New immunisation reference page: Polio

Polio (poliomyelitis) is caused by a gastrointestinal (gut) infection with one of 3 types of polioviruses (serotypes 1, 2 or 3). Polioviruses are RNA enteroviruses from the Picornaviridae family.

Approximately 70% of polio infections are asymptomatic or present as a non-specific febrile illness. It is estimated that flaccid paralysis occurs in less than 1 percent of all polio cases.

Our new reference page details transmission routes, epidemiology and it's prevention through vaccination.

To view the page in full follow the below link:

MVEC: Polio 


MVEC's Immunisation skills workshop - New date announced

Due to increasing COVID-19 case numbers in Victoria and the implementation of visitor restrictions at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), our Immunisation Skills Workshop due to be held at RCH on September 2, has been rescheduled for Friday 25th November. We look forward to announcing the program details and opening the registration for this event in the coming weeks.


VicSIS update- services have changed

From July 2022 there has been a change to the services delivered by VicSIS (the Victorian Specialist Immunisation Services network). The number of VicSIS clinics and their locations have been reduced with adult services now only offered at Barwon Health, Austin Health, Monash Health and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Due to these changes there may be longer wait times for appointments and patients should be advised of this. 

In addition, VicSIS is no longer funded to support paediatric COVID-19 vaccination. Children aged 15 years and under requiring specialist advice can instead be reviewed via the existing specialist immunisation clinics at The Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Health. Referrals for these services should continue to be submitted via the VicSIS eReferral portal. 

For further information on VicSIS, refer to the link below: 

MVEC: VicSIS 


ATAGI updated recommendations for a winter dose of COVID-19 vaccine

ATAGI have expanded the groups recommended to receive a COVID-19 winter booster dose to now include:  

  • Any adult (including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) aged 50 years and older   
  • Aged care or disability care residents aged 16 years and older   
  • Individuals aged 16 years and older with severe immunocompromise, disability or complex health need, or those with multiple comorbidities which may increase the likelihood of poorer outcomes.  

In addition, any adult aged 30- 49 years who wishes to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 infection may also receive a winter booster dose. The interval recommended between a previous COVID-19 infection or previous booster dose and administration of a winter booster dose is 3 months. 

ATAGI has noted with concern that booster dose coverage (first dose and winter dose) has been suboptimal for eligible populations and highlights the importance of vaccination in preventing severe infection and hospitalisation.  

To read the updated recommendations in full, please click on the link below:

ATAGI updated recommendations for a winter dose of COVID-19 vaccine


New immunisation reference page: Typhoid

Typhoid and paratyphoid fever are bacterial infections collectively known as enteric fever, caused by the bacteria Salmonella enterica subspecies serovars Typhi and Paratyphi A, B and C. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and if untreated, can lead to serious complications or even death. They can include prolonged fever, abdominal symptoms or bacteremia (bacteria in the bloodstream).

Our new reference page outlines the signs and symptoms of typhoid, transmission routes and epidemiology, as well as the vaccines available for disease prevention when travelling to typhoid endemic areas.

To read more follow the link below:
MVEC: Typhoid


New immunisation reference page: Mandatory vaccine directions in Victoria

A vaccine mandate means that proof of vaccination, or an authorised medical exemption, is required in certain settings. In our new reference page, we provide information on the vaccine mandates affecting Victorians, including COVID-19 and influenza directions and “No jab, no play” and “No jab, no pay” legislations. Also included is information on the responsibility of the employee/service provider/individual and medical exemptions.  

For further information, click on the link below: 

MVEC: Mandatory vaccine direction in Victoria


ATAGI Statement on the Omicron variant and the timing of COVID-19 booster vaccination

In response to the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 disease and it's community transmission within Australia, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has updated recommendations for the timing of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses.

These updated recommendations are based on strong evidence indicating that booster doses are likely to increase protection against infection with the Omicron variant, as well as reassuring international data on the safety of administering early booster doses.

These recommendations include:

  • all adults (≥ 18 years) should receive a single booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine
  • booster doses can be administered as early as 3 months following the completion of a primary course
  • timely booster doses for pregnant women is recommended
  • immunocompromised individuals who have received a 3-dose primary course should also receive a booster dose 3 months after the date of their 3rd dose
  • Comirnaty (Pfizer) and Spikevax (Moderna) are the preferred brands for booster doses. Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) can be used as a booster dose for individuals with a contraindication to receiving Comirnaty or Spikevax.

ATAGI also encourages anyone aged 12 years or older who is unvaccinated to receive COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.

To read the latest update in full please refer to

ATAGI Statement on the Omicron variant and the timing of COVID-19 booster vaccination


SAEFVIC Rapid report: a new reporting pathway for COVID-19 vaccine AEFI

Reporting adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) is not mandatory in Victoria, however doing so allows the rapid investigation of any potential vaccine or system problems. This helps to ensure a safe and effective immunisation program and it maintains community confidence in vaccines.

The new SAEFVIC Rapid reporting pathway has been launched for reporting any common or expected side effects following a COVID-19 vaccine. Reporting via this pathway will not result in follow up of clinical symptoms however it will contribute to data collection and assist health authorities to understand the frequency of symptoms occurring. Should the vaccinee experience significant side effects, completing the SAEFVIC Extended report is recommended.

For more information on SAEFVIC, symptoms that should be reported, and instructions on how to report, please visit our immunisation reference page below:

MVEC: Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination in the Community (SAEFVIC)


The Conversation: Let’s hold off vaccinating children and teens against COVID-19. Prioritising adults is our best shot for now

Some countries who have successfully vaccinated a high proportion of their adult population are now shifting the focus of their COVID-19 vaccine rollout towards children and adolescents.

The following article reviews various international vaccine strategies for the younger population, and explores COVID-19 vaccine safety, including expected vaccine side effects and reports of myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents. It looks at the potential impact that vaccination of children could have on transmission, herd immunity and keeping schools open.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognises that globally the vaccine rollout has been slow and inequitable. Low income countries have insufficient vaccine supplies to protect high-priority groups.

In Australia where rates of COVID-19 community transmission is low, it is important that efforts remain on maximising vaccine coverage for adults and those who are at highest risk of severe COVID-19 disease.

To read more, follow the link below:

The Conversation: Let’s hold off vaccinating children and teens against COVID-19. Prioritising adults is our best shot for now

 

 


Australia's COVID-19 vaccine coverage update- July 5 2021

The Australian Government Department of Health continue to publish information relating to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout; including data on population coverage.

Latest figures show that 71.64% of Victorians aged 70 years and over have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, with 16% having completed both recommended doses.

To view these statistics and read other information relating to vaccine distribution and uptake, please refer to:

Australian Government Department of Health: Australia's COVID-19 vaccine rollout