WHO: COVID-19 subcommittee of the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) reviews cases of mild myocarditis reported with COVID-19 mRNA vaccines

The WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) COVID-19 subcommittee has released a statement following the review of a small number of cases of myocarditis reported in individuals who have received COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

Cases have predominantly been reported in adolescents and young adults, with a typical symptom onset occurring within 4 days of vaccination. Reports were more common following receipt of a second dose of the vaccine. GACVS notes that most cases of myocarditis appear to be mild.

The COVID-19 subcommittee reiterates that the benefit of vaccination in reducing deaths and hospitalisations due to COVID-19 disease outweighs potential risk of vaccine side effects.

To read more follow the link below:

WHO: COVID-19 subcommittee of the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) reviews cases of mild myocarditis reported with COVID-19 mRNA vaccines

 


Joint statement from ATAGI and THANZ on Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) and the use of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca

ATAGI and the Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society of Australia and New Zealand (THANZ) have released a joint statement surrounding the administration of COVID-19 AstraZeneca and Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS).

Following close monitoring of local and international data it has been noted that the risk of TTS is not likely to be increased in people who:

  • Have a history of blood clots in typical sites
  • Have an increased clotting tendency that is not immune mediated
  • Have a family history of blood clots
  • Have a history of ischaemic heart disease
  • Currently have or has a history of thrombocytopenia
  • Are receiving anticoagulation therapy

Comirnaty™ is the preferred COVID-19 vaccine for people who:

  • Have a history of idiopathic splanchnic vein thrombosis
  • Have a history of antiphospholipid syndrome with thrombosis
  • Individuals < 50 years of age
  • Have a history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST)
  • Have a history of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT)
  • Have a contraindication to COVID-19 AstraZeneca (including anaphylaxis to a previous dose or anaphylaxis to a component of COVID-19 AstraZeneca, TTS occurring after a dose of COVID-19 AstraZeneca or other serious adverse event following receipt of COVID-19 AstraZeneca)

To read the statement in full please refer to the following link:

Joint statement from ATAGI and THANZ on Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) and the use of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca

 

 


ABC news: Multilingual women are countering vaccine hesitancy in Victoria's culturally diverse communities

In an effort to improve communication and address vaccine misinformation within culturally diverse communities, the Victorian Department of Health has partnered with the Multicultural Centre for Women's Health and other women's health organisations to deliver a range of information in various languages. Multilingual health educators will be actively engaging within the community by doorknocking public housing, holding online education sessions and answering questions about COVID-19 vaccines, the virus and other health related issues.

To read more about this program follow the link below:

ABC news: Multilingual women are countering vaccine hesitancy in Victoria's culturally diverse communities


The Guardian: Vaccinate vulnerable global poor before children in rich countries, WHO says

The World Health Organization's director-general, Tedros Adhanom, has urged wealthy countries to donate COVID-19 vaccines to poorer nations.

Of the 1.4 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered globally, 44% of those have been administered in high-income countries. Only 0.3% of vaccines have reached the 29 lowest income countries, where 9% of the world's population call home. The WHO has warned that this inequity in vaccine access could result in 2021 experiencing more death than in the first year of the pandemic. With wealthy countries now looking to vaccinate adolescents and children, the WHO are encouraging these countries to instead donate their vaccines through COVAX. This would allow poorer nations to access vaccines and protect their healthcare workers and vulnerable priority groups.

To read more, follow the link below:

The Guardian: Vaccinate vulnerable global poor before children in rich countries, WHO says

 


New immunisation reference page: COVID-19 vaccination in children

COVID-19 infections have generally produced more severe disease outcomes in adults and the older population, with children generally experiencing milder symptoms. For this reason, initial COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials and vaccine rollouts focused on the adult population.  However, it is recognised that in order to achieve herd immunity within the community, the vaccination of children needs to be considered.

Our new reference page outlines the importance of conducting paediatric focused COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials and summarises the trials that are currently underway.

To read more follow the link below:

MVEC: COVID-19 vaccination in children

 


Australian Academy of Science- The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers

The Australian Academy of Science have released an updated edition of The Science of Immunisation- Questions and Answers. This resource has been developed to assist in the understanding of the scientific processes behind vaccination and to encourage trust in vaccines for COVID-19 and other diseases.

Topics include:

  • What is immunisation?
  • What is in a vaccine?
  • Who benefits from vaccines?
  • Are vaccines safe?
  • What does the future hold for vaccination?

You can view this resource online via the following link:

Australian Academy of Science- The Science of Immunisation: Questions and Answers

 


Provisional determination granted to Pfizer in relation to COVID 19 vaccine, COMIRNATY - for use in individuals 12 years of age and older

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has granted provisional determination to Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, Comirnaty™ as part of an application process to lower the approved age limit of vaccine administration from 16 years and above, to individuals aged 12 years and above.

Provisional determination is the first step in the provisional registration pathway. The provisional pathway for registration provides a formal and transparent mechanism for speeding up the registration of promising new medicines based on preliminary clinical data. Having provisional determination does not mean that provisional registration will be granted.

To read more follow the link below:

Provisional determination granted to Pfizer in relation to COVID 19 vaccine, COMIRNATY - for use in individuals 12 years of age and older


NEJM: Effectiveness of the BNT162b2 Covid-19 Vaccine against the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 Variants

The following article, published in the NEJM, assessed the vaccine efficacy of Comirnaty™ (BNT162b2) in Qatar where the predominant circulating strains of SARS-CoV-2 were the UK and South African variants.

By extracting information from the national COVID-19 databases, vaccine effectiveness against the B.1.1.7 (UK) strain was estimated at 89.5%, and 75.0% against the B.1.351 (South African) strain. Vaccine effectiveness against severe disease caused by infection with either variant strain was 97.4%.

For more information on these results refer to the link below:

NEJM: Effectiveness of the BNT162b2 Covid-19 Vaccine against the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 Variants


Australia secures Moderna vaccines

The Australian Government has secured the supply of 25 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. This agreement will allow access to the current Moderna vaccine formulation (10 million doses) as well as variant-specific versions of the vaccine (15 million doses) in order to address the need for long term immunity and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Clinical trial results have demonstrated that the Moderna vaccine has 100% efficacy against severe COVID-19 disease, as well as a longer term efficacy of of 90% at least 6 months after the 2nd dose. Supply of the vaccine to Australia will begin only if approval has been provided by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Discussions with Moderna are also underway regarding the establishment of manufacturing facilities within Australia to ensure continued vaccine supply.

To read more follow the link below:

Australia secures Moderna vaccines


NEJM: Efficacy of NVX-CoV2373 Covid-19 Vaccine against the B.1.351 Variant

Novavax have published preliminary phase 2a-b clinical trial results for their COVID-19 vaccine candidate (NVX-CoV2373), assessing vaccine efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 variants (B.1.351- South African strain). This vaccine candidate is a nanoparticle based vaccine containing pieces of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

In this study, participants aged between 18 and 84 years, received either a 2 dose course of the candidate vaccine or a 2 dose course of a placebo (normal saline). Approximately 30% of participants were seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 prior to commencing the trial. Among the seronegative participants, approximately 94% were HIV-negative and 6% were HIV-positive.

A vaccine efficacy of 49.4% was seen among participants who were seronegative at baseline, regardless of HIV status. In the HIV-negative cohort, vaccine efficacy was 60.1%. A history of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection did not reduce the risk of subsequent infection with the new variants of SARS-CoV-2.

To read the article and view these results in full please refer to the below link:

NEJM: Efficacy of NVX-CoV2373 Covid-19 Vaccine against the B.1.351 Variant