World-first real-time safety data for JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine available from AusVaxSafety

Newly published AusVaxSafety surveillance data of more than 1,300 first doses of JYNNEOS® has revealed that 54% of vaccinees experienced no side effects in the first 7 days following vaccination. Of the vaccinees reporting symptoms, side effects were commonly mild and short lived and included local reactions, fatigue, headache and muscle/joint pain.   

In order to inform further guidance around the use of JYNNEOS® in Australia, AusVaxSafety will continue to collect and publish this information, including side effects following dose 2. 

To read the update in full, please click on the link below.

World-first real-time safety data for JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine available from AusVaxSafety 


ATAGI recommendations on the use of the Novavax vaccine for adolescents aged 12-17 years

ATAGI have now recommended that adolescents aged 12-17 years can receive the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for their primary course of COVID-19 vaccination. This recommendation provides another vaccine brand option, in addition to Pfizer and Moderna, for individuals in this age group. 

A Novavax primary schedule consists of 2 doses, administered 8 weeks apart. Those with severe immunocompromise should receive 3 doses. 

Whilst Novavax is not currently registered for use as a booster dose in adolescents aged 12-17 years, ATAGI advises that it may be used for this purpose, when Pfizer is not suitable for that person.

To read the recommendations in full please follow the link below.  
ATAGI recommendations on the use of the Novavax vaccine for adolescents aged 12-17 years.


Vaccines Work GAVI: Five charts on monkeypox, past and present

Despite the first cases of monkeypox infection in humans being reported in the 1970’s, previous outbreaks of disease have been relatively small compared with the international outbreak we are currently experiencing. Human to human transmission has been historically uncommon with cases limited to smaller geographical regions. Current rates of infection, with extensive human to human transmission and wide global spread has led this outbreak to be a very unique scenario.

The following article uses the latest data to explore the current rates of infection across different demographics and regions, the impact of pre-existing medical conditions, as well as vaccine access and severity of disease.

To read the article in full, click on the link below.
Vaccines Work GAVI: Five charts on monkeypox, past and present 

To view our reference page on monkeypox, click on the link below. 
MVEC: Monkeypox


Recording of the VACSIG webinar now available

A webinar recording is now available from the recent Vaccination Special Interest Group (VACSIG) event on Wednesday 17 August.  The topic for the webinar was Monkeypox & smallpox vaccines: an Australian perspective, and featured a panel of expert speakers including MVEC’s A/Prof Nigel Crawford. 
 
To view the recording, please click on the link below. 
VACSIG Webinar 17 August


ATAGI recommendations on COVID-19 vaccine use in children under 5 years

ATAGI have now recommended COVID-19 vaccination for some children aged 6 months – 5 years. Eligible groups include those with severe immunocompromise, a disability with severe or complex health needs, or those with multiple/complex health conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 disease.  

A paediatric formula of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has been approved by the TGA in this age group for children in the groups mentioned above. A primary two-dose schedule, 8 weeks apart is recommended, with the dose being 25mcg. Children in this age group with severe immunocompromise are recommended to complete a 3-dose primary schedule.  

ATAGI does not currently recommend COVID vaccination for children aged 6 months - 5 years who are not in the categories previously mentioned, based on a range of factors.  

Recommendations may change as alternative brands or variant COVID-19 vaccines become available in this age group, or if there are epidemiological changes such as new variants of concern that emerge.  

To read the recommendations in full please follow the link below.  

ATAGI recommendations on COVID-19 vaccine use in children aged 6 months to <5 years


Safety of COVID-19 vaccines in >200,000 Aussie kids: reassuring data from AusVaxSafety

New AusVaxSafety research which analysed 392,268 survey responses via AusVaxSafety’s national active safety surveillance system between July 2021 and May 2022, has found that Australian children aged 5-15 years report fewer side effects in the days following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination than those reported in clinical trials and published safety data.

Importantly, fever was reported low in the youngest age group, comparable to that seen following annual influenza vaccination. Additionally, there were also no self-reported cases of myocarditis and pericarditis identified in the study.

AusVaxSafety will commence surveillance in children aged 6 months to 5 years once COVID-19 vaccines become available in this age group.

To access the research in full, click on the link below. 

Safety of COVID-19 vaccines in >200,000 Aussie kids: reassuring data from
AusVaxSafety 
 


Flinders University Alumni publication featuring A/Prof Nigel Crawford: Providing the vital boost for us to fight COVID-19

MVEC’s Associate Professor Nigel Crawford was featured in the Flinders University College of Medicine and Public Health Alumni magazine regarding his significant contribution to Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout. As the current chair of the Australian Technical Advisory Group for Immunisation (ATAGI), Nigel discusses his role in steering Australia’s uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, including effective communication and the ability to remain flexible when responding to and adapting vaccine advice for the general public. 

To read the full article, follow the link below.

Flinders University Alumni publication featuring A/Prof Nigel Crawford: Providing the vital boost for us to fight COVID-19 


Expanded ATAGI recommendations on winter COVID-19 booster doses for people at increased risk of severe COVID-19

ATAGI have updated their COVID-19 winter booster dose recommendations to include additional risk groups. The groups now eligible for winter booster doses include: 

  • Any adult aged 65 years and older  
  • Aged care or disability care residents aged 16 years and older  
  • Individuals aged 16 years and older with severe immunocompromise 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults aged 50 years and older.  
  • Individuals from 16 years of age who have complex, chronic or severe conditions [refer to page 3 of ATAGI statement below] 

COVID-19 winter booster doses are not currently recommended for other groups including healthy people aged 16 to 64 years, healthy individuals with occupational risk factors (eg. healthcare workers) or pregnant women without additional risk factors.  

mRNA vaccines are the preferred option for booster doses with Comirnaty (Pfizer) available to give from 16 years of age and Spikevax (Moderna) from 18 years. In people aged 18 years or older with a contraindication to mRNA vaccines Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) may be considered. Nuvaxovid (Novavax) can be used in individuals 18 years or older in circumstances where no other COVID-19 vaccine is suitable. 

To read the updated recommendations in full, please click on the link below:
Expanded ATAGI recommendations on winter COVID-19 booster doses for people at increased risk of severe COVID-19


ABC: A surge in influenza cases in Queensland prompts doctors to issue vaccine warning for children and vulnerable groups

Experts warn that children are increasingly more vulnerable to influenza disease this year. MVEC’s paediatric infectious disease specialist Dr Angela Berkhout explains that children, particularly those under two years of age have low levels of natural immunity to flu as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.  

While flu season has yet to peak, hospitals in Queensland have already experienced an influx in the number of flu patients requiring hospital admission, including intensive care. This article explores key considerations for vaccinating children, seniors over the age of 65 years and other vulnerable groups.  

To read the full article, follow the link below:  

ABC: A surge in influenza cases in Queensland prompts doctors to issue vaccine warning for children and vulnerable groups

For the more information on influenza vaccines and the 2022 influenza season please see our resources below: 

MVEC: Influenza 

MVEC: Influenza FAQs

 


New immunisation reference page: Febrile seizures (Febrile convulsions)

Febrile seizures are typically triggered by a sudden rise in temperature and more commonly occur in very young children.  Febrile seizures can be classified as simple or complex, with 1 in 30 children experiencing a febrile seizure at some point during their childhood.  

Although vaccines can cause fevers, febrile seizures following vaccination are not common.  

Our new reference page provides an overview of febrile seizures and outlines the recommendations following a vaccine proximate seizure.  

To read more follow the link below: 

MVEC: Febrile seizures (Febrile convulsions)