Immunisation Information for Health Professionals

The Public Health Unit provides general advice and information on adult and childhood immunisation to healthcare providers, excluding travel vaccinations. Staff also follow up reports of adverse reactions to vaccinations which medical practitioners and hospitals are required to notify under the Public Health Act 2010.

The influenza vaccination is our best defence against influenza. It is recommended for everyone who is aged 6 months and over to reduce their risk of influenza. Australia's peak influenza season is between June and September. It is recommended for individuals to get the influenza vaccination between April and May, however it is never too late to vaccinate

Influenza vaccines can be ordered through the NSW Vaccine Centre via the online vaccine ordering system. Influenza vaccine order forms are available on the NSW Health website for immunisation providers who are unable to use the online vaccine ordering system. Aged Care Facilities are able to order their own influenza vaccines if they have a Vaccine Account Number (VAN).

In 2020, free seasonal influenza vaccine is funded for the following groups at higher risk of complications from influenza: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/Pages/flu.aspx

  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
  • all children aged 6 months to less than 5 years of age (including Aboriginal and medically at risk)
  • all individuals aged 5 years and over with medical risk conditions, namely:
    • cardiac disease, including cyanotic congenital heart disease, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure
    • chronic respiratory conditions, including suppurative lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe asthma
    • other chronic illnesses requiring regular medical follow up or hospitalisation in the previous year, including diabetes mellitus, chronic metabolic diseases, chronic renal failure, and haemoglobinopathies
    • chronic neurological conditions that impact on respiratory function, including multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, and seizure disorders
    • impaired immunity, including HIV, malignancy and chronic steroid use
    • children aged 6 months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.
  • pregnant women (influenza vaccine can be given at any stage of pregnancy)
  • people aged 65 years and over (vaccine that is specifically designed to produce a higher immune response is available for this group).

Individuals aged 10 to 19 years are eligible to receive free catch-up vaccinations through the National Immunisation Program. They must commence the catch-up schedule before their 20th birthday to be eligible. Refugees and humanitarian entrants aged 20 years and over are also eligible for a number of free catch-up vaccinations.

For more information on planning catch-up immunisations and who is eligible, visit:

 

It is very important to follow the below steps after you have discovered the CCB:

  1. Follow managing cold chain breach guidelines above
  2. Please tape the fridge shut and put a sign on the fridge door- “DO NOT USE” and inform all GP’s, PN’s and PM’s that the National Immunisation Program (NIP- ie free Government vaccines) cannot be used until further advice from this office. Do not throw out any NIP vaccines yet.
  3. Download the data logger and thoroughly check the 5 minutely numbers data (not just the graph). Work out the highest and lowest temperatures and how long the temperature was above 8 degrees or below 2 degrees. Ensure the numbers data (ie not just the graph) is saved as a PDF (so I can open it) and attach it to the return email to me ensuring I can see enough data before the CCB, during the CCB and after the CCB. I have to see the fridge is working well before and after the CCB as well as how high/low the temps went during the CCB.  Please ensure you send me the current month’s and the previous month ’s manual twice daily min/max thermometer readings.
  4. Concisely fill out the Reporting form for a Cold Chain Breach above – please note that it is much quicker, easier and preferred if the electronic form is filled out online, then save it to your computer and then attach it to an email back to this address SESLHD-PublicHealthUnit-IMMTeam@health.nsw.gov.au . If this is not possible, please print out the hard copy and fill it in neatly by hand and email back to me (fax to 93824309 if you can’t email, but I don’t always get the faxes- - please email me to let me know you have faxed it as the fax machine is nowhere near my office).
  5. Do not use the NIP vaccines or the vaccine fridge AND do not throw out any NIP vaccines until I give further instructions.
  6. I do not have any jurisdiction over privately bought vaccines- please ring the Manufacturer re further use of these vaccines after a CCB.
  7. If anyone is vaccinated with compromised vaccines, please request a Revaccination Advice Spreadsheet from the Public Health Unit ensuring the name of the person is De-Identified (ie only put in the first2 letters of the first name and surname eg Anne Allen = An Al).
  8. If a cooler was used to store vaccines during a cold chain breach, please, use vaccine cooler temperature chart above to monitor the temperatures while vaccines are in the cooler. 

Information and advice about vaccine storage management for Australian immunisation service providers can be found in the National Vaccine Storage Guidelines 'Strive for 5'. NSW Health facilities can also find information in the Policy Directive for Vaccine Storage and Cold Chain Management.

Information about vaccinations for workers in NSW Health facilities can be found in the Policy Directive for the Occupational Assessment, Screening and Vaccination Against Specific Diseases.pdf. Frequently asked questions, NSW Health Category A High Risk position questions, and disease specific questions can be found on the NSW Health website.

Childcare and aged care facilities are strongly encouraged to have their staff vaccinated in accordance with the Australian Immunisation Handbook guidelines.

NSW Immunisation Program vaccines can be ordered through the NSW Vaccine Centre via the online vaccine ordering system. 

NSW Immunisation Program vaccine order forms are also available on the NSW Health website for immunisation providers who are unable to use the online vaccine ordering system.

 

Update on school vaccination during COVID-19

While the NSW School Vaccination Program has been disrupted due to low student attendance, students are progressively returning to school over the coming months. NSW Health has implemented additional measures based on expert clinical advice to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission in school clinics. Advice about these additional measures has been developed for parents/guardians and schools.

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/pages/schoolvaccination.aspx

 

The Public Health Unit works with schools to arrange vaccination clinics at the school, usually in high school. These vaccinations include Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (dTpa) for the students in Year 7, and the Meningococcal ACWY vaccination for students in Year 10. If a student misses their school vaccination clinic, they can be offered a catch-up vaccination at future school clinics during the year or they can be arranged with a local general practitioner (GP).

Complete this form to request a vaccination record for a child who has been vaccinated in a high school in South Eastern Sydney.

Please note: the South Eastern Sydney Public Health Unit only has access to the following school vaccination records for schools in the South Eastern Sydney area.

Please use this map to check if your child attends school outside South Eastern Sydney.

You can find the contact details for your local Public Health Unit on the NSW Health website. 

To request school records, please click on Request for School Records.pdf and follow directions. The list of SESLHD school vaccinations given previously. can be found here: NSW School Vaccination Program Schedule.pdf. Alternatively, call the Public Health Unit on (02) 9382 8333 and we will email the records back to you.

For more information:

The Public Health Unit provides seminars to update providers on new information related to immunisations. Next update TBC.

 

To request to set up a vaccine account, please email us with your contact details.

For all travel-related immunisation, you should contact a specialist travel vaccination centre and/or a general practitioner (GP). The Public Health Unit does not provide specific advice on immunisations required for overseas travel to particular countries or regions due to the specialised nature of the information required. Travellers requiring a Yellow Fever vaccination need to visit a medical centre approved by NSW Health. A list of approved Yellow Fever providers in New South Wales can be found on the NSW Health website.

For more information, visit:

If you want to become a yellow fever provider, please go to the below link for further information:

To request a Yellow Fever accreditation, please email us with your contact details.

For enquiries about immunisation email us or phone (02) 9382 8333 during business hours.