The bmj: Covid-19: Booster dose will be needed in autumn to avoid winter surge, says government adviser

Anthony Harnden, Deputy Chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) in the UK, has suggested that booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be required.

With minimal data surrounding the duration of protection provided by COVID-19 vaccines and the emergence of new strain variants, the UK is considering commencing booster doses from August of this year.

To read more follow the link below:

The bmj: Covid-19: Booster dose will be needed in autumn to avoid winter surge, says government adviser

 


The Guardian: Israel says 600 children given Covid jab had no serious side-effects

Following an expansion of Israel's COVID-19 vaccination program, around 600 children (≥ 12 years) have received the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Reported side-effects in this age group have been minor and the vaccine has been well tolerated.

Due to the emergence of more transmissible strains of COVID-19, experts have now suggested that in order to achieve herd immunity closer to 90% coverage will be required. In a population of 9 million people, with approximately 1/4 of those aged under 16 years, lowering the age limit for COVID-19 vaccination is an important development for Israel.

To read more follow the link below:

The Guardian: Israel says 600 children given Covid jab had no serious side-effects


TGA: AstraZeneca ChAdOx1-S COVID-19 vaccine

Denmark, Iceland and Norway have temporarily paused the distribution of COVID-19 AstraZeneca as a precautionary measure in response to reports of blood clots following immunisation (including 1 death in Denmark). The European Medicines Agency's safety committee is conducting a rapid review into the events.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) have advised that a link has not been confirmed and to date there have been no reports of similar events in Australia. Extensive international vaccination programs have not indicated an increased risk of blood clots associated with the vaccine.

Vaccination with COVID-19 AstraZeneca continues in other countries including the United Kingdom and France.

Please refer to the full alert below for more information:

TGA: AstraZeneca ChAdOx1-S COVID-19 vaccine


ATAGI advice on seasonal influenza vaccines in 2021

ATAGI have published recommendations for the influenza vaccine program in 2021. This advice includes vaccine brand and dose information, the timing of administration, funding eligibility criteria as well as the requirement for reporting all vaccine administration to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

To view the recommendations please follow the link below:

ATAGI advice on seasonal influenza vaccines in 2021


TGA collecting COVID-19 vaccine side effect reports

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) have published a summary of suspected adverse events reported following COVID-19 immunisation since the commencement of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. All reports to date reflect the expected side effects identified in clinical trials for Comirnaty™. Reports include cases of feeling faint, headache, dizziness or nausea. The two cases of administration error in a Brisbane aged care facility have not been associated with any adverse outcomes.

Commencing Wednesday March 3, 2021 the TGA will publish weekly updates on the number of COVID-19 vaccine adverse event reported.

For more information refer to the following link:

TGA collecting COVID-19 vaccine side effect reports


New immunisation reference page: Pneumococcal disease and vaccines

Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) can manifest in many different ways causing disease of varied severity. Certain individuals with specific medical conditions are considered at an increased risk of IPD and therefore are recommended to receive additional vaccines. Our new reference page discusses the different pneumococcal vaccines available and outlines the different immunisation recommendations for each patient group.

To read more follow the link below:

MVEC: Pneumococcal disease and vaccines


Registrations now open for the March CVU miniseries event

The next Clinical Vaccinology Update (CVU) miniseries event, COVID-19 vaccines: engagement, communication and safety, will be held virtually on Tuesday 9th March, 2021.

We are excited to welcome our panel who will be presenting on COVID-19 vaccine stakeholder engagement, participation and communication, as well as giving an update on the Victorian Specialist Immunisation Service (VicSIS) and international vaccine safety.

A full program of this free event can be found via our Events page and the link below:

CVU mini: March 9th, 2021


A recording of the February CVU mini is now available

Thank you to all who attended our recent CVU miniseries event COVID-19 Vaccines: A Victorian Landscape on February 8th 2021.

Presentation topics included COVID-19 vaccine platforms, COVID-19 vaccine safety, COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Victoria, as well as stakeholder engagement and participation.

A free recording of this event is now available via our education portal.

To access this recording please follow the link below:

CVU mini- 8th February 2021


Victorian COVID-19 e-Learning Competency

Developed in partnership with the Victorian Government Department of Health, The Victorian COVID-19 e-Learning Competency is the latest course available on the MVEC education portal. This competency forms part of the pre-requisite training requirements for Victorian emergency authorised registered health professionals to administer COVID -19 vaccines.

The aim of completing this competency is to assist health professionals to be appropriately trained and competent to deliver COVID-19 vaccines.

To access this competency please follow the link below:

MVEC Education Portal: Victorian COVID-19 eLearning Competency


TGA provisionally approves AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine

Following a thorough review process, informed by expert and independent advice from the Advisory Committee on Vaccines (ACV), the TGA has granted provisional approval for the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Provisional registration will allow COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca to be administered to individuals 18 years and over for the prevention of COVID-19 disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. The 2 dose course may be administered with a 4-12 week interval, with ATAGI preferring doses separated by 12 weeks. In certain circumstances an interval of 4 weeks is acceptable.

Of note, there were no safety concerns revealed in clinical trials involving patients >65 years of age and a strong immune response was demonstrated. However due to insufficient numbers of participants infected with SARS-CoV-2 in this age group, efficacy could not be conclusively determined. As a result, the immunisation of individuals in this age group should be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Supply of this vaccine will initially be imported from overseas, with ongoing supply of vaccines to be manufactured in Australia.

To read the press release in full follow the link below:

TGA provisionally approves AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine