Independent: 'A potential first step forward’: Moderna to launch human trials for new HIV vaccines

A positive development in the immunisation space as American biotech company, Moderna is prepared to commence human trials for their new HIV vaccines.

The company will apply the same mRNA technology they successfully used against the COVID-19 virus, hoping to break new grounds fighting another deadly disease. This turning point has been described as a “potential first step forward” in protecting people from becoming infected with HIV. However, due to the elevated complexity of the HIV virus, scientists warn there is still a long way to go before mRNA technology can be used to provide long-lasting protection.

The aim of the Moderna mRNA vaccines is to prompt an immune response by introducing broadly neutralising antibodies. It is believed that multiple vaccines will be required to overcome key challenges and generate a sufficient response. Moderna is set to recruit 56 healthy people between the ages of 18 to 50 years of age to participate in their phase 1 trial which is anticipated to run until May 2023.

To read the article in full, please click on the link below:
Independent: 'A potential first step forward’: Moderna to launch human trials for new HIV vaccines


People aged 16 - 39 in a priority group now eligible for the Pfizer vaccine

The Australian Government has expanded the vaccine eligibility criteria to allow people aged 16-39 in a priority group to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

To learn more about eligibility for 16 to 39 year-olds in the COVID-19 vaccination program, please click on the link below.
The Australian Government COVID-19 vaccination program for 16 to 39 year olds.


Healthed lecture series featuring Associate Professor Nigel Crawford

MVEC’s Associate Professor Nigel Crawford delivered the COVID-19 Update as part of the recent Healthed Australia online lecture series.

In this lecture, A/Prof Nigel Crawford discussed the following:

  • The role of ATAGI and its relevance to the current pandemic
  • Overview of the newly available Moderna vaccination
  • Rationale and evidence behind the upcoming push for vaccinating children 12 yrs of age and older
  • Update on the clinical features and management pathways for Pfizer-related myocarditis, pericarditis
  • AZ-related clots
  • Lessons learnt from other countries dealing with the Delta pandemic

To listen to the lecture in full, click on the link below:
Healthed lecture series 18th August: COVID Update


The Medical Journal of Australia podcast: COVID-19 in children

MVEC's Associate Professor Nigel Crawford and Dr Laila Ibrahim, paediatrician and researcher at the Royal Children's Hospital feature on the latest edition of the Medical Journal of Australia podcast.

In this podcast, Nigel and Laila discuss COVID-19 in children, to accompany their co-authored research focused on examining the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of SARS‐CoV‐2‐positive children in Australia during 2020.

You can listen to the podcast here:
MJA Podcast: Episode 33: COVID-19 in children, with Dr Laila Ibrahim and Dr Nigel Crawford


Registrations now open for the August CVU mini event

The next Clinical Vaccinology Update (CVU) miniseries event, Matters of the heart: Myocarditis and pericarditis associated with COVID-19 mRNA vaccination, will be held virtually on Monday 30th August 2021.

We are excited to welcome our panel who will take an in-depth look at an important vaccine safety signal associated with COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), myocarditis and pericarditis. The session will also include a live Q&A panel with experts from the medical, consumer (Heart Foundation) and vaccine safety domains.

Further details can be found via our Events page and the link below:

CVU mini: August 30th 2021


ABC News: Why Delta COVID-19 variant could put younger people at risk of deadly cardiac complications

The COVID-19 Delta variant which is now subject of the current outbreaks in NSW, QLD and Victoria, has been linked to an increase in cases of cardiac complications in younger people. Though data is still emerging on how common the cardiac side effects are with the Delta variant, myocarditis has also been reported as a very rare side effect of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (including Pfizer and Moderna) by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) .

According to a US study, while vaccine associated myocarditis and an associated condition, pericarditis (inflammation of the lining around the heart), could be serious, the likelihood of this occurring is low and most cases are reported to resolve quickly. Further to this, the study found that young people were around six times more likely to develop myocarditis from COVID than Pfizer, reiterating that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risk of adverse effects from COVID-19, including for myocarditis.

To read the article in full please click on the link below:
ABC: Why Delta COVID-19 variant could put younger people at risk of deadly cardiac complications


TGA grants provisional approval for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (Spikevax) Elasomeran

We have updated our Moderna COVID-19 vaccination page to reflect the announcement by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) regarding the use of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.

On August 9 2021, The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) granted provisional approval to Moderna Australia Pty Ltd for its COVID-19 vaccine—Spikevax (elasomeran).

To find out more information, please refer to our dedicated MVEC Moderna COVID-19 vaccination page in the link below.
MVEC Moderna COVID-19 vaccination page


Inside Aesthetics podcast featuring A/Prof Nigel Crawford

Associate Professor Nigel Crawford is interviewed by Dr Jake Sloane (cosmetic doctor and international injectables trainer) and David Segal (a multi-clinic owner and aesthetic entrepreneur) on their Inside Aesthetics podcast. In this episode, Nigel discusses the current vaccination landscape including vaccine safety, risk-benefit analysis, and  COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy.

You can listen to the podcast here:
Inside Aesthetics Podcast featuring Associate Professor Nigel Crawford


Updated MVEC reference page: Myocarditis and pericarditis following COVID-19 mRNA vaccines

We have updated our myocarditis and pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccines page to reflect the guidance by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ).

ATAGI and CSANZ emphasise that the overwhelming benefits of vaccination in protecting against COVID-19 greatly outweigh the rare risk of these conditions, and Comirnaty (Pfizer mRNA vaccine) continues to be recommended for all people ≥ 16 years of age who do not have any contraindications to the vaccine, in those aged 12-15 with specific medical conditions that increase their risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 12-15.

To find out more information, please refer to our dedicated MVEC myocarditis and pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccines page in the link below.
MVEC myocarditis and pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccines page


ATAGI statement on the use of a different COVID-19 vaccine as the second dose

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released clinical guidance on the use of a different COVID-19 vaccine as the second dose.

The advice recommends to use the same COVID-19 vaccine for the 2 doses of the primary vaccination course, unless there are specific medical reasons not to do so, or the same vaccine brand is not available in Australia.

The ATAGI advice explains:
• The medical contraindications and serious vaccine-attributable adverse events after
dose 1 of a COVID-19 vaccine that warrant using an alternative vaccine brand for dose 2
• The medical conditions that mean that Comirnaty is recommended over COVID-19
Vaccine AstraZeneca
• The recommendations for completing the primary vaccination course for people who
have received dose 1 with a vaccine that is not available in Australia.

To read the statement in full, please click the link below:
ATAGI statement: ATAGI clinical advice on use of a different COVID-19 vaccine as the second dose in special circumstances

For further information on COVID-19 mixed vaccine schedules refer to MVEC: COVID-19 mixed vaccine schedules.