New immunisation reference page: Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and immunisation

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a condition that most commonly affects teens and young adults and involves a cluster of symptoms including increased heart rate (tachycardia), dizziness, weakness, vision changes, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbances or nausea. 

No link has been found between vaccination and POTS and a diagnosis of POTS is not a contraindication to receiving vaccinations. In fact, some cases of POTS are thought to occur following an acute infection, some of which are vaccine-preventable.  

Vaccination is an important way to stay healthy and protected against disease. Any concerns an individual with POTS has regarding immunisation should be discussed with an individual’s treating healthcare practitioner. 

Our new reference page outlines what POTS is and the implications of having POTS on immunisation.  

For further information, click on the link below: 

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and immunisation


Updated immunisation reference page: Vaccine-associated enhanced disease (VAED)

Vaccine-associated enhanced disease (VAED) is a rare phenomenon in which a (usually) more severe clinical presentation of an infection that would normally be seen in an unvaccinated person occurs in someone who has been vaccinated. 

MVEC’s reference page on VAED has recently been updated. This resource outlines:  

  • what VAED is  
  • mechanisms for enhanced disease 
  • assessment and evaluation of VAED 

To view the page in full, follow the link below:
MVEC: Vaccine-associated enhanced disease (VAED)  


Vocal cord dysfunction/inducible laryngeal obstruction(s) mimicking anaphylaxis during SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccination

Researchers at Monash Health have published findings related to vocal cord dysfunction/inducible laryngeal obstruction(s) (VCD/ILO) in relation to incident-associated VCD which may be related to vaccination.

Their findings are related to a case series of ten individuals who were initially labelled as having experienced anaphylaxis following COVID-19 vaccination. These individuals were referred on to a specialist allergy service, where 9 out of the 10 received a second dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine that caused their initial reaction.  It was found that 2 out of the 10 individuals met the Brighton Criteria for anaphylaxis, and symptoms recurred in 8 of the 9 individuals who received a second dose, mirroring their initial reactions which had been diagnosed as anaphylaxis.

Clinical features of VCD/ILO overlap with those of the Brighton Criteria for vaccine-related anaphylaxis, with this research demonstrating the need for providers to be able to differentiate between anaphylaxis and VCD/ILO.

To read the article in full, please follow the link below:

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: Vocal cord dysfunction/inducible laryngeal obstruction(s) mimicking anaphylaxis during SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccination

For further information on how to differentiate between anaphylaxis and an acute stress response, refer to the animation on the MVEC: Allergy and Immunisation reference page.


Updated immunisation reference pages: Influenza and Influenza vaccine: frequently asked questions

MVEC’s influenza resources have been updated in line with ATAGI's advice on seasonal influenza vaccines in 2022. Information contained in these pages includes dosing and brand advice (including information on cell-based vaccines), co-administration of influenza vaccines with other vaccines, recommendations in pregnancy, immunosuppressed individuals and the elderly, as well as eligibility for funded doses.

Our FAQ’s provide answers to commonly asked questions relating to influenza vaccines and their administration.

For more information please follow the links below:

MVEC: Influenza
MVEC: Influenza vaccine: frequently asked questions


Change in timing for Pfizer second dose (in Victoria)

In order for more Victorians to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, it is now recommended dose 2 of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty™) is administered 6 weeks after dose 1.

Individuals who currently have their second dose of Comirnaty™ booked do not need to reschedule their appointments.

This change only applies in Victoria.

For further information refer to the link below:

Department of Health: Change in timing for Pfizer second dose


COVID-19 vaccine FAQs: women's health

We have expanded our COVID-19 vaccine FAQs to include a section specific to women's health.

To view commonly asked questions on COVID vaccines and planning pregnancy, pregnancy, breast-feeding and menstruation please please follow the link below:

MVEC: COVID-19 vaccine FAQs: women's health

 

 


Updated advice regarding capillary leak syndrome

An extremely rare relapsing-remitting condition known as capillary leak syndrome has been reported overseas following vaccination with COVID-19 AstraZeneca. The syndrome results in fluid leaking from capillaries (small blood vessels) into surrounding tissue and can lead to severe organ damage or death if left untreated.

In two of the reported cases there was a previous history of capillary leak syndrome. As triggers for relapse are not well understood, the manufacturer of COVID-19 AstraZeneca has updated the product information advising it is not recommended that the vaccine be administered to people with a history of capillary leak syndrome. Individuals with a history of capillary leak syndrome should be referred to their closest VicSIS clinic for further assessment.

For further information refer to the following link:

TGA: COVID-19 weekly safety report


MVEC eLearning: Vaccines in Pregnancy

MVEC are excited to launch the next of our eLearning packages. Our eLearning packages are designed to allow immunisation providers to consolidate and evaluate their technical skills. Targeted resources are available to assist with our eLearning and a certificate of completion will be made available upon completion of the corresponding eLearning quiz.

Vaccines in Pregnancy has been designed to provide an overview of vaccines that are recommended in pregnancy, vaccines that are contraindicated in pregnancy and the process to follow if a contraindicated vaccine is inadvertently administered during pregnancy.

You can access Vaccines in Pregnancy via our MVEC Education Portal or via the following link:

MVEC eLearning: Vaccines in Pregnancy


ABC: With their AstraZeneca supplies nearing expiration, PNG comes up with creative ways to vaccinate people

There has been a slow uptake of COVID-19 vaccines in Papua New Guinea (PNG), thought to be due to the impact of misinformation. With stocks of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines nearing their expiry date, creative initiatives have been undertaken in an effort to boost uptake.

Among these initiatives is the development of PNG’s first mobile vaccination unit, a yellow bus. The bus takes vaccines to communities enabling the locals to see the vaccination process in action.

All supplies, vaccines and emergency equipment required to vaccinate can be taken to villages in the bus, some of which don't have their own health clinics. This community led initiative enables people to seek information from health providers in an effort to overcome hesitancy and misinformation and get vaccinated.

With widespread community transmission, a focus remains on encouraging health care workers to get vaccinated, as well as eligible members of the community such as the elderly and those with comorbidities.

To read more about Papua New Guinea’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the mobile vaccination unit please refer to the link below:

ABC: With their AstraZeneca supplies nearing expiration, PNG comes up with creative ways to vaccinate people


Talking to patients about AstraZeneca vaccine resource

The Department of Health have created a resource for health professionals to assist in talking to patients about the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

This resource details key facts about the AstraZeneca vaccine including current recommendations, effectiveness and information about the risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia (TTS).

You can access the resource via the link below:

Health.gov.au: Talking to patients about AstraZeneca vaccine