CDC Study Shows Flu Vaccination Prevents Severe Flu Illness in U.S. Children

According to CDC flu surveillance systems, flu season has started in many parts of the USA with continued flu activity expected over the coming weeks, with most flu detected to date as H3N2 flu found in children and young adults.

A new CDC study has shown that flu vaccination can protect children against serious flu illness even when they had been infected with a flu virus that was antigenically different from the vaccine virus.

The CDC study reports that “flu vaccination reduced the risk of severe flu in children by 78% against similar flu A viruses and 47% against flu A viruses that had drifted from the vaccine virus. Further, the vaccine was 76% effective at preventing life-threatening influenza, which included invasive mechanical ventilation, CPR, and other severe complications including death”. In addition to this, the study highlighted that some people who are vaccinated still get sick, but the vaccination can decrease illness severity.

To read the article in full, please click on the link below:
CDC Study Shows Flu Vaccination Prevents Severe Flu Illness in U.S. Children


New episode of The Good GP podcast available: COVID-19 vaccination in children

A new episode of The Good GP podcast is now available. In this COVID-19 vaccination episode, The Good GP interviews Dr Angie Berkhout, paediatric infectious diseases physician at the Royal Children's Hospital, on the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in children aged 5-11.

The interview covers the Pfizer vaccination available for children, schedules, efficacy, contraindications and precautions. They also bust some common myths regarding the COVID-19 vaccine in children.

To listen to the podcast, please click on the link below:
The Good GP podcast episode available: COVID-19 vaccination in children


Updated ATAGI advice on the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2021 (December 2021)

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released updated advice for influenza vaccination in 2021.

Due to international borders reopening from November 2021, and greater population movement, seasonal influenza virus is expected to emerge and circulate in Australia outside of the usual influenza season.

Influenza vaccination is recommended for anyone aged 6 months and over who has not had an influenza vaccine this year. In particular, it is strongly recommended for those in higher risk groups.

To read the advice in full, please click on the link below:
Updated ATAGI advice on the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2021 (December 2021)

 


ATAGI recommendations on Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine use in children aged 5 to 11 years

A new formulation of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty) has been provisionally approved for use in children aged 5-11 years by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. This approval is based on the results of a recent clinical trial demonstrating that the vaccine is highly effective and that most side effects are mild and transient. ATAGI notes that real-world evidence on the safety of this vaccine in children aged 5-11 years is rapidly accumulating overseas, including data on the low rate of rare adverse events following immunisation, notably myocarditis, which the clinical trial was insufficiently powered to assess.

The recommended dose for this age group is 10µg (0.2mL), a third of the recommended 30µg dose for people aged ≥12 years.

ATAGI’s recommendations take into account:

  • The direct benefits of vaccination for the child in preventing illness;
  • The indirect benefits of vaccination for the child, their family and for the broader community. To realise some of these benefits, a large proportion of the 5-11 year age group would need to be vaccinated;
  • Adequate supply of the paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be available to vaccinate all 5-11-year-old children.

To read the recommendations in full, please click on the link below:
ATAGI recommendations on Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine use in children aged 5 to 11 years


Safety, side effects, allergies and doses. The COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine for 5-11 year olds explained

Australian children aged 5-11 will start to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from January 10 as recommended by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). As part of the recommendation, children in this group will receive two 10 microgram doses (one-third of the over-12s dose), given eight weeks apart.

While this is an important step in helping to protect the community against COVID-19, safety of the vaccines will continue to be paramount and closely monitored.

This article highlights what the current trial data says about safety and efficacy, including what data we already know from real-world experience of the Pfizer vaccine in the US. Currently, more than 5 million US children aged 5-11 have received one dose and more than 2 million have had a second dose.

One safety concern of particular interest is myocarditis, a rare side effect seen after the second dose in young males aged 12-17. Reassuringly, to date, no cases of myocarditis or pericarditis have been reported in the clinical trials of 5-11-year olds.

To read the article in full, please click on the link below:
The Conversation: Safety, side effects, allergies and doses. The COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine for 5-11 year olds explained

 


ATAGI statement on SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant and COVID-19 booster doses

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released a statement regarding the emergence of a new SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, which has been named the Omicron variant.

ATAGI have advised that there is currently no evidence to suggest that earlier booster doses of current COVID-19 vaccines will augment protection against the Omicron variant. Further to this, it will continue to closely monitor the epidemiology and emerging data on the likely impact of vaccination on this variant and update recommendations in the near future.

To read the statement in full, please click on the link below:
ATAGI statement on SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant and COVID-19 booster doses


NCIRS: Annual Immunisation Coverage Report 2020 Now available

A new Annual Immunisation Coverage Report 2020 has been released by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) which examines Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) data for children, adolescents and adults.

This is the first NCIRS annual report to present whole-of-life data from the AIR, with adolescent and adult data included for the first time.

To read the full report, please click on the link below:
NCIRS: Annual Immunisation Coverage Report 2020 Now available


Clinical Vaccinology Update session recordings now available

Recordings of the sessions from our recent Clinical Vaccinology Update (CVU) are now available to access via our MVEC Education Portal Homepage.

To access the recordings, attendees can sign in to our Education Portal using their existing account details or simply create an account if are a new user.

If you did not attend the event but would like to access the recordings, you can purchase access via our Events Page.

If you have any questions about our CVU event please contact info.mvec@mcri.edu.au.


ABC News: Moranbah man charged for assaulting GP who refused COVID vaccine exemption

Following on from our recent CVU panel discussion on COVID-19 mandatory vaccination, no fault compensation and medical exemption, this article highlights the abuse healthcare workers are experiencing as a result of some members of the community who are feeling threatened and fearful about mandatory vaccination.

To read the article in full, please click on the link below:
ABC News: Moranbah man charged for assaulting GP who refused COVID vaccine exemption 

To find out more information regarding the COVID-19 mandatory vaccination directions in Victoria, please click on the link below:
MVEC: COVID-19 mandatory vaccination directions in Victoria


CBS News: Flu outbreak hits University of Michigan as some students prepare to travel for Thanksgiving holiday: "There's vaccine fatigue"

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating approximately 530 reported cases of influenza at the University of Michigan, with 77% of them being unvaccinated against influenza. In addition to this, health officials have also reported an increase of viruses like RSV and influenza, which Michigan hasn't seen in more than a year, as well as a surge in COVID-19 cases among those who are unvaccinated.

To read the article in full, please click on the link below:
CBS: News: Flu outbreak hits University of Michigan as some students prepare to travel for Thanksgiving holiday: "There's vaccine fatigue"