2021 Flu Vaccination Program

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2021 Government-Funded Influenza Immunisation Program for General Practice

 

Click here to read the FAQs for Influenza Vaccination Distribution 

Currently approved allocations are now visible in your WAPHA portal. Further allocations will be visible once approved for delivery.


Key Messages

  • This year WA Health has partnered with WA Primary Health Alliance to implement a process to pre-allocate influenza vaccines for general practices across Western Australia
  • WA Primary Health Alliance is coordinating pre-allocation of influenza vaccine doses which will occur for the first six-week period of vaccine ordering
  • It is WA Health’s intent to commence distribution of influenza to providers in late March, pending confirmation of deliveries from manufactures to our warehouse


WA Primary Health Alliance, WA Department of Health, the Australian Medical Association (WA) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners WA have been working closely to improve supply of annual influenza vaccination stock to Western Australian general practices.

These discussions have resulted in an agreement to implement a pre-allocation model for the initial six weeks of the vaccine rollout to ensure a timely and appropriate vaccine supply for Western Australian general practice.

It is hoped this improved system, which includes a contingency for emergency supply, will ensure a more equitable distribution of initial stock for Western Australia’s health system’s needs, with the necessary flexibility and responsiveness to meet individual practices’ particular requirements. Read the full 'Joint statement 2021 influenza vaccine distribution' here.

All enquiries relating to the pre-allocation of doses should be directed to Practice Assist phone toll-free 1800 2 ASSIST (1800 2 277 478) or email practiceassist@wapha.org.au

 

Seasonal influenza vaccination in 2021

For further information on the Government-funded Influenza Immunisation Program for General Practice click here to read the Government of Western Australia, Department of Health letter regarding 'Pre-allocation to GP's ' .

 

FAQs for Influenza Vaccination Distribution 

For GPs in metropolitan and regional WA, important changes to distribution of the government-funded seasonal influenza vaccines in 2021 are detailed in the below frequently asked questions. 

When will the influenza vaccines be delivered?

WA Health commences distribution of influenza vaccines to providers once vaccine products are received at the warehouse. 

Vaccine for over 65 years will be available first, then from mid-April influenza vaccine for other cohorts will be ready for distribution.

Orders (whether pre-allocation influenza or routine) become visible in the Toll on-line ordering system when placed, and automated emails are generated when approved and ready for distribution according to your next scheduled delivery day.

Why did we receive a request to review the number of vaccinations that will be distributed to our practice?

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA), WA Department of Health, the Australian Medical Association (WA) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners have been working closely to improve supply and distribution of annual influenza vaccination stock to Western Australian general practices.

These discussions have resulted in an agreement to implement a pre-allocation model (based on a proven model used in the eastern states) for the initial six weeks of the vaccine rollout for the over 65 age group. This will ensure a timely, appropriate and equitable vaccine supply for general practices. Following the first six weeks, practices will be able to order additional doses required, subject to remaining stock supply.

The planned approach takes into consideration –
  • The arrival of stock at the warehouse over a six-week period
  • The calculations of active patients within each practice
  • The feedback received that practices could plan their vaccination clinics if they knew in advance the number of vaccines that were to be delivered.
  • Reduction of vaccine wastage
 

When should we plan our clinics?

Vaccination clinics should be scheduled after the vaccine doses have been received at your practice. Deliveries should occur in line with routine fortnightly delivery schedules in the metropolitan area. In the regional areas, deliveries will be each alternate week following the first delivery.
 

How were the numbers of vaccines calculated?

The number of active patients in each cohort attending each practice has been mapped against the amount of vaccine available in WA each fortnight, and considers the timing of when vaccine supply should arrive into WA.  

What are the cohorts being used for the pre-allocation?

  • 6 months to less than 5 years
  • 5 years to less than 64 years of age, who are eligible for NIP-funded influenzas vaccines including: individuals who are medically at risk OR individuals who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 65 years of age and over
  • 5 years of age to less than 13 years of age

How do you know the number of active patients in each cohort that attend our practice?

If you have signed a data sharing agreement with WAPHA your practice data will be utilised to determine these numbers.  

For those practices that do not share data, you will be invited to enter this information via a secure portal. 

Who will have access to this information?

WAPHA has access to the number of active patients in a practice where a practice is sharing data with WAPHA.

This information is being used by WAPHA to calculate the equitable distribution of influenza vaccination stock across practices.

The distribution data will be provided to the WA Department of Health so they can process the deliveries.

Why was the cut-off date such a quick turn around?

The information was required by 12th March to enable the WA Department of Health to process and plan for the delivery of the vaccines.

My practice was not previously set up to participate in the influenza vaccine program. We would like to participate this year. How do we obtain a pre-allocation?

Go to the Toll online ordering system homepage, click on the link to get in contact with the Vaccine Orders team.

Why is pre-allocation only relating to the first six weeks of the influenza vaccination season?

Generally, demand for stock is at its highest in the first few delivery cycles. To ensure vaccine is available across all providers for the entire season, pre-allocating vaccine supports supply to meet demand, as shipments of influenza vaccine product to WA becomes available through the same time period. 

What happens after the pre-allocation period?

Your practice will be able to order additional doses if required. Messaging will be provided on the WA Health online vaccine ordering system.

Who organised the pre-allocation plan?

WA Primary Health Alliance, WA Department of Health, the Australian Medical Association (WA) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners WA have been working closely to improve supply and distribution of annual influenza vaccination stock to Western Australian general practice.

These discussions have resulted in an agreement to implement a pre-allocation model (based on a proven model used in the eastern states) for the initial six weeks of the vaccine rollout. This will ensure a timely, appropriate and equitable vaccine supply for general practice. Following the first six weeks, practices will be able to order whatever supply they need.

How can I structure the information in my practice so patients know when the vaccines will be available?

Communications to patients and booking of appointments for influenza vaccinations should be based on the number of vaccines you are allocated for your scheduled deliveries, and to ensure stock does not run out.

What if I run out and have a clinic booked?

You must carefully plan your clinic dates in line with what will be distributed to you. You will need to manage the demand and expectation within your clinic. We recommend that you quarantine a proportion of your doses when planning clinics to ensure that you have adequate supply for the fortnight.

What if I have a cold chain breach and cannot use the vaccines I have in stock?

Providers must advise their WA Health public health unit (Healthy WA)  when a cold chain breach occurs.  If you have been advised by the Public Health Unit (PHU) to discard vaccines, the Vaccine Orders team will be advised by the PHU, and will liaise with you to arrange resupply of vaccine.

Now is the time to review your cold chain storage processes, and ensure your vaccine fridges are fit-for-purpose.  For up to date information review the WA Health cold chain management web page.

Can I collect more stock from the warehouse if we run out of influenza vaccines?

No. Each practice must manage their bookings to ensure they do not run out of stock. Collection of extra vaccinations from the warehouse will not be allowed during the first six weeks of the season unless there is an emergency such as a cold chain breach. We recommend that you do not allocate all your vaccine to clinics, and that you retain a proportion of vaccines for opportunistic vaccination.

 

Are we required to take delivery of our full influenza vaccine allocation for the fortnight?

No. You can choose to receive less than your allocated amount. For instance, if you are concerned about fridge storage space you can request that a smaller number of vaccines be delivered. Please note that vaccines will be presented in packs of 10 doses.

 

How will I know if my patient has received an influenza vaccine or a COVID-19 vaccine in the last two weeks?

Immunisation providers are required to comprehensively screen everyone who wants to be vaccinated. This includes checking the Australian Immunisation Register for the person’s vaccination history. More information on pre-vaccination screening can be found here: https://immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/vaccination-procedures/preparing-for-vaccination

Will GPs be provided clear guidance for timelines of vaccination between influenza and COVID-19?

  • Routine scheduling and giving of an influenza vaccine with a COVID-19 vaccine on the same day is not recommended.
  • The preferred minimum interval between a dose of seasonal influenza vaccine and a dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine (BNT162b2) or the AstraZeneca vaccine (ChAdOx1-S) is 14 days.
  • There is no particular requirement regarding the order of receiving a dose of influenza vaccine and either the first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • If an influenza vaccine has been inadvertently co-administered or given within a shorter interval than 14 days with a COVID-19 vaccine, revaccination with either vaccine is not considered necessary.
The above advice has been taken from The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have issued clinical advice statement aims to provide guidance for immunisation program coordinators and immunisation providers on the relative timing of scheduling and giving influenza vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, which can be accessed here:  https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-atagi-advice-on-influenza-and-covid-19-vaccines

It is best to stay up to date by referring to:  
Email healthpathways@wapha.org.au if you don’t have or have forgotten your username or password

How do I access private supplies of influenza vaccines?

There are a number of providers who distribute private flu vaccination supplies including AMA medical supplies.

 

How can I view my practices final allocations?

Final allocations for each delivery in each cohort will be visible in the WAPHA Portal once the allocations are finalised.

When viewing your practices allocations of influenza vaccines in the WAPHA Portal, only the allocations and deliveries that have been approved by the Department of Health will be populated.

As further deliveries and cohort allocations are approved, they will be populated in the relevant field in the portal (until this time they will appear blank). We do not have confirmed timeframes for these future approvals as they are dependent on vaccine stock availability.

Once the allocations have been entered in the TOLL distribution system you will receive a notification that your delivery has been scheduled.

 

What do I do if I need to change my pre allocation amount after it has been confirmed?

Contact vaccineorders@health.wa.gov.au via email.  

The contact person for vaccination ordering at my practice has changed, who should I notify?

Log on to the WA Health Vaccine Ordering system and update your provider details.  
 

I did not review my pre-allocations in the portal how will I know what my final allocation is?

As the portal has now closed you will need to email practiceassist@wapha.org.au with your Name, practice name and contact details for one of our team to contact you to confirm your pre-allocation vaccine numbers. To make the deadline for the second delivery this must be done by 12pm 19th March. For inclusion in the third delivery this must be done by Friday 26th March.

If you do not confirm your pre-allocation amounts you will not receive any vaccine during the pre-allocation 6 week period. After this period your practice will be able to access supply of 2021 seasonal influenza vaccines through the WA Health online vaccine ordering system. Your practice will be notified when the on-line ordering system is open to general practices to order additional doses if required. Messaging will also be provided on the ordering system.
 

I do not share data with WAPHA, and I did not provide the requested data to allow a pre-allocation to occur. How do I make a request for an allocation?

As the portal has now closed you will need to email practiceassist@wapha.org.au with your Name, practice name and contact details for one of our team to contact you to confirm your pre-allocation vaccine numbers. To make the deadline for the second delivery this must be done by 12pm 19th March. For inclusion in the third delivery this must be done by Friday 26th March.

If you do not confirm your pre-allocation amounts you will not receive any vaccine during the pre-allocation 6 week period. After this period your practice will be able to access supply of 2021 seasonal influenza vaccines through the WA Health online vaccine ordering system. Your practice will be notified when the on-line ordering system is open to general practices to order additional doses if required. Messaging will also be provided on the ordering system.

 

Why are my submitted forms not visible when I log into the Portal

The Due Date to review and update the forms has passed therefore the submissions are no longer visible in the portal.  

You will receive an email notification soon advising that your final allocations are available for viewing in the portal. 

How do I access the WAPHA portal to view my allocations?

Go to the address WAPHA Portal and log in using the same log in details from your original registration. If you do not know what your log in details are please use the password reset function, or email Practice Assist.
Click here for the WAPHA Portal GP Influenza Vaccine Allocation How to guide.
 
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