The Specialist Immunisation Service (SIS) is the only state-wide outpatient referral service for infants, children and adolescents who have specific and complex issues regarding immunisations. The referral criteria, outlined below, need to be fulfilled or individual patients can be discussed directly with the Allergy and Immunology consultant (see below).
The service is not intended for the routine provision of scheduled vaccines.
The purpose of the SIS is to provide for the health-provider, family and individuals a risk/benefit assessment which is evidence based regarding immunisation or re-immunisation for those who have experienced an Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI). If indicated immunisations are provided in a medically supervised environment.
have a medical condition(s) that may increase their risk of an adverse reaction following a vaccine
or their family have significant concerns regarding the safety of vaccines that cannot be addressed by a General Practitioner, immunisation provider, general or specialist paediatrician, the SA Health Immunisation Section or any other health service or provider.
are individuals who may be eligible to seek exemption under the Australian Governments Immunisation Approved Exemptions criteria (see 188.8.131.52 CCS). This states that if there is an Unacceptable risk of harm to the child or a person administering the vaccination then the child or adolescent can be assessed by a listed medical practitioner who can then apply to the Chief Medical Officer of Australia for an exemption. The consultants in SIS are the listed medical practitioners for South Australia.
Some specific conditions that would fulfil referral criteria
a convulsion with or without a fever in close proximity to immunisation
persistent and inconsolable screaming for greater than three hours
Hypotonic-hyporesponsive episode (HHE)
anaphylaxis or suspected anaphylaxis
generalised rash and/or angioedema occurring within 12 hours of immunisation
any other significant adverse event which is temporally related to immunisation and which is regarded as serious because it resulted in hospitalisation, disability or prevented the completion of the recommended immunisation schedule
children who are considered to be at a high risk of experiencing an adverse reaction post immunisation because they have an underlying medical disorder including any immunodeficiency disorder.
Please note the presence of an underlying food allergy, including egg anaphylaxis, is not a contraindication to immunisation with any of the scheduled vaccines including the Influenza vaccine. (see ASCIA Guidelines - Vaccination of the egg-allergic individual). These individuals should be immunised in primary care and not referred to SIS.
How to refer your patient
Referring patients to the SIS is done either through:
Medical Practitioners can refer by directly contacting the SIS at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. A referral letter addressed to one of the SIS consultants will be required or
By reporting an AEFI to SA Health. When SA Health is notified of any unwanted or unexpected event occurring post immunisation, the Immunisation Section assesses the report and if criteria are met, will refer your patient to the SIS.
For more information
For more information on referring patients to the SIS contact SA Health's Immunisation Section or to discuss individual referrals, please contact the Allergist on call at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital at (08) 8161 7000 or the Department for Health and Wellbeing (08) 8161 8638.
You can search through to find related information.
Vaccine reaction reporting: Adverse event following immunisation
Why it is important, how to report and what you need to report to SA Health regarding unwanted or unexpected reactions to vaccines
Specialist Immunisation Service - Women's and Children's Hospital
Immunisation - Department of Health
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