ATAGI has also released advice on changes to the National Immunisation Program schedule.
Meningococcal B (Bexsero) is now free for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants at 2, 4 and 12 months of age. Key points are:
- Catch-up for children less than 2 years of age will be available until 30 June 2023. Number of doses required will depend on the child’s age at commencement.
- When administering Bexsero, clinicians should advise parents of the need to give children three doses of paracetamol, 30 minutes before plus 6 and 12 hours after dose, regardless of fever.
- When ordering vaccine you may be asked for further information as supply of the vaccine is limited.
The resource Where should I inject vaccines? has been updated to reflect that Bexsero should be given in a separate limb. Meningococcal B promotional poster can be downloaded or ordered here.
Always use the latest Victorian vaccine order form
Eastern Melbourne PHN has released a new webinar Introduction to immunisation for general practice nurses to accompany Vaccine and cold chain management.
NCIRS has released a new resource Enhancing data quality of vaccination encounter records: tips and tricks to assist immunisation providers reduce errors in their clinical software and uploads to AIR.