ATAGI clinical guidance on COVID-19 vaccine administration errors

ATAGI has provided the below guidance for clinicians outlining the appropriate management of common COVID-19 vaccine administration errors. It includes scenarios where the vaccine is administered in the following circumstances:

  • Via the incorrect site/route
  • At a higher/lower dose
  • Following incorrect storage and handling
  • In an unapproved age group
  • Mixed vaccine schedules
  • With incorrect intervals

It is important to note that in Victoria, any vaccine administration error should be reported to SAEFVIC. Following the identification of a vaccine error, open disclosure with the vaccine recipient is important and addressing the cause of the error will prevent errors from occurring again in the future.

To read the full guideline, follow the link below:

ATAGI clinical guidance on COVID-19 vaccine administration errors


New resource: NCIRS Decision aid (5–15 years): Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine for my child?

NCIRS have designed a new decision aid resource to help families make an informed decision about whether COVID-19 vaccination is right for their children. 

The tool provides evidence-based information about the disease and the vaccine and takes the user through five simple steps to help weigh up the risks and benefits of vaccination. 

To access the decision guide, please click on the link below. 

New resource: NCIRS Decision aid (5–15 years): Should I get the COVID-19 vaccine for my child?


Clinical recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines- updated booster advice

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have provided updated recommendations ​on the use of booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine​s:

  • Individuals aged 18 years and above are recommended to receive a single booster dose of either mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna), 3 months after the completion of a primary course of vaccination.
  • Individuals aged 16-17 years are recommended to receive a single dose of Comirnaty (Pfizer) as their booster, 3 months following the completion of their primary course. Alternate COVID-19 vaccine brands are not registered for use as a booster dose in this age group.
  • Whilst Nuvaxovid (Novavax) is not TGA-registered for use as a booster dose, ATAGI recommends that it may be used as a booster in individuals aged 18 years or older in circumstances where there is a contraindication to mRNA vaccines. There is limited safety and efficacy data to support the use of Nuvaxovid as a booster dose, however there are no theoretical concerns.
  • Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) is no longer recommended for use as a booster dose. Individuals who have already received Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) as their booster dose do not need a repeat booster dose of an alternate brand.

For further information regarding the ATAGI recommendations on the use of a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine, please refer to the links below:

ATAGI recommendations on the use of a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine


ATAGI recommendations on the use of Spikevax (Moderna) COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 6 to 11 years

Following the TGA’s provisional approval, ATAGI has put forth a guideline that recommends the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine (Spikevax) in children aged 6 to 11 years. 

Clinical data supports that Spikevax produces a strong immune response and reduces the likelihood of children in this cohort developing COVID-19. 

This statement addresses the recommendations, considerations and rationale for the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 6 to 11.  

To read the full statement, follow the link below. 

ATAGI recommendations on the use of Spikevax (Moderna) COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 6 to 11 years 


VIC DH: Japanese encephalitis virus detected in Victoria

Several cases of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), a rare but potentially serious infection have been detected in pigs in the state of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. At this stage, no cases have been reported in humans, but there may be a risk of transmission in regions near the border of Victoria and New South Wales. 

More than 90 per cent of JEV infections are asymptomatic, transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. The incubation period is usually between 6 to 16 days and illness usually begins with sudden onset of fever, headache and vomiting. 

Public health officials have advised clinicians to consider and test for JEV and other arboviruses in patients with unexplained encephalitis, after other common causes such as Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) and enteroviruses have been excluded. 

Furthermore, it is recommended individuals limit their exposure to mosquitoes and monitor for symptoms if they have travelled around the impacted areas.

To read the full statement, follow the link below. 

VIC DH: Japanese encephalitis virus detected in Victoria 


The Conversation: The Moderna vaccine is now available for 6 to 11 year olds. Here’s what parents need to know

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is now approved for use in children aged 6 to 11 years. With just under half of Australian primary-school-age children having received their first COVID vaccine dose, the approval of Moderna’s COVID vaccine provides parents with an additional opportunity to protect their children against severe disease. 

Following the KidCOVE clinical trial, this article explores the ongoing safety and efficacy as well as the considerations and administrative recommendations for the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in the 6 to 11 years cohort. 

To read the full article, follow the link below.

The Conversation: The Moderna vaccine is now available for 6 to 11-year-olds. Here’s what parents need to know


ATAGI update following weekly COVID-19 meeting – 16 February 2022

ATAGI held their weekly meeting on Wednesday 16 February to discuss the latest developments and recommendations relating to COVID-19 immunisations.  

The meeting addressed the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 6 to 11 years, as well as, the use of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine as a booster and recommendations regarding the vaccine dose interval for children.  

To read the full update, follow the link below:
ATAGI update following weekly COVID-19 meeting – 16 February 2022 

 

 

 

 


NCIRS Webinar - Living with COVID-19: Getting back to immunisation business as usual

NCIRS will be hosting a webinar on Thursday 3 March featuring a panel of expert speakers including MVEC’s A/Prof Nigel Crawford. The topic for the webinar is Living with COVID-19: Getting back to immunisation business as usual and will cover: 

  • an update on Australian COVID‑19 vaccine recommendations 
  • COVID-19 and routine immunisation programs regionally and globally – what’s needed 
  • new COVID-19 vaccines – do we need to change our strategy in response to new variants? 

Further information and details on registration can be found via the link below:
NCIRS Webinar -  Living with COVID-19: Getting back to immunisation business as usual


ABC News: Chickenpox defies COVID-19 restrictions, prompting vaccination warning

Throughout the pandemic, the highly transmissible varicella zoster virus, which causes chickenpox has continued to spread with more than 10,000 cases recorded in Queensland last year and similar levels observed in 2020.  

While the pandemic has shown social and physical distancing to be very effective in limiting the spread of diseases, this article reveals that we can expect to see a number of infectious diseases increase as measures are relaxed.  

Immunising against the varicella zoster virus is the best way to protect against infection. Data shows that the vaccine is 95 to 99 per cent effective at preventing severe chickenpox so there is a need to encourage individuals – especially pregnant women – to ensure they are up to date with their vaccinations. 

To read the article in full, please click on the link below.
ABC News: Chickenpox defies COVID-19 restrictions, prompting vaccination warning 


The Conversation: Do COVID boosters cause more or fewer side effects? How quickly does protection wane? Your questions answered

With more than 2,400 people currently in hospital, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends Australians aged 16 years and older have a COVID-19 booster vaccine to ensure high levels of protection against severe disease and hospitalisation. A booster dose of the COVID vaccine, three months following the completion of the primary course can provide a similar level of protection against Omicron as two primary doses against Delta. 

Additionally, data shows that the booster dose renders milder side effects compared to the first 2 doses with less than 1% of people reporting the need for a medical consultation. 

This article explores the benefits of a booster vaccine compared to the primary 2 doses, the time frame recommendation for receiving a booster following COVID infection, and whether additional vaccine doses will be required in the future.  

Follow the link below to read the full article:

Do COVID boosters cause more or fewer side effects? How quickly does protection wane? Your questions answered