Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine doses can now be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). This makes it easier for healthcare providers to find information about their patient’s HPV vaccinations.
The AIR is a national register that records all vaccinations given to people of all ages in Australia, including through school vaccination programs.
The HPV vaccine is funded under Australia’s National Immunisation Program and usually given to school children aged 12 or 13. Before 10 September 2018, the National HPV Vaccination Program Register operated by the Victorian Cytology Service (VCS) Foundation kept records of HPV vaccinations. These records have been transferred to the AIR.
What the changes mean for your practice
The changes mean that all vaccination information will now be kept in one place. You can check and print the vaccination records for your patients using the AIR site. For more information about how to access the AIR site, go to the AIR for health professionals page on Services Australia's website.
To help with the transition, the VCS Foundation will keep accepting HPV vaccination records until 31 October 2018. From 1 November 2018, the VCS Foundation will no longer accept HPV vaccination records – you must record these on the AIR.
HPV vaccinations will now be included in AIR reports. These reports can help you identify patients attending your practice who are overdue for vaccination. Services Australia's website provides information on the reports available from the AIR.
This change only affects where HPV vaccination information is recorded. There is no change to the National Immunisation Program Schedule.
What you need to do
Record any HPV vaccinations you give on the AIR, using your practice management software or the AIR site. Make sure you have the latest version of the software, including any updates. In June 2018, Services Australia sent all registered software vendors an update. This included two new (optional) fields for all vaccines: school names, and vaccine batch numbers. State and territory health departments are working with school-based providers to support the new reporting arrangements.
You should encourage your patients to make sure their personal details are up to date in Medicare. The AIR uses the address and other details they have with Medicare, which might be different to the details they provided for the HPV Register.
Patients can also choose to record their Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status in their Medicare details.
More information See Using the AIR for more information.