CVU registrations close Tuesday December 1, 2020

Our first virtual Clinical Vaccinology Update (CVU) will be held on December 7, 2020 and will host various local and international presenters. The topics covered include COVID-19 vaccines, influenza, vaccine safety, and vaccine communication.

Registrations to attend are closing soon. Be sure to purchase your tickets by tomorrow December 1, 2020 so you don't miss out!

Tickets can be purchased by heading to our Event page

Your unique webinar link will be sent to out via email in the coming days so please look out for it.


Aljazeera: COVID-19 vaccines explained in maps and charts

The following article gives an overview of the various vaccine platforms being utilised to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, and outlines which vaccines are currenly in human trials.

To read more follow the link below.:

Aljazeera: COVID-19 vaccines explained in maps and charts

NCIRS webinar- SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development: Is a finish line in sight?

The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS), have recently hosted a webinar titled: SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development: Is a finish line in sight?

Associate Professor Chris Blythe and Dr Melanie Saville present the current COVID-19 vaccine development landscape, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the COVAX response, and the ethical and logistical implications of global vaccine implementation.

To view this webinar please follow the link below:

NCIRS- SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development: Is a finish line in sight?


MMWR: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' Ethical Principles for Allocating Initial Supplies of COVID-19 Vaccine - United States, 2020

Once a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use, it is expected that the initial supply will be limited. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in the United States, has published it's approach for recommending and allocating COVID-19 vaccines to the American population. In addition to scientific data, decisions on the allocation of COVID-19 vaccines will be based around 4 ethical principles. These include: the need to maximise benefit and minimise harm, promote justice, mitigate health inequities and promote transparency.

To read the article in full, please see the link below:

MMWR: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' Ethical Principles for Allocating Initial SUpplies of COVID-19 Vaccine - United States, 2020

Complete program for the December CVU now available

The next Clinical Vaccinology Update will be held virtually on December 7.

We are excited to welcome both local and international presenters covering a wide range of immunisation topics including COVID-19 vaccine updates, vaccine communication and confidence, influenza vaccines, Zostavax® and measles.

To view the complete program and to purchase tickets, please follow the link below to our Events page:

Clinical Vaccinology Update: December 7 2020

Final episode of COVID19 Road to a vaccine: Professor Walter Orenstein

In the final episode of this podcast series our host, Associate Professor Nigel Crawford, speaks with Professor Walter Orenstein. Dr Orenstein is a Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, Global Health and Paediatrics at Emory University; Associate Director of the Emory Vaccine Center and the Director of Emory Vaccine Policy and Development. An expert in vaccinology, Dr Orenstein has worked at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Director of the United States Immunisation Program and is a current member of several WHO groups. Further to this he is the co-editor of the vaccine textbook, Plotkin’s Vaccines, 7th edition. In this episode they discuss:

  • Lessons that can be learnt from Plotkin’s Vaccines in the setting of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and development of vaccines
  • Recent press releases showing promising early results from two mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidates developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna
  • The critical role of ongoing monitoring for safety and effectiveness of vaccines once they are in use
  • The likely highest priority groups when vaccines do become available
  • The role of children in SARS-CoV-2 transmission and whether or not they need to be vaccinated
  • The importance of a correlate of protection in SARS-CoV-2 vaccines
  • The need to monitor for vaccine associated enhanced disease (VAED)
  • The importance of immunisation providers supporting reports of adverse events following immunisation (AEFI)
  • The importance of communication in supporting vaccine acceptance and uptake
  • Key next steps on the road to a COVID-19 vaccine: a better understanding of how many doses are required and when, a prioritisation process so the vaccines can be used most effectively (with a clear allocation system); and communicating to the public that social distancing and wearing a mask will be ongoing for some time as a level of normality won’t be reached immediately, even with the exciting new efficacious COVID-19 vaccines


You can listen to the episode here:

Spreaker - Apple - Spotify

The Lancet - Emergency use authorisation for COVID-19 vaccines: lessons from Ebola

In order to increase public acceptance of an emergency use authorisation for COVID-19 vaccines, the following article in The Lancet suggests that lessons can be learnt from previous experiences with Ebola virus vaccines in Guinea and the Democratic Republic on the Congo.

Emergency use authorisation allows the public to access promising medicinal products prior to licensing and registration. In the setting of a public health emergency, their use may be ethically justified if certain conditions are met.

By having a transparent evaluation process, ensuring that it meets a favourable benefit-risk ratio based on quality and safety data, and having an accountable system of regulatory oversight and monitoring, the ethical quality and overall acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine can be improved.

To read more follow the link below:

The Lancet - Emergency use authorisation for COVID-19 vaccines: lessons from Ebola

The Conversation: Moderna’s COVID vaccine reports 95% efficacy

The American biotech company Moderna has released early data from phase III clinical trials, announcing that its COVID-19 vaccine has an efficacy level of 94.5%.

Like Pfizer's vaccine, the Moderna vaccine is also an mRNA (messenger RNA) vaccine, however will be easier to distribute as its temperature requirements are 4℃ for 30 days (rather than -70℃ as in the case of the Pfizer vaccine); and for storage requirements beyond 30 days it needs to be kept at -20℃.

The stage III trial involved 30,000 participants, out of those 95 people developed COVID-19 in the week after the final vaccination, with 90 of those being in the placebo group and only 5 in the group who received the COVID vaccine.

It is unknown how long protection from this vaccine lasts and how effective it is in the elderly, pregnant women or those with a chronic illness; however, in results Moderna published in September the vaccine produced a similar amount of antibodies in adults over 70 as adults under 70 years of age. It did however induce fewer T cells in people aged over 71, so at this stage it is not know whether this will result in lower protection or shorter lasting immunity in the elderly.

Read more via the link below:

Vaccine Vodcasts

As 2020 draws to a close there is optimism that a safe and effective vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) will soon be approved to control the pandemic. In our 3-part vodcast series, we discuss how it is possible to develop a vaccine in such a compressed timeline, the various vaccine platforms being utilised and their individual advantages and disadvantages, as well as the different priority groups to be offered immunisation. We will explore the preliminary results from clinical trials, as well as discuss the ongoing safety monitoring that will occur even once a vaccine has been approved for use.