The Age: ‘The moment you walk in through those doors your healing starts’: Victoria leading the race on Indigenous vaccination

Data released by the federal government has highlighted the widening gap between fully vaccinated Indigenous Australians and the overall population, and the direct impact COVID-19 will have on First Nations people if Australia eases restrictions once 70 or 80 per cent of adults are vaccinated.

Historically, Australia’s Aboriginal community has been heavily impacted by the effects of widespread viral infections such as measles, smallpox and the Spanish Flu and this article highlights the impact low COVID-19 vaccination rates could have on our First Nations people.

Despite the slow rollout, Victoria is leading the way in terms of vaccination rates amongst the Indigenous population with 43% of people fully vaccinated against COVID-19, more than double that of the non-Indigenous population in Victoria at 26%.

According to Jeroen Weimar, the COVID-19 response commander in Victoria, the states’ success with facilitating a competent roll out initiative amongst the Indigenous communities can be attributed to joint efforts and strong partnerships.

To read the article in full, please click on the link below.
The Age: ‘The moment you walk in through those doors your healing starts’: Victoria leading the race on Indigenous vaccination

WHO: Safety profile of nOPV2 vaccine

In an attempt to implement a global eradication initiative of the polio virus, the first type 2 novel oral polio vaccine (nOPV2) became the first vaccine to be authorised for use under the WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) apparatus. However, the current nOPV2 vaccine presents an increased risk of type 2 circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses (cVDPV2), especially in communities with low immunization rates. African countries continue to be amongst the most impacted by this potentially lethal virus. Consequentially, the use of the nOPV2 is currently restricted and SAGE recommended that an independent safety monitoring group be established (GACVS) and maintain thorough safety observations during the entire period of the EUL.

Under the current EUL, there is a 2 phase roll out of the nOPV2 vaccine. With phase 1, countries must first meet stringent initial use criteria and verification requirements including continuous flaccid paralysis (AFP) monitoring to attain approval for use. Following this, phase 2 supports the use of the nOPV2 vaccine as a standard response for cVDPV2 outbreaks.

Following rigorous safety criteria, as of 9 June 2021, 7 countries have received approval for use authorisation of the nOPV2 vaccine and 25 countries are still pending. Majority of the nOPV2 doses thus far have been administered in Nigeria (17 899 130) and Liberia (853 279) amongst children 5 years of age and under in the form of two oral vaccine drops. GACVS is working closely with the Liberian and Nigerian governments to implement AESI surveillance and ongoing AFP data to ensure the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine in preventing polio infection. Current preliminary data analysis did not indicate elevated safety issues associated with the nOPV2 vaccine, however GACVS members have stressed that prolonged, comprehensive surveillance is imperative to signal imminent safety concerns.

To read the extract in full, please click on the link below:
WHO: Safety profile of nOPV2 vaccine

ABC News US: FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine not OK for off-label use in kids, official says

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued advice following full approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 16 an older that it should not be given to young children as off-label use.

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine was authorised for use in children ages 12 to 15 in May by the FDA, meeting all the criteria to amend the EUA and with 100% effectiveness in children ages 12-15. Additionally, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are both available in the U.S. for anyone 18 years and older, with Moderna still awaiting a decision for approval on emergency use authorisation with the FDA.

Pfizer vaccine safety data on 5–11-year-olds is due to be submitted by the end of September, with Moderna due to report in the middle of fall. Clinical trials are still ongoing, however, it is expected that the first vaccine shots for children ages 5-11 could happen by the end of 2021, or early 2022. In order to detect the rarest of side-effects before the roll out begins across the U.S., the FDA have advised that the trials will need to expand the pool of volunteers.

To read the article in full, please click on the link below
ABC News US: FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine not OK for off-label use in kids, official says

MVEC animation: Myocarditis, pericarditis and COVID-19 vaccines

MVEC have created a new animation to help explain myocarditis and pericarditis which have been reported in a small number of individuals who have received mRNA COVID-19 vaccines Comirnaty™ and Moderna.

To view the animation and to find out more information, please refer to our myocarditis, pericarditis following COVID-19 mRNA vaccines immunisation reference page:
MVEC animation: Myocarditis and pericarditis following COVID-19 mRNA vaccines

About MVEC

The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) is an educational website, developed with the aim of providing up-to-date immunisation information for both healthcare professionals and members of the public. We are based at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), a research organisation, and are affiliated with SAEFVIC (Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination in the Community), the Victorian Vaccine Safety Service.