Immunisation: health professionals

COVID-19 vaccine

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 Details
23 July 2021

AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Inclusion of prior assessment requirements for persons with specific allergies.
  • Change to Drug Interactions to recommend an interval of 7 days between COVID 19 vaccine and other vaccines including influenza.

Comirnaty (Pfizer) COVID-19 Vaccine

  • Pregnant women (category B1 - limited experience in humans, animal studies do not indicate harmful effects).
  • Change to contraindications to replace “hypersensivity” to “anaphylaxis” in relation to the active substance or to any of the excipients (including Polyethylene Glycol).
  • Inclusion of prior assessment requirements for persons with specific allergies.
  • Change to Drug Interactions to recommend an interval of 7 days between COVID 19 vaccine and other vaccines including influenza.
15 July 2021

The CVAPs have been updated in response to recent advice provided by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. Changes include:

COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca

  • Change in inclusion criteria to people aged 60 years and above
  • Inclusion of pregnancy under contraindications
  • Addition of web-link to health provider resources

Comirnaty vaccine

  • Change in Inclusion criteria to include pregnancy
  • Inclusion of COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy
  • Addition of web-link to health provider resources
17 June 2021

The CVAPS have been updated in response to recent advice provided by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. Changes include:

COMIRNATY COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer:

  • reduction of interval to 7 days for other vaccines
  • inclusion of 4 clotting disorders as precautions and need for medical consult prior to administration which may be undertaken via telephone
  • no change in pregnancy – needs referral to medical officer.

COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca:

  • reduction of interval to 7 days for other vaccines
  • inclusion of 4 clotting disorders as contraindications
  • further doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca are contraindicated in people who develop thrombosis with thrombocytopenia after their first dose
  • no change in pregnancy – needs referral to medical officer.

For more information please read the joint statement from ATAGI and THANZ on Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) and the use of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca and the Clinical guidance on use of COVID-19 vaccine in Australia on the Federal Department of Health web site.

31 May 2021

COMIRNATY COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer:

  • Change the cold storage temperature requirements following advice from Therapeutic Goods Administration to allow more flexible storage. For further information, go to the TGA website.
30 April 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca:

  • Revision of age covered by the protocol to 30 years and above as People between 18 and 29 years of age as risks due to thrombosis with thrombocytopenia are likely to be higher than benefits from reduction in COVID disease complications.
  • Requirement for explicit informed consent to be documented in clinical record for people aged between the age of 30 and 50 years as this vaccine can be used in adults aged under 50 years where the benefits clearly outweigh the risk for that individual and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits.
  • Record any vaccine administration issues in clinical incident management system.

COMIRNATY COVID-19 Vaccine Pfizer:

  • Change the age covered by the protocol to 16 years and above
  • Record any vaccine administration issues in clinical incident management system.

As for all vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, health care providers should be alert for persistent, unexpected and/or severe adverse events following immunisation in their patients, particularly those that occur 1–2 weeks after vaccination. For more information please read ATAGI reinforce recommendations on use of COVID-19 vaccines following review of vaccine safety data and benefits on the Federal Department of Health web site.

29 March 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine protocols (CVAPs) for COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca and COMIRNATY COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer have been updated to reflect the advice provided by the Australian Technical Advisory Group for Immunisations. Out of an abundance of caution they are recommending that vaccination with any COVID-19 vaccine should be deferred for people who have a history of the following rare conditions:

  • People with a confirmed medical history of CVST, and/or
  • people with a confirmed medical history of heparin induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). HIT is an immune-mediated complication of treatment with heparin that affects platelet function. A HIT-like mechanism is being investigated as a potential, but unconfirmed, pathway to CVST post COVID-19 vaccination.

This is until further information from ongoing investigations in Europe is available and is only a precautionary measure.

As for all vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, health care providers should be alert for persistent, unexpected and/or severe adverse events following immunisation in their patients, particularly those that occur 1 to 2 weeks after vaccination.

AstraZeneca ChAdOx1-S protocol

Under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2012 Sections 254A, 254B and 254C the mandatory COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccination Administration Protocol (CVAP) must be followed when administering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The CVAP explains the mandatory COVID-19 national training and AstraZeneca administration requirements that AHPRA Registered Nurses, Midwives, Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Pharmacists who wish to be able to administer the vaccine must follow.

The CVAP includes that:

  • the training requires completion of all 6 modules of the national COVID-19 vaccination training, plus other training, and
  • the administration procedures that MUST be adhered to when administering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

There is a strict liability offence with a penalty of up to $15,800 for not following the CVAP.

Pfizer Australia COMIRNATY BNT162b2 (mRNA) protocol

Under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2012 Sections 254A, 254B and 254C the mandatory COVID-19 COMIRNATY Vaccination Administration Protocol (CVAP) must be followed when administering the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine.

The CVAP explains the mandatory COVID-19 national training and Comirnaty administration requirements that AHPRA Registered Nurses, Midwives, Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Pharmacists who wish to be able to administer the vaccine must follow.

The CVAP includes that:

  • the training requires completion of all 6 modules of the national COVID-19 vaccination training, plus other training, and
  • the administration procedures that MUST be adhered to when administering the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine.

There is a strict liability offence with a penalty of up to $15,800 for not following the CVAP.

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Last updated: 26 July 2021

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