ATAGI statement about the need for additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released a statement about the need for additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

The statement strongly recommends maximising first and second dose vaccine uptake across the community without delay in line with current prioritisation and outbreak response strategies and that two doses of any of the vaccines available in Australia have been shown to protect an individual from COVID-19 and its complications, as well as protecting the community.

ATAGI continues to closely monitor local and international data about the frequency and severity of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated individuals as well as reviewing the international data on the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of additional doses for specific high-risk patient populations, including immunocompromised individuals, and the population more generally. These data will inform future strategies regarding additional vaccine doses.

Additional doses can be defined as:

  • Third doses: Additional COVID-19 doses required as part of the primary course to reach a comparable (optimal) level of protection
  • Booster dose: Additional COVID-19 doses required at a broader population level, to optimise protection due to waning of immunity (loss of protection) over time, with booster doses also leading to improved immune memory.

To read the statement in full, please click the link below:
ATAGI statement about the need for additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines


Webinar recording now available: The Alfred community information session on COVID-19 vaccines

A webinar recording is now available from The Alfred’s community information session on COVID-19 vaccines which was held on Tuesday 21 September.

In this session, Allen Cheng and Associate Professor Nigel Crawford discuss in detail the COVID-19 vaccines, including the safety and efficacy in children over 12 years old, as well as answer questions from the community.

The full recording is available on The Alfred channels or the MVEC Facebook page via the links below:

The Alfred community discussion 21 September
MVEC Facebook page


Chest Pain Guideline updated in MVEC myocarditis/pericarditis following mRNA vaccines pages

We have updated our COVID-19 FAQs regarding myocarditis/pericarditis following mRNA vaccines page to include the new Chest Pain Guidelines.

PREDICT and ACEM, in consultation with the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), the NZ Immunisation Advisory Centre, and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) have developed a brief guideline on an approach to the initial assessment and workup of children and adolescents presenting to the ED with vaccine-related symptoms.

To read the guidelines, please refer to the following MVEC pages:
MVEC: COVID-19 FAQs page: myocarditis/pericarditis following mRNA vaccines
MVEC: Myocarditis/pericarditis following mRNA vaccines reference page


PHN Webinar: Primary Care Management of Myocarditis and Pericarditis After mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines

The PHN will be hosting a webinar for GPs on Tuesday 28 September featuring a panel of expert speakers including MVEC’s  A/Prof Nigel Crawford, Dr. Scott Parsons GP Clinical Editor, HealthPathways Melbourne and Dr. Bryn Jones Deputy Director of Cardiology, Royal Children’s Hospital. The topic for the webinar is Primary Care Management of Myocarditis and Pericarditis After mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines and will cover:

  • Identification and assessment of myocarditis and pericarditis following mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination
  • Understanding management and referral guidelines

Further information and details on registration can be found via the link below:

PHN webinar: Primary Care Management of Myocarditis and Pericarditis After mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines


New resource: The MVEC Conversation: myocarditis/pericarditis following mRNA vaccines​

Following on from our CVU mini virtual event: Matters of the heart: myocarditis and pericarditis associated with COVID-19 mRNA vaccination, The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre is excited to announce our latest resource The MVEC Conversation: myocarditis/pericarditis following mRNA vaccines​. 

This vodcast takes a deeper look into this adverse event of special interest (AESI) and features special guest Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, the deputy director of the Immunization Safety Office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, in conversation with Dr Daryl Cheng and Associate Professor Nigel Crawford.

To find out more about this resource, please visit our MVEC Events page.


ABC News: Israel is struggling with COVID-19, despite high vaccination rates. What lessons can Australia learn?

Due to an early and rapid vaccine roll-out, Israel was leading the way for COVID-19 immunisation, with nearly 80 per cent of its citizens aged 12 and over fully inoculated by June. However, cases numbers and rates of hospitalisations began to rapidly rise again by late June with Israel recording its highest single-day spike with 16,011 new infections on September 1.

As Australia works its way towards reopening, this article discusses the important lessons we can learn from Israel's vaccination program. Professor Lewin, Director of The Doherty Institute commented "What we've learned from [Israel], and what's consistent with the modelling is that even at 80 per cent, you need to have some public health measures in place to contain the transmission,"

To read the article in full, please click on the link below:
ABC News: Israel is struggling with COVID-19, despite high vaccination rates. What lessons can Australia learn?


Commonwealth-funded places available for Nurse Immuniser course

There are limited places available for Registered Nurses (RNs) with one year of clinical experience to complete the Commonwealth-funded Nurse Immuniser short course free of charge (conditions apply).

The immunisation (Nurse immuniser) short course is based on the  National Immunisation Education Framework for Health Professionals (2017) and has been accredited by the National body for health education Health Education Services Australia (HESA).

To find out more information on this course, please click on the links below. Please note some allocations have been exhausted.
The University of Melbourne: The immunisation (Nurse immuniser) short course
Benchmarque Group Immunisation Endorsement Pathway


ABC News: Another 1 million Moderna COVID-19 vaccines doses coming to Australia after EU deal

1 million doses of the Moderna vaccine which have been secured from European nations are to be sent directly to community pharmacies across the country this week. The announcement is in line with advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

On announcing the latest deal, the government has confirmed that there was now enough vaccine for everyone still waiting for a jab to be offered one in October. In addition to this, from the week of September 20, approximately 1,800 community pharmacies across the country will receive Moderna doses, with an additional 1,800 to receive Moderna doses after that.

To read the article in full, click on the link below.
ABC News: Another 1 million Moderna COVID-19 vaccines doses coming to Australia after EU deal


New immunisation reference page: Neutropenia: Vaccine recommendations for children with chronic neutropenia

Children with neutropenia are at increased risk of bacterial and fungal infections and therefore preventing infections in this group is a priority in order to protect these children against vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs). However, this patient group is not addressed in The Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Our new reference page, Neutropenia: vaccine recommendations for children with chronic neutropenia discusses the recommendations for this group based on international guidelines and local consensus.

To read more follow the link below:
MVEC: New immunisation reference page: Neutropenia: Vaccine recommendations for children with chronic neutropenia


TGA Provisional Approval of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to include 12-17 years age group

On September 4 2021, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) granted provisional approval to Moderna Australia Pty Ltd for its COVID-19 vaccine—Spikevax (elasomeran) to include the 12-17 years age group. This decision follows the provisional approval granted by the TGA to Spikevax on 9 August 2021 for use in individuals aged 18 years and older.

To find out more information, please refer to our dedicated MVEC Moderna COVID-19 vaccination page in the link below:

MVEC Moderna COVID-19 vaccination page