RSV programs announced in NSW and Qld

New South Wales and Queensland have both announced respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) programs to provide protection for infants and children. 

In New South Wales, infants vulnerable to severe illness from RSV will be eligible to receive nirsevimab, a monoclonal antibody (available in Australia under the brand name Beyfortus). This includes: 

  • babies born before 37 weeks gestation and adter 31 October 2023 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies born after 31 October 2023 
  • other infants living with specific chronic and complex health conditions. 

Read more on the NSW Health website. 

The Queensland program will also provide nirsevimab (brand name, Beyfortus) to eligible infants and young children, including: 

  • all newborn infants from birth 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander infants up to < 8 months of age 
  • infants with certain complex medical conditions up to < 8 months of age 
  • young children with certain complex medical conditions from 8–19 months of age (until 31 October 2024). 

For more details, read about the new program on the Queensland Health website. 


Immunisation Coalition: 2024 Influenza webinar

The Immunisation Coalition will hold its 2024 Influenza webinar on Wednesday 3 April 2024, from 6:00 pm–7:00 pm. 

This annual update is intended for GPs, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and other immunisation professionals. The webinar will be presented by Angela Newbound. 

Learn more and register on the Immunisation Coalition event page. 

MVEC: Influenza 

AusVaxSafety Summary report 2022 published

Since 2014, AusVaxSafety has monitored the safety of all vaccines on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and all COVID-19 vaccines used in Australia.  

Surveillance is undertaken via a short vaccine safety survey which is sent to people (or their carers) who received their vaccine at a participating AusVaxSafety site across Australia. The surveys give participants the opportunity to report any adverse events following immunisation that they experienced and if they sought medical attention for any reason. 

The Vaccine safety in Australia AusVaxSafety Summary report 2022 is now available on the Department of Health and Aged Care website. 

MVEC: AusVaxSafety

Queensland Specialist Immunisation Service: Paediatric Immunisation Skills Workshop

Children’s Health Queensland’s Specialist Immunisation Service is hosting a Paediatric Immunisation Skills Workshop on 3 May 2024.

Topics to be covered include:

  • comfort positioning and giving multiple vaccines 
  • procedural anxiety and distraction techniques 
  • vaccine hesitancy conversations 
  • the National Immunisation Program and catching up vaccination 
  • anaphylaxis, adverse events and reporting.  

Read more and register.

NCIRS: New influenza resource

The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) has recently published a new Influenza reference page which includes influenza fact sheets and FAQs, vaccine coverage and safety data, and clinical/community resources.  

NCRIS: Influenza immunisation
MVEC: Influenza

Immunisation Coalition: 25th Annual Scientific Meeting conference recordings

The Immunisation Coalition’s 25th Annual Scientific Meeting was held from 4 to 5 February 2024.

The meeting was chaired by A/Prof Lou Irving from the Royal Melbourne Hospital and covered topics including Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases, Economics and Long-Term Implications of Vaccines, Primary Care and Vaccination, and Respiratory Virus Vaccines. 

The Immunisation Coalition has published all the keynote presentations and sessions on their website. Presentations can be viewed on the Immunisation Coalition’s 25th Annual Scientific Meeting event page. 

Immunisation Coalition: Influenza / COVID-19 / RSV webinar series

The Immunisation Coalition is hosting a series of 3 webinars on common vaccine-preventable respiratory viruses over the next three months, to be held on: 

  • 17 April 2024
  • 22 May 2024
  • 19 June 2024

These will include parent discussions on how the influenza, COVID-19 and RSV season is progressing and strategies around increasing vaccination rates. 

Find out more and register on the Immunisation Coalition event page.

New episodes: The Vaccine Coverage

Today, MVEC released the fourth episode of our new podcast. 

The most recent two episodes feature Prof Jim Buttery and Prof Nigel Crawford on the process of rolling out a vaccine, and Dr Linny Kimly Phuong on vaccines and the immune system. The podcast is tailored for an audience of both healthcare professionals and members of the general public. 

Search ‘The Vaccine Coverage’ on your preferred podcast player, or listen via our website.

Once you have listened to the episodes, we would be grateful to get some feedback via this short survey. 

Western Australia announces funding for RSV protection

Western Australia has announced that they will roll out a statewide program for long-acting monoclonal antibody Nirsevimab from April 2024. Nirsevimab (available in Australia under the brand name Beyfortus) is indicated for the prevention of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) disease in neonates and infants.  

Western Australian children eligible for Nirsevimab include: 

  • all infants from birth to under 8 months 
  • infants from 8 months to 19 months at increased risk of severe RSV. 

Nirsevimab will be available at birthing hospitals, GP practices, community health clinics and at Aboriginal Medical Services across Western Australia. 

There were approximately 128,000 confirmed RSV cases in Australia in 2023, including approximately 65,000 children aged 4 years and under. 

For more information, see MVEC: RSV and WA Media Statement on RSV 

New immunisation reference page: Specialist immunisation services

MVEC has recently published a new reference page with information about specialist immunisation services available in Victoria. 

Specialist immunisation services are hospital-based immunisation clinics led by a team of specialised medical and nursing staff with expertise in vaccines and immunisation. 

MVEC’s new page provides information about accessing the Victorian services.

MVEC: Specialist immunisation services