Updated immunisation reference page: Pneumococcal

Pneumococcal disease is a leading cause of serious illness in Australian children under 2 years and older Australians, and is responsible for over a million deaths worldwide every year.

Pneumococcal disease is caused by infection with the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae. Symptoms vary depending on the site of infection; they may include fever, headache, earache and cough. Infection may result in meningitis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord), pneumonia, septicaemia (blood infection) and osteomyelitis (bone infection), for example.

We have recently updated our pneumococcal reference page. The updated page includes more details on pneumococcal transmission and epidemiology, as well as detailed guidance on vaccine recommendations by age and risk category.

MVEC: Pneumococcal

New publication: Analyzing an immunization resource website

Researchers from SAEFVIC (Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination In the Community) recently published an article in ‘Vaccine’, analysing user browsing trends on the MVEC website. 

Over a four-year period from 2019 to 2022, there was specific interest in vaccine-related topics corresponding with key vaccine topics like COVID-19 vaccine administration techniques and adverse events following immunisation. 

Vaccine: Analyzing an immunization resource website: User browsing trends

NCIRS: Webinar – Shingrix

The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) is hosting a webinar on Australia’s new National Immunisation Program (NIP) shingles (zoster) vaccine, Shingrix, to be held on Tuesday 7 November 2023 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm (AEDT). 

Leading experts will present on: 

  • the disease burden of shingles in Australia 
  • details about Shingrix 
  • the new Australian Shingrix vaccination program 
  • the US experience of implementing a national Shingrix program. 

Register with NCIRS

MVEC: Zoster (shingles)

ABC: Permanent funding for South Australian specialist immunisation service

SA Health will permanently fund the Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s specialist immunisation service, set up in 2021.

The unit supports patients with past trauma, neurodiverse conditions and needle phobia, offering sedation for vaccination and for minor medical procedures such as blood tests, dental check-ups and X-rays.

ABC: Needle phobia can impede jabs – but a hospital service is boosting vaccines and injections

NCIRS: Multiple vaccinations for children resource

The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) has recently developed a new resource to support conversations about administering multiple vaccinations at the same time in children.

NCIRS: Multiple vaccinations for children resource

The Lancet: Surge of invasive group A strep in Australia

The Lancet recently published a study, analysing data from the Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) Networks, which shows Australia experienced an intense and unseasonal surge of invasive group A streptococcal disease in 2022. 

The national research project involved researchers from Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, including MVEC Director Prof Nigel Crawford. 

Read the study in full: Increase in invasive group A streptococcal disease among Australian children coinciding with northern hemisphere surges

Victorian Department of Health: Vaccine error management

The Victorian Department of Health has recently introduced a new immunisation resource on vaccine error management.

The resource includes easy-to-understand information about preventing vaccine errors and the most common vaccine errors, as well as directions for reporting vaccine errors to SAEFVIC (Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination In the Community).

Department of Health: Vaccine error management

Updated reference page: Development and registration of vaccines

Vaccines, like any medication in development, must undergo rigorous testing procedures and scientific evaluation to prove not only their effect on the targeted disease, but also to determine their safety, before being licensed and registered for use in vaccination programs.

Our newly updated Vaccine development and registration page includes information about vaccine clinical trials, post-licensure surveillance, registration and provisional approval, as well as health economics assessments of vaccines.

Updated MVEC: Development and registration of vaccines

AAP FactCheck: No evidence of link between vaccine and ovary damage

MVEC director Professor Nigel Crawford spoke to the Australian Associated Press FactCheck team, addressing claims made about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil®9.

It has been claimed that the HPV vaccine can damage the ovaries and that is has been withdrawn from use in the United States. AAP FactCheck deemed this claim false.

Prof Crawford confirmed there is no evidence to support the claim that the HPV vaccine causes damage to the ovaries. The claim stems from a longstanding myth that the vaccine is associated with premature ovarian failure (POF). "The timing of the HPV vaccine around puberty (12-13 years) has led to some of these concerns (about POF) being raised", Prof Crawford said.

Prof Crawford further confirmed there is no evidence to support claims that the HPV vaccine is linked to seizures.

AAP Factcheck: No evidence of link between vaccine and ovary damage

World Immunization Week 2023

Next week is World Health Organization (WHO) World Immunization Week 2023. To celebrate, MVEC will be sharing a series of social media posts all about vaccines and this year’s theme: The Big Catch-Up. 

Celebrated annually, World Immunization Week aims to highlight the collective action needed to protect people from vaccine-preventable diseases. 

As a member of WHO’s Vaccine Safety Net (VSN), MVEC proudly supports WHO and the work it does to protect people from vaccine-preventable diseases. The VSN is a global network of websites, verified as a source of reliable and credible vaccine safety information. 

To keep up our posts about World Immunization Week and more, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @mvecau and on our Facebook page Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre – MVEC. 

We regularly post information and advice covering all kinds of vaccine-related topics. We also share interesting news articles and relevant vaccine updates from trusted sources.