ATAGI advice on influenza and COVID-19 vaccines

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have published advice related to the administration of influenza and COVID-19 vaccines.

Due to a lack of safety and immunogenicity data on the co-administration of these vaccines, it is therefore recommended that influenza and COVID-19 vaccines are not administered on the same day, but with a minimum interval of 14 days. There is no preference regarding the order of vaccine administration, noting that both the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines require a 2-dose schedule. If influenza and COVID-19 vaccines are inadvertently administered on the same day or are administered within a shorter timeframe than 14 days, revaccination with either vaccine is not recommended.

To read the advice in full, refer to the link below:

ATAGI advice on influenza and COVID-19 vaccines


GACVS COVID-19 Vaccine Safety subcommittee meeting to review reports of deaths of very frail elderly individuals vaccinated with Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2

The role of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) is to provide independent, expert advice to the World Health Organization on the safety of vaccines.

On January 19 2021 a virtual meeting was held to review all available information on the deaths reported in frail, elderly individuals who had received the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Following this review, it was concluded that vaccination has not contributed to any unexpected or increase in number of fatalities in this patient group. As such, there is no change in recommendations around safety of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

To read more, follow the link below:

WHO: GACVS COVID-19 Vaccine Safety subcommittee meeting to review reports of deaths of very frail elderly individuals vaccinated with Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, BNT162b2


Complete program for the CVU Miniseries virtual event now available

The next Clinical Vaccinology Update Miniseries event, COVID-19 vaccines: a Victorian landscape, will be held virtually on February 8th, 2021.

We are excited to welcome our presenters who will be covering the COVID-19 vaccine landscape in Victoria, including vaccine safety, Victorian COVID-19 vaccine rollout plans and stakeholder engagement and participation.

This is a free event, however you will need to register for tickets via the link below, where you can also view the complete program:

CVU Miniseries: February 8, 2021

 


New immunisation reference page: COVAX Facility

The COVAX Facility is coordinated by Gavi (the Vaccine Alliance), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization. It brings together governments of over 180 countries, global health organisations, private sector, scientists and manufacturers, in order to provide innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines. Our new reference page details information on the COVAX Facility COVID-19 vaccine portfolio.

To read more please refer to the link below:

MVEC: COVAX Facility


New immunisation reference pages: COVID-19 vaccines

In 2020, the Australian Government entered into four Advance Purchase Agreements (APA) for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, if they prove safe and effective. More than $3.3 billion has been invested through these agreements, putting Australia in a strong position to access safe and effective vaccines when they become available. In 2021, three of these vaccines are still active, with the 4th (University of Queensland) withdrawn from clinical trials. Our new reference pages detail information regarding the clinical trials of each vaccine candidate, interim data on their safety and efficacy, as well as other vaccine specific information.

To read more please refer to the links below:


CNN: How some states are administering Covid-19 vaccines at twice the speed of others

Data from the CDC reveals that of the 31 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine that have been distributed to the various jurisdictions in the United States, only 39% (12.2 million doses) have actually been administered. Those states with the highest vaccination rates have suggested that preparation, communication and strategic planning have been vital in vaccine rollout.

To read more follow the link below:

CNN: How some states are administering Covid-19 vaccines at twice the speed of others


ABC radio: Norway to continue using Pfizer's COVID vaccine despite elderly deaths

Dr Steinar Madsen, Medical Director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, has been interviewed by ABC radio to discuss the recent reports of deaths in elderly people following immunisation with the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Whilst investigations are underway, he stresses that side effects are rare and Norway will continue with the use of this vaccine as part of their COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

To listen to the interview, please follow the link below:

ABC radio: Norway to continue using Pfizer's COVID vaccine despite elderly deaths


TGA: Norwegian investigation of COVID-19 vaccination risks for elderly, very frail patients

There have been recent reports from Norway of over 30 deaths out of the 40,000 elderly people who have been vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The deaths were associated with fever, nausea and diarrhoea following vaccination. Adverse events following immunisation like these are expected following this vaccine and are usually short-lived. The recorded deaths were in very frail patients whose life expectancy was weeks to months.

The TGA is working closely with European regulators to investigate these reports further and will determine whether product information for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine should include warnings about risks to frail, elderly or terminally ill people.

Read more in the TGA’s statement via the link below:

TGA: Norwegian investigation of COVID-19 vaccination risks for elderly, very frail patients


The Washington Post: The coronavirus-free island nation of Palau could soon vaccinate almost all its people

With a population of close to 18,000 people, the tiny island nation of Palau has managed to remain free of COVID-19 disease. As part of a "free association" agreement with the United States, Palau has access to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and aims to immunise almost its entire population by April 2021.

To read more, follow the below link:

The Washington Post: The coronavirus-free island nation of Palau could soon vaccinate almost all its people


Save the date for our first CVU Miniseries event: February 8, 2021

MVEC is excited to announce the details for our first CVU Miniseries event!

When: February 8, 2021
Time: 7:00-8:30pm

Topics will include:

  • COVID-19 vaccine profiles (AstraZeneca/Pfizer)
  • Scan of the Victorian COVID-19 vaccine landscape
  • Victorian COVID-19 vaccine rollout information

Cost: Free

Further details and registration information will be available shortly via our Events page. Please note that this event will be held virtually via zoom.

A video recording will also be made available on our website following the event.