TGA: Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine SPIKEVAX receives approval for full registration

On 21 April 2023, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved Moderna Australia’s application to transition its original/ancestral strain COVID-19 vaccines from provisional to full registration. This applies only to the formulations used for people aged ≥ 12 years.

It is the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive full registration within Australia.

Moderna’s original/ancestral strain COVID-19 vaccine formulation given to children aged 6 months to ≤ 5 years, and the Moderna SPIKEVAX bivalent vaccines remain provisionally registered only.

TGA: Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine SPIKEVAX receives approval for full registration

For more information about the provision registration of COVID-19 vaccines in Australia, see our reference page.

World Immunization Week 2023

Next week is World Health Organization (WHO) World Immunization Week 2023. To celebrate, MVEC will be sharing a series of social media posts all about vaccines and this year’s theme: The Big Catch-Up. 

Celebrated annually, World Immunization Week aims to highlight the collective action needed to protect people from vaccine-preventable diseases. 

As a member of WHO’s Vaccine Safety Net (VSN), MVEC proudly supports WHO and the work it does to protect people from vaccine-preventable diseases. The VSN is a global network of websites, verified as a source of reliable and credible vaccine safety information. 

To keep up our posts about World Immunization Week and more, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @mvecau and on our Facebook page Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre – MVEC. 

We regularly post information and advice covering all kinds of vaccine-related topics. We also share interesting news articles and relevant vaccine updates from trusted sources. 

ABC: Ghana becomes first country in world to approve Oxford University’s new R21 malaria vaccine

Ghana has become the first country to approve a new malaria vaccine, a possible step forwarding in fighting the disease.  

This is the second malaria vaccine to be approved, following RTS,S which is currently recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to WHO, 100 million doses are needed annually to cover 25 million children but, due to lack of funding and commercial potential, RTS,S manufacturer GSK has only committed to 15 million doses each year up to 2028. 

A second vaccine is urgently needed. 

Malaria kills more than 600,000 people each year. In 2021, there were an estimated 247 million cases of malaria with 95% of cases occurring in the WHO African Region. Children under 5 are the most vulnerable group affected by malaria. 

Malaria vaccines have taken decades to develop due to the complicated structure of the malaria parasite. 

Final-stage trial data for the R21 vaccine is yet to be published and regulatory bodies including the World Health Organization are still assessing the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. 

ABC: Ghana becomes first country in world to approve Oxford University’s new R21 malaria vaccine

NCIRS: Webinar - HPV in 2023

The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) is hosting a webinar on the latest HPV vaccine recommendations and research on 5 May, 2023 at 2pm AEST. 

Leading researchers will present on: 

  • the HPV vaccine and its impact in Australia and globally 
  • a roadmap for cervical cancer elimination in Australia and our region 
  • changes to the Australian HPV vaccination schedule and their implications 
  • initiatives designed to maintain high levels of HPV vaccine coverage. 

Healthcare providers, register here.

Australian Government: New campaign to improve childhood vaccination rates

The Australian Government has launched a new campaign to improve childhood vaccination rates. 

The campaign theme is ‘One more way you keep them safe’, highlighting the importance of vaccinating children according to the National Immunisation Program schedule and encouraging parents and caregivers to seek out reliable information about vaccines. 

Despite Australia’s high childhood immunisation rates, data shows a downward trend in childhood vaccination over the last two years. More information is available on the Australian Department of Health and Aged Care website. 

Australian Government: Childhood Immunisation

Updated immunisation reference page: Zoster (herpes zoster)

Herpes zoster (shingles) is a painful, vesicular rash that usually presents on one side of the face or body typically appearing in a dermatomal distribution (an area of skin supplied by a spinal nerve). It is caused by a reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes varicella (chickenpox) infection

Our recently updated immunisation reference page includes information on the signs and symptoms of zoster, disease transmission and the vaccines available for the prevention of zoster and its complications.  

To read more follow the link below: 

MVEC: Zoster (herpes zoster)

Updated immunisation reference page: Vaccine platforms

A vaccine platform is the term used to describe the technology utilised to manufacture vaccines.  

Whilst there are many different types of vaccine platforms, all aim to activate an individual’s immune system to form antibodies and memory cells against specific pathogens (disease causing organism), without the individual experiencing the disease. This means that if or when that pathogen is encountered in the future, the immune system will be able to respond effectively, either minimising the symptoms experienced or preventing disease altogether. 

Our recently updated immunisation reference page explores the most common approaches to vaccine manufacture and explains inactivated, live-attenuated and genetic vaccines. It also discusses newer approaches such as nanoparticle-based vaccines.  

To read more, head to the link below: 

MVEC: Vaccine platforms

WHO SAGE: Updated Roadmap for prioritizing uses of COVID-19 vaccines

The World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) has updated its Roadmap for prioritizing uses of COVID-19 vaccines to include vaccination information relating to: 

  • specific recommendations for primary series vaccination and booster doses according to priority groups 
  • need and frequency of further booster doses following an initial booster  
  • variant-specific vaccines 
  • vaccination during pregnancy 
  • post COVID-19 conditions. 

These updated guidelines align with ATAGI’s current recommendation for prioritising vaccination of those with a high risk of severe disease. This includes the current guidance for not recommending booster doses in healthy children. 

To read this guidance in full follow the link below: 

WHO SAGE Roadmap for prioritizing uses of COVID-19 vaccines