NCIRS: Influenza vaccination coverage data

The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) is currently publishing weekly updates on influenza vaccine coverage in Australia.

The data shows state and national coverage rates for different age groups and highlights influenza vaccine coverage in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Australians.

As of this week, 21.7% of all children aged 6 months to less than 5 years are vaccinated and 60.4% of people aged 65 and over are vaccinated. Each of these age groups is considered high risk and is eligible for funded influenza vaccination under the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

Funded vaccines are also available for all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people 6 months and older, pregnant women and people aged over 6 months with certain medical risk factors. More information can be found on our influenza reference page.

NCIRS: Influenza coverage data

MVEC: Influenza

MVEC on Instagram: Ask a vaccine expert

MVEC has recently started a new series of videos on social media: Ask a vaccine expert.

In addition to sharing information on our website and newsletter, MVEC regularly posts vaccine information on Instagram and Twitter @mvecau and our Facebook page Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre – MVEC.

Our new series of short videos features different vaccine experts responding to questions sent in by our followers. For example, MVEC director Prof Nigel Crawford recently answered audience questions on COVID-19 vaccines. To watch these videos and send in your own questions, follow our Instagram page.

In addition to short videos, our social media pages offer easy-to-read explanations and summaries on a range of vaccine-related topics, highlight interesting news articles and provide relevant updates from trusted sources.

New immunisation reference page: RSV

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one of the leading causes of respiratory tract infections in young children. There are currently no RSV vaccines registered for use in Australia. However, there are many vaccines under development in clinical trials.

MVEC has recently published an RSV reference page which includes information on symptoms, transmission and prevention.

MVEC: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

Updated immunisation reference page: Epilepsy and immunisation

We have recently updated our Epilepsy and immunisation reference page.

The updated page includes the most recent recommendations for immunisation of children with Dravet syndrome and other children with vaccine-proximate seizures.

Updated – MVEC: Epilepsy and immunisation

Victorian Department of Health: Government funded pertussis program for partners and guardians to cease

The Victorian government-funded pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination program for partners of pregnant women and guardians of infants under 6 months will cease on 30 June 2023.

Partners of pregnant women and close household contacts of newborn infants are still encouraged to be vaccinated and will be able to access a pertussis-containing vaccine privately.

Pregnant women, between 20 and 32 weeks, remain eligible for a funded pertussis vaccine through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

Read more about pertussis on our reference page MVEC: Pertussis.

NIP: Vaxelis® added to schedule

From 1 July 2023, Vaxelis® will be added to the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

Vaxelis® is a hexavalent (six-in-one) vaccine that protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis and haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib).

Vaxelis® is registered for use from 6 weeks of age. It does not require reconstitution.

More information will be shared when it becomes available.

RSV Awareness Week

It’s Australia’s first RSV Awareness Week from 4-10 June. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a highly contagious virus that causes seasonal outbreaks in infants and young children, usually during the winter months. While most will have mild symptoms and recover quickly, others develop severe disease.

Learn more about the campaign and about RSV at or by searching #RSVandMe on social media.

MVEC Audience survey

MVEC is improving its resources, from clinical guidelines and events to social media and the fortnightly newsletter.

Help us by completing this short survey. We’re keen to know how you use our resources and what you would like to see in the future. The survey will only take a couple of minutes to complete.

ATAGI advice on the preferential use of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines for primary vaccination of people aged 12 years or older

ATAGI has reviewed the latest evidence regarding the use of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines. It is now recommended that individuals aged 12 years and over receive bivalent vaccines for primary vaccination and booster doses in preference over using the original/ancestral strain vaccines. Whilst safety and immunogenicity data for bivalent vaccines in a primary series is limited, the safety profile when used as a booster dose is similar to when original/ancestral vaccines are used.   

  • Individuals aged 12-17 years are recommended to receive BA.4/5-containing bivalent vaccines for primary vaccination and booster doses. 
  • Individuals aged 18 years and over can receive either BA.1-containing or BA.4/5-containing vaccines for primary vaccination and booster doses. 
  • Individuals aged 12 and over who have commenced their primary course with an original (ancestral) vaccine are recommended to complete the course with a bivalent vaccine.
  • There are no bivalent vaccines currently available for use in children aged 6 months-11 years and therefore original/ancestral strain vaccines should continue to be used (noting that booster doses are not recommended for anyone under 5 years of age).

There are no changes to who is recommended to receive booster doses. Schedules and intervals between doses also remain unchanged.

ATAGI advice on the preferential use of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines for primary vaccination of people aged 12 years or older

Victorian Department of Health: Vaccine error management

The Victorian Department of Health has recently introduced a new immunisation resource on vaccine error management.

The resource includes easy-to-understand information about preventing vaccine errors and the most common vaccine errors, as well as directions for reporting vaccine errors to SAEFVIC (Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination In the Community).

Department of Health: Vaccine error management