World Immunisation Week ran from 24 until 30 April and promotes awareness of vaccines in protecting people of all ages against disease. This year’s theme #VaccinesWork for All, demonstrates the value of vaccines for children and communities, and how routine immunisation, builds a strong foundation for resilient health systems. It also champions those who develop, deliver and receive vaccines, as heroes working to protect everyone.

Recent information from the World Health Organisation on immunisation services during the COVID-19 pandemic states that, where feasible, immunisation for the prevention of communicable diseases should be prioritised. Disruption to services can increase numbers of susceptible individuals, raising the likelihood of outbreak-prone diseases such as measles. Delivery strategies may need to be adapted during this time.

Our successful Immunisation Bike Competition aims to increase childhood immunisation rates in Western Sydney. Our next Immunisation Bike Competition will run from 1 October 2020 to 31 January 2021, where children are in the running to win a bike and a helmet.

NSW Health and the State Vaccine Centre have been working to distribute influenza vaccines. All pre-orders have been delivered, with second orders commencing. For optimal protection, the recommended timing of influenza vaccines is between 3-4 months before the peak season, generally from June to September.

Pneumococcal vaccine orders placed from Wednesday 15 April are on backorder and will be filled when expected stock becomes available in early May. Vaccines should only be used for particularly vulnerable patients. For more information, refer to the Immunisation Coalition’s Pneumococcal Vaccination Tool page.

Resources on immunisation can be accessed via Western Sydney HealthPathways using the following login details:

Username: health
Password: w3stern