26th June 2015 - COMMUNICABLE DISEASE CONTROL BRANCH
Situation update - Middle Eastern Respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
- Take a travel history from patients presenting with an acute respiratory illness, and consider the possibility of MERS-CoV infection in patients who have travelled to the Middle East or other countries where an outbreak of MERS-CoV infection is currently occurring.
- Notify urgently any patient suspected to have MERS-CoV infection to CDCB (1300 232 272 24 hours/7 days).
Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation advice on the use of hepatitis B vaccines during supply shortages
- There is currently a shortage of the adult formulation of hepatitis B vaccines Engerix-B® (GlaxoSmithKline) and H-B-Vax-II® (Seqirus) in Australia. The shortage has impacted on private market supply.
- Supply for the National Immunisation Program (NIP) has not been affected at this time, so the adult formulation of hepatitis B vaccines as part of the NIP expansion measure should continue as scheduled for all eligible individuals.
The substitute options that ATAGI recommends for adult hepatitis B vaccination in the event of unavailability of Engerix-B® or H-B-Vax-II®are as follows:
- Concurrent administration of two doses of the paediatric formulation of a hepatitis B vaccine (0.5mL per dose) – the doses can be administered at adjacent sites (≥2.5cm apart) on the same arm or separately with one dose in each arm; OR
- Administration of an adult dose of the combined hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine (Twinrix® (GlaxoSmithKline)) – there may be further dose requirements of hepatitis A-containing vaccine if protection against hepatitis A is also desired.
The original vaccination schedule should be maintained. While using the same brand product is preferable, use of the alternative brand product to complete the vaccination course is acceptable.
Please refer to the document below which provides clinical advice to assist in using alternate hepatitis B vaccines during supply shortages.