|Title:||Adult Influenza and Pneumococcal Immunisation Program - 2009|
|Document ID:||Operational Directive OD 0231/09|
|Date of issue:||Friday, 13 November 2009|
|Status:||NO LONGER APPLICABLE|
|Description:||The Australian Government funds influenza and pneumococcal vaccine for defined at risk groups.|
|Period of effect:||from 23 October 2009|
|Authorised by:||Dr Peter Flett, DIRECTOR GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, 23-Oct-2009|
|Print version:||View print version|
Adult Influenza and Pneumococcal Immunisation Program - 2009
This Operational Directive is designed to advise Department of Health staff on Department of Health policies and procedures and may contain advice that is not appropriate in other circumstances.
Table of Content
1. Vaccine Recommendations and Funding
Appendices (See PDF)
1. VACCINE RECOMMENDATIONS AND FUNDING
The Australian Government funds influenza and pneumococcal vaccine for defined at risk groups as outlined in table 1.
Western Australia is also offering free influenza vaccines to children 6 months to 4 years of age. See Appendix 3.
Influenza vaccine is also recommended but unfunded for the following groups:
These vaccines must be prescribed and are subsidised through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Influenza vaccine contains two type A strains and one type B strain, representing the influenza viruses most likely to circulate each winter. Product information leaflets should be consulted for each vaccine to determine its exact composition. Influenza vaccine efficacy varies according to the similarity of the vaccine strain to the circulating influenza strain, and the age and health of the vaccinee.
There are two influenza vaccines available through the Commonwealth Government funded program for 2009. These are:
CSL — Fluvax®
Pneumococcal vaccine (Pneumovax23®) is recommended but unfunded for non‑Indigenous people less than 65 years of age with a predisposing medical condition. These vaccines must be prescribed and are subsidised through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
To prevent heat damage to prescribed vaccines, patients should be advised how to collect, store and transport the vaccines from the local pharmacy appropriately. Ideally, vaccine should be collected immediately before the GP appointment.
The only available pneumococcal 23 valent polysaccharide vaccine is Pneumovax23TM.
2. ORDERING VACCINES
Vaccine supplies are available from CSL in the metropolitan area and from Regional Pharmacies or other depots in rural areas. Fax vaccine order forms to CSL on 9227 6196. For vaccine order enquiries, phone CSL on 9328 7322.
3. AUTHORITY TO VACCINATE
Department of Health (DOH) nurses with a current DOH Certificate of Immunisation Competency may administer any of the vaccines listed in the current Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule (ASVS), including influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. DOH nurses may administer vaccines not included in the current ASVS under the authority of a Regional Population Health Physician or other registered medical practitioner. Non-DOH nurses may administer any vaccines under the authority of a registered medical practitioner.
All information regarding administration of an immunisation program and the information regarding individual vaccines and the diseases they protect against can be found in the Australian Immunisation Handbook, 9th Edition, 2008 at www.immunise.health.gov.au. The National Vaccine Storage Guidelines — Strive for Five provides further information on storage of vaccines and can be found at
5. PATIENTS AND STAFF OF HOSPITALS AND RESIDENTIAL CARE FACILITIES
Staff should make arrangements to ensure that high risk patients (see Table 1) are either offered influenza and/or pneumococcal vaccination as in-patients or as out-patients, or that high risk patients are advised to obtain influenza and/or pneumococcal vaccination from their general practitioner.
Hospitals and residential care facilities should provide staff influenza vaccination programs to reduce the transmission of influenza between staff and patients.
6. REGIONAL INDIGENOUS INFLUENZA AND PNEUMOCOCCAL VACCINATION REPORTS
Influenza and pneumococcal vaccine coverage data for Population Health Regions for Indigenous persons aged 15 to 49 years and 50 years or older must be provided to the Medical Coordinator, Communicable Disease Control Directorate, by the Regional Immunisation Coordinator for the Population Health Region before 1 November each year.
7. PATIENT INFLUENZA AND PNEUMOCOCAL IMMUNISATION PROGRAMS
A number of strategies can be adopted within hospitals to ensure that as many high-risk patients as possible are vaccinated against influenza or pneumococcal disease:
8. STAFF INFLUENZA IMMUNISATION PROGRAMS
Many hospitals and residential care facilities have established staff influenza vaccination programs to reduce nosocomial infections and staff sick leave. Staff influenza vaccination programs are best managed by designated infection control and/or occupational health staff. These programs require consistent administrative and collegiate support to maximise vaccine coverage. The objectives of these programs include:
(i) Promoting staff influenza vaccination,
Successful staff influenza vaccination programs require routine promotion activities including emails, letters, pamphlets, posters, vaccination stickers, broadcasts and direct support from team leaders. Some influenza vaccine companies routinely provide hospitals with staff influenza vaccination promotion materials.
(ii) Offering free influenza vaccination to staff
The most successful staff influenza vaccination programs include the provision of free vaccine and a free, convenient, vaccination service. The most successful staff vaccination services usually utilise a mobile vaccination team visiting each ward or site, or an on-site staff vaccination clinic, to maximise convenience. Some influenza vaccine companies subsidise the cost of influenza vaccine or vaccination services for staff vaccination programs.
(iii) Measuring the effectiveness and costs of the program
Influenza vaccination programs should be evaluated each year with data including staff vaccine coverage, staff sick leave and costs, vaccine and vaccination costs.
For more information about staff immunisation recommendations, see OD 0049/07: Health Care Worker Immunisation Protocol at http://intranet.health.wa.gov.au/circularsnew/pdfs/12275.pdf
Expert advice on implementing and evaluating staff vaccination programs is available from staff immunisation coordinators in WA hospitals or from vaccine consultants with the pharmaceutical companies providing the influenza vaccine. Contact numbers are: Sanofi Pasteur 0404 467 807 and CSL 0422 000 322.
1. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Australian Immunisation Handbook, 9th Edition 2008.
Dr Peter Flett
This circular last updated: Friday, 13 November 2009 at 10:41am