Enhancements to the Australian Immunisation Register
Immunisation is an essential health service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health professionals must maintain routine immunisation services and ensure on-time vaccination according to the current recommended schedules.
To ensure that immunisation services can continue to be conducted safely without exposing healthcare workers and the wider community to undue risk, providers need to adapt their procedures and practice to comply with measures in place, including physical distancing, to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
There have been several recent enhancements made to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) to improve functionality for vaccination providers and make it easier for people to stay up to date with their immunisations. Two of the updates are summarised below.
Catch-up schedule to display on immunisation history statement
Australian Government legislation requires children to meet immunisation requirements to be eligible for family payments.
From February 2020, if a person is on an approved immunisation catch-up schedule registered on the AIR the:
- catch-up schedule will display on the top of the immunisation history statement.
- date it expires will also show.
This helps to give people a complete picture of their immunisation status. It gives parents and guardians evidence of a child’s vaccination status for childcare or school entry. It also lets other vaccination providers know how a person’s vaccination needs are being managed.
Amended pneumococcal rules and the introduction of reminder letters for older Australians
On 1 July 2020, the recommended age on the NIP for older Australians to receive the pneumococcal vaccine changed from 65 to 70 years. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, pneumococcal is recommended from 50 years. Vaccination against shingles is still recommended for people from 70 years of age and can be administered at the same time as the pneumococcal vaccine.
In line with the new schedule changes, Services Australia will send a reminder letter to people who are eligible for a pneumococcal and shingles vaccination.
For more details about these updates, please visit the Department of Health website.