The new Australian Immunisation Handbook App

The Australian Immunisation Handbook is now available in an app! It can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

Download Instructions:

  1. Search for "Immunisation Handbook" in either of the above app stores on the device you wish to add the Handbook App.
  2. Select the Australian Immunisation Handbook App. (Depending on your device, this may have either “Australian Department of Health” or “Medical” as the sub-header.)
  3. Click the Download icon to start.
  4. When the download is finished, you can open the App.
  5. The first time you open the App it will take approximately 1-2 minutes. (This is to store all the data into your device.)

Test your 2020 influenza vaccine knowledge with our quiz!

We have developed a short quiz about the available 2020 influenza vaccines! Check your knowledge of the 2020 influenza recommendations and vaccines here:

MVEC 2020 Influenza vaccine quiz

Our 2020 influenza vaccine resources can be found here:

World Immunisation Week 24th - 30th April 2020

It's World Immunisation Week!

The aim of World Immunization Week (WIW) is to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. Every year, millions of lives are saved thanks to immunisation and it is recognized widely as one of the most successful and cost effective health interventions. However, nearly 20 million children are still unvaccinated and under-vaccinated worldwide.

As a proud member of the Vaccine Safety Network (a global network of websites established by the World Health Organisation), MVEC is pleased to celebrate WIW. Join us on Facebook and Instagram as we celebrate WIW with the theme #VaccinesWork for All and focus on the people who develop, deliver and receive vaccines.

Read more about WIW here:

World Health Organisation: World Immunization Week

New podcast: COVID-19 and children featuring Associate Professor Nigel Crawford

Associate Professor Nigel Crawford is interviewed by Dr Harry Nespolon, GP and RACGP president on Healthed Australia's Going Viral podcast. They discuss COVID-19 and children and cover the following:

  • Are children super-spreaders, asymptomatic shedders?
  • Transmission at school and home – what do we know?
  • Febrile child – should I suspect COVID-19?
  • Childcare considerations
  • Flu co-infection and vaccination
  • Newborns and vertical transmission

You can listen to the podcast here:

Healthed Australia: Going Viral Episode 27: Children, newborns and transmission; childcare considerations; flu co-infection and vaccination

Clinical trial of BCG vaccine against COVID-19 (BRACE)

Led by Professor Nigel Curtis, Researchers at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute are conducting a randomised controlled clinical trial of the BCG vaccine against COVID-19. The study, known as the BRACE trial (BCG vaccination to Reduce the impact of COVID-19 in Australian healthcare workers following Coronavirus Exposure), has been endorsed by the Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Designed to provide protection against tuberculosis, the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine may also potentially provide immunity to protect against other infections. The purpose of the BRACE trial is to investigate whether or not BCG vaccination protects against COVID-19 or reduces the severity of symptoms of COVID-19 in healthcare workers.

This has led to people who do not meet the criteria for the trial seeking to have the BCG vaccine.

MVEC and physician BCG experts, have reached a consensus position on this issue, as detailed below:

We strongly advise against anyone having BCG outside of a clinical trial, unless they meet criteria as per the Australian Immunisation Handbook tuberculosis guidelines.

BCG vaccine is known to be effective in protecting young children from tuberculosis, and has been affected by global shortages in recent years.  Using a vaccine (like BCG), for a non-proven use, carries risks to those vaccinated and those who prescribe it. Furthermore, additional use of BCG vaccine outside a trial, could lead to shortages for infants who need it to protect against tuberculosis. Many travel clinics providing BCG have been placed on-hold due to the current limitations on overseas travel.  However, travel and hospital-based BCG clinics will aim to increase access to the vaccine when travel restrictions (including to tuberculosis endemic countries) are lifted.

Authorised by:

  • Dr Nigel Curtis, Dr Nigel Crawford, Dr Jim Buttery, Dr Shidan Tosif, Dr Daryl Cheng and Dr Teresa Lazzaro
    -8th April 2020


Telethon Kids provide COVID-19 resources for parents, families and schools

The Telethon Kids Institute have created resources for parents, families and schools in which their experts provide up to date advice and address community concerns (including a video Q & A session from kids in the community). 

Their information is reliable, current and based on the best-available evidence.

You can view their resources at:

Telethon Kids: COVID-19

New immunisation reference page: Intradermal vaccination

Intradermal vaccination is the delivery of vaccines into the outer layers of the skin and is used for a small number of vaccines such as BCG and Hepatitis B (for non-responders). 

To find out more about intradermal vaccination, which vaccines can be given this way and how intradermal vaccines are administered, please see our new immunisation reference page, MVEC: Intradermal vaccination

Visitor access to The Royal Children's Hospital

The Royal Children’s Hospital is committed to protecting the safety of its patients and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Find out more information on visitor restrictions here.