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.
Please see changes to the ordering of funded influenza vaccines in 2021 in the Ordering of Vaccines section below.
In 2021, free seasonal influenza vaccine is funded for the following groups at higher risk of complications from influenza: Seasonal influenza vaccination 2021
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.
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:
- 2. Cold Chain Breach Reporting Form - Updated 26 June 20202.pdf
- Managing cold chain breach guidelines
- Vaccine cooler temperature chart
It is very important to follow the below steps after you have discovered the CCB:
- Follow managing cold chain breach guidelines above
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Do not use the NIP vaccines or the vaccine fridge AND do not throw out any NIP vaccines until I give further instructions.
- I do not have any jurisdiction over privately bought vaccines- please ring the Manufacturer re further use of these vaccines after a CCB.
- 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).
- 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.
NSW Immunisation Program vaccines can be ordered through the NSW Vaccine Centre via the online vaccine ordering system.
Changes to the ordering of funded influenza vaccines in 2021
- A vaccine pre-allocation system will replace the current vaccine pre-order system.
- NSW Health will pre-allocate based on the clinic's previous year's vaccine usage which is calculated from the 2020 order history, population estimates and the number of vaccines remaining in the fridge at the end of the year.
- Clinics will be given the opportunity to review the pre-allocated order to ensure it meets refrigerator storage capacity and estimated vaccine usage. Please take into account the number of vaccines that were discarded due to expiry when calculating your needs.
- A questionnaire was sent three times by email to practices requesting information regarding the 2020 National Immunisation Program influenza vaccine stock (any vaccines already discarded due to expiry should be included in this questionnaire). The questionnaire is still available.
- To avoid any delays in the delivery of influenza vaccines in 2021, please complete the questionnaire as soon as possible. No further action is required if the questionnaire has already been completed.
- Vaccination clinics should only be scheduled once vaccine has been received.
- Receipt of vaccine delivery must be confirmed on the NSW Vaccine Centre webpage.
Information regarding the NSW School Vaccination Program and vaccines offered can be found here.
Historical School Records
All records of vaccination provided in the NSW School Vaccination Program since 2014 have been uploaded onto the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). Some earlier records may also be available in the AIR.
If you require patient vaccination records from the school program please first check the AIR. If you are unable to find records of vaccines administered prior to 2014 please contact us on 02 9382 8333 to speak to an immunisation nurse.
Patients can also access their own Immunisation History Statement through the AIR.
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:
- Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- International Travel and Health - World Health Organisation (WHO)
- Australian Immunisation Handbook International Travel
- Australian Immunisation Handbook Yellow Fever
If you want to become a yellow fever provider, please go to the below link for further information:
- NSW Health Yellow Fever Vaccinations
- Commonwealth Department of Health Training Guidelines
To request a Yellow Fever accreditation, please email us with your contact details.
Information on updated news and alerts about vaccinations is available on the NSW Health website.
New NIP Immunisation Schedule 1 July 2020:
- Commonwealth Department of Health Guidelines
- NSW Health NIP Changes 1 July 2020
- NSW Health NIP Immunisation Schedule (A4)
- NSW Health NIP Childhood Immunisation (Poster)
- NSW Health NIP FAQ General
- NSW Health NIP FAQ Health Professionals
Below are links to agencies and other organisations that contain useful information:
- NSW Health COVID-19
- Australian Government COVID-19
- Additional Commonwealth and NSW-funded free vaccines
- Australian Immunisation Handbook
- Australian Immunisation Register
- A-Z infectious diseases factsheets
- Catch-up immunisations
- Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network
- National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS)
- National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) factsheets
- NSW Immunisation Schedule
- The SKAI project: Sharing Knowledge About Immunisation
- Catch-up vaccination
- NCIRS Immunisation Schedule
- NSW Health School Immunisation Program 2021