New pneumococcal vaccine changes
From 1 July 2020, there are changes to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) which affect pneumococcal, meningococcal and hepatitis A vaccination.
The changes to pneumococcal immunisation are as follows:
- The vaccine funded for older non-Indigenous Australians on the National Immunisation Program will be 13vPCV (Prevenar 13), instead of 23vPPV (Pneumovax 23).
- The age for immunising older Australians has been raised from 65 years and over to 70 years and over.
- All non-Indigenous adults who don’t have a medically at-risk condition for pneumococcal disease who turn 70 after 1 July 2020 should have one dose of Prevenar 13, even if they have previously had Pneumovax 23.
- All non-Indigenous adults who are already over 70 on 1 July 2020 are also eligible for a single funded dose of Prevenar 13.
- For Indigenous Australians, pneumococcal immunisation is NIP funded at age 50 years plus. This encompasses 1 dose of 13vPCV and 2 subsequent doses of 23vPPV.
- Young Indigenous children in NT, Qld, SA, and WA – in addition to the 4 doses of 13vPCV they already receive, should also now be given 2 NIP-funded doses of 23vPPV pneumococcal vaccine.
Medically at-risk groups
People with certain medical risks/conditions are now eligible for NIP-funded pneumococcal vaccine – one dose of 13vPCV at diagnosis and 2 doses of 23vPPV later. These conditions are:
- Functional or anatomical asplenia
- Pneumococcal at risk medical conditions (Some are NIP-funded – the list has been revised and simplified to a new single list of conditions – See Table 1 of the Clinical decision tree for vaccination providers for the Updated list of conditions with eligibility for funding).
This table summarises the changes
|Pneumococcal vaccines: summary of changes 1 July 2020|
|Vaccine||Non-indigenous older adults||Medically at risk||Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people|
|Prevenar 13 (13vPCV)||
|Pneumovax (23vPPV)||No longer recommended|
myDr.com.au has a lot more information for your patients on immunisation – on childhood immunisations, on immunisation for older Australians, and on all the individual vaccine-preventable diseases, such as pneumococcal disease.
More information for Health Professionals
Clinical update: National Immunisation Program (NIP) changes form 1 July 2020 – advice for immunisation providers: https://www.health.gov.au/news/clinical-update-national-immunisation-program-nip-schedule-changes-from-1-july-2020-advice-for-vaccination-providers
National Immunisation Program Schedule: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/immunisation/immunisation-throughout-life/national-immunisation-program-schedule
Last Reviewed: 29/09/2020
1. National Immunisation Program. Pneumococcal vaccination schedule from 1 July 2020. https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/06/national-immunisation-program-pneumococcal-vaccination-schedule-from-1-july-2020-clinical-advice-for-vaccination-providers.pdf
2. National Immunisation Program. Pneumococcal vaccination schedule from 1 July 2020 - Clinical decision tree for vaccination providers. https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/06/national-immunisation-program-pneumococcal-vaccination-schedule-from-1-july-2020-clinical-decision-tree-for-vaccination-providers-national-immunisation-program-pneumococcal-vaccination-schedule-from-1-july-2020-clinical-de.pdf
Pneumococcal disease is illness caused by infection with the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae. Read about the symptoms, treatment and prevention.
Vaccinations for older people
Older people should be vaccinated against influenza, pneumococcal disease and shingles - 3 common but potentially dangerous diseases. Tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough boosters are also recommended.
Adequate vaccination is just as important for adults as it is for children. Find out about the diseases you should consider being vaccinated against.
Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule for Vaccinations
An easy guide to the vaccinations included in the National Immunisation Schedule as well as some other recommended vaccinations you need.
Meningitis in children
Meningitis means inflammation of the meninges - the lining around the brain and spinal cord. It is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection.