OPTIONS XII for the Control of Influenza: Abstract submissions open

OPTIONS for the Control of Influenza is a global scientific meeting with a dedicated focus on influenza. OPTIONS XII will be held in Brisbane from Sunday 29 September to Wednesday 2 October 2024.

Highlights of this year’s conference include focuses on:

  • Pacific Island and First Nations health
  • Interdisciplinary science
  • Knowledge exchange and networking
  • Policy and advocacy.

Abstracts submission is now open. Abstracts must be submitted by Friday 5 April 2024.

Learn more about OPTIONS XII and abstract submission on the OPTIONS XII website.

Mobile-based game designed to fight misinformation around climate change, and now vaccines

The ‘Cranky Uncle’ game – a mobile/web game designed to fight misinformation on climate change – has been adapted into the ‘Cranky Uncle Vaccine’ game for use in East African countries.

Melbourne academic Dr John Cook developed the ‘Cranky Uncle’ game to incentivise players to build resilience against misinformation.

The game relies on inoculation theory as a solution to misinformation. In the game, the cranky uncle character teaches the player techniques of science denial (e.g. fake experts and logical fallacies). The theory is that exposure to a weakened form of misinformation can develop cognitive immunity.

The new ‘Cranky Uncle Vaccine’ game was co-designed through workshops held in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, and informed by a review of studies on vaccine misinformation.

Though it is climate-focused, the original version of the ‘Cranky Uncle’ game provides helpful tools for fighting misinformation in general.

Learn about and play the ‘Cranky Uncle’ game

Read The Guardian: Climate and vaccine misinformation seemed worlds apart – but it turned out the Cranky Uncle was a universal figure

Read the paper published in the Journal of Health Communication Co-Designing a mobile-based game to improve misinformation resistance and vaccine knowledge in Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda

Save the date for MVEC's Immunisation Skills Workshop

Save the date – MVEC will be holding an Immunisation Skills Workshop in Melbourne on Friday 15 March 2024.

More details about the workshop, including information about the program and tickets, will be made available closer to the event. Registration will open in early February.

Read more at Immunisation Skills Workshop – Friday 15 March 2024


Updated immunisation reference page: Injection site nodules

Injection site nodules (ISNs) are a rare adverse event following immunisation (AEFI). Nodules can occur following the administration of an injected vaccine. They are most often asymptomatic, but may be intermittently tender, itchy, or show overlying skin changes. They generally resolve on their own without intervention.

We have recently updated our ISN reference page. The updated page includes information on ISN diagnosis, possible causes, and treatment, and recommendations for future vaccine doses.

MVEC: Injection site nodules

Updated immunisation reference page: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples immunisation recommendations

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, or First Nations Australians, have higher rates of some vaccine‑preventable diseases compared to non‑Indigenous Australians. First Nations Australians are prioritised for additional protection through the funding of additional vaccines on the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

We have recently updated our reference page on immunisation recommendations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The newly updated page includes:

  • a comprehensive table of funded vaccines available in each state
  • information about vaccine‑preventable diseases targeted through funding
  • information about vaccine access
  • links to helpful resources.

MVEC: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people immunisation recommendations

Updated immunisation reference page: Immunosuppression and vaccines

Individuals who are immunocompromised have a weakened immune system, resulting in a decreased ability to fight infections. Immunocompromise can be caused by many different factors such as certain medical conditions, being a transplant recipient, advancing age or taking medications that suppress the immune system.

Vaccination is particularly important for those who are immunocompromised, due to the increased risk of developing severe disease if exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases.

We have recently reviewed our reference page on immunocompromise/immunosuppression and vaccines. The page includes up-to-date information on vaccine timing, contraindicated vaccines and safe alternatives, what to do in the event of inadvertent administration of a live-attenuated vaccines, and advice for household contacts of immunocompromised people.

MVEC: Immunosuppression and vaccines