New GSK additions to the National Immunisation Program (NIP)

The addition of two new vaccines to the National Immunisation Program means that Australian children will now require two less injections by the time they are four years old while ensuring they are protected against the same number of serious diseases.

The addition of two new vaccines to the National Immunisation Program means that Australian children will now require two less injections by the time they are four years old while ensuring they are protected against the same number of serious diseases.

The number of diseases Australian children are protected against remains the same because the new combination vaccines are replacing existing individual vaccines.

An Australian online survey has indicated 24% of respondents were concerned about the transient discomfort children experience when given an injection, despite knowing the importance of immunisation.1

There is also international evidence that some childhood immunisations are deferred to avoid the pain and distress associated with multiple injections on the same day2.

The two new additions to the National Immunisation Program are Priorix-Tetra® (measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccine, live attenuated) and Menitorix® (Haemophilus influenzae type B Polyribose ribitol phosphate and Group C Meningococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine).

Priorix-Tetra is a vaccine used to prevent four diseases- measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chickenpox). Measles, mumps, rubella and varicella are all viral diseases3.

The inclusion of Priorix-Tetra in the program will allow children to complete the MMR schedule by 18 months. Previously this would have been completed at four years of age. Children who have already received their 12 month MMR and 18 month old varicella vaccinations will still be immunised with their second dose of MMR at 4 years of age.

MENITORIX is a vaccine used to prevent two diseases - Haemophilus influenzae type-b (Hib) and Meningococcal C disease4 which can both cause meningitis in children. MENITORIX replaces two injections on the current schedule, so the diseases protected against will remain the same.

Professor Robert Booy, who is Head of the Clinical Research team at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) welcomed the development saying that reducing “needle burden” was important in overcoming barriers to better immunisation rates.

“Clearly the longer term advantages of immunisation outweigh the short term discomfort, so we need to keep educating parents on the benefits where possible. However if parents are anxious about the number of injections children receive at one visit or encounter then we need to focus on developing a program that maintains childhood protection while minimising the number of injections and maintaining a high level of safety. We know that an important aim in maximising coverage against disease is to reduce stress by using the smallest possible number of injections,” said Professor Booy.

Professor Booy encouraged parents to contact their GP or healthcare provider if they have any questions on immunisation or the updated NIP schedule.

-ENDS-

MEDIA CONTACTS: For further information please call Martin Palin (0418 419 258;martin@palin.com.au ) or Lauren Sharkey (0439 404 200;lauren@palin.com.au ) at Palin Communications on 02 9412 2255.

GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com

Parents are encouraged to contact their state or territory health department if they have questions about the National Immunisation Program.

Minimum Product Information

PRIORIX TETRA MINIMUM PI
Measles, mumps, rubella and varicella vaccine (live, attenuated)

Indications: Active immunisation against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella from 9 months of age. Contraindications: Pregnancy. Delay pregnancy for three months post vaccination. Hypersensitivity to any component (including neomycin) or following previous administration of measles, mumps, rubella or varicella containing vaccines. Impaired immune function. Precautions: Acute, severe febrile illness, delay vaccination. Under no circumstances to be administered intravascularly or intradermally. Anticipate potential syncope. Potential insufficient measles response in infants <12 months. Potential transmission of varicella vaccine virus (rare). Increased risk of febrile convulsion when used as the first measles-containing vaccination*. History of febrile convulsions or a family history of convulsions. History of anaphylactic, anaphylactoid or other immediate reaction subsequent to egg ingestion. Thrombocytopenia following vaccination with prior dose of live MMR vaccine. Asymptomatic HIV patients. Lactation. Concomitant administration with other vaccines. Interactions Mantoux testing; blood transfusions, gammaglobulin infusions; salicylates. Do not mix with other vaccines in the same syringe. Allow rubbing alcohol to evaporate. Adverse events: Fever, injection site reaction: redness, pain and swelling; rash and irritability. This is not a complete list. Dosage and Administration: Subjects aged from 9 months to 12 years should receive two doses of MMR-containing vaccine. Refer to PI and official recommendations for further information. The vaccine must be reconstituted by adding 0.5mL of sterile water diluent. Administer by subcutaneous injection. Storage: Store between 2-8°C.
For further details, please refer to the Full PI.

*Please note change of clinical significance

NIP and PBS Information: Priorix-Tetra is listed on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for children. Refer to NIP schedule and your State or Territory Health Department for details. This product is not listed on the PBS.

Consumer Medicine Information is available at www.gsk.com.au/Priorix-Tetra

MENITORIX MINIMUM PI
Haemophilus influenzae type b Polyribose ribitol phosphate and group C Meningococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine (Hib-MenC).

Indications: Prevention of invasive diseases caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and Neisseria meningitidis serogroup C (MenC). Contraindications: Hypersensitivity following previous administration with Menitorix. Hypersensitivity to any of the vaccine components, including tetanus toxoid. Precautions: Menitorix should never be administered intravascularly or intradermally. No data available on subcutaneous administration. Menitorix only confers protection against Hib and Men C. Not a substitute for routine tetanus immunization. Anticipate potential syncope (fainting), postpone vaccination during acute severe febrile illness. Impaired immune states, thrombocytopenia, coagulation disorders, potential risk of apnoea in very premature infants (≤28 weeks of gestation). Interactions: Avoid concurrent administration with other Hib or Men C containing vaccines. Menitorix can be given concomitantly with the following monovalent/combination vaccines at separate injection sites: Diphtheria (D), Tetanus (T), acellular Pertussis (aP), hepatitis B (HBV), inactivated polio (IPV), Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines. Adverse Events: Irritability, drowsiness, loss of appetite, injection site reactions (pain, redness, swelling, induration and nodule), fever (rectal ≥38°C), headache and dizziness. This is not a complete list. Dosage and Administration: Use in accordance with the Australian National Immunisation Program Schedule and with reference to the Australian Immunisation Handbook. Reconstitute powder with the 0.5ml diluent and shake well. Single 0.5ml dose by intramuscular injection only Storage: Store between +2oC and +8oC. DO NOT FREEZE. For further information, please refer to full PI.

NIP and PBS Information: Menitorix is listed on the National Immunisation Program (NIP). Refer to NIP Schedule and your State or Territory health department for details. Menitorix is not listed on the PBS.

Consumer Medicine Information is available at www.gsk.com.au/Menitorix

GlaxoSmithKline Australia Pty Ltd. ABN 47 100 162 481. Melbourne, VIC. Menitorix and Priorix-Tetra are a trademark of the GlaxoSmithKline Group of Companies.

AUS/PRI/0019/13: Date of approval June 2013

REFERENCES

1. Sonya Pemberton & SBS Australia., (2013). Jabbed: Love, fear and vaccines. Retrieved May 28 2013 from http://www.sbs.com.au/shows/jabbed/about/page/i/1/h/Home/
2. Pediatr Infect Dis J, 2001;20:S57–62 Vol. 20, No. 11
3. Product Information: PRIORIX-TETRA®
4. Product Information: MENITORIX®.