MVEC holiday period closure

On behalf of the MVEC Team, we wish you a very happy and safe holiday season with your loved ones.  

Our team will be taking a break and will return in February to provide you with more vaccine education, resources and events in 2023. We'd love to hear from you if there are any specific vaccine topics you would like to see covered next year! 

We also want to say a huge thank you to all our amazing collaborators who have kindly shared their expert knowledge across a number of important vaccine topics and across all of the MVEC platforms this year! 

If you’re travelling this holiday season, stay safe, make sure your vaccines are up to date and pack your sunscreen and insect repellent! 


ATAGI recommendations on the use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 4 years

ATAGI have now recommended the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in some children aged 6 months – 5 years (The Moderna <5 COVID-19 vaccine has already been recommended for use in this group). 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 primary three-dose schedule, 8 weeks apart is recommended, with the dose being 3mcg. Unlike Moderna’s primary schedule in this age group, 3 doses are recommended for all eligible children <5 years, regardless of their immune status.  

There is no brand preference in this age group, however ATAGI recommend a primary schedule is completed with the same vaccine.  

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 ATAGI statement in full, follow the link below: 

ATAGI recommendations on the use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 4 years


ATAGI update on boosters following COVID-19 meeting on 11 November 2022

In light of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Australia and the emergence of Omicron subvariants XBB and BQ.1, ATAGI have provided an update on booster advice. 

Whilst no new recommendations for additional doses have been provided, ATAGI have reiterated the importance of staying up to date with the current number of recommended doses. Under-vaccinated people remain at an increased risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19.  

Recent figures (as of November 9, 2022) show that 5.5 million eligible people have not received a first booster dose. Further to this, there are 3.2 million people aged 50 years or older who have not received a second booster dose. 

 If you are due for a booster dose now you can book via the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder. 

To read the ATAGI update in full, refer to the link below: 

ATAGI update on boosters following COVID-19 meeting on 11 November 2022


ATAGI recommendations on use of the Pfizer bivalent (Original/Omicron BA.1) COVID-19 vaccine

ATAGI have provided recommendations for the use of the Pfizer bivalent COVID vaccine following its recent provisional approval by the TGA. This means that there are now 2 bivalent COVID vaccines available for use within Australia- Moderna and Pfizer. 

The Pfizer bivalent vaccine contains equal parts of mRNA from the spike protein of the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Omicron BA.1 variant.  

ATAGI recommends that the Pfizer bivalent vaccine may be given to anyone aged 18 years or over who is eligible for a booster dose. It is not recommended for use in a primary course of COVID vaccination.  

There is no preference for either brand of bivalent or original mRNA COVID vaccines as a booster dose. 

For read the ATAGI recommendations in full, head to the link below: 

ATAGI recommendations on use of the Pfizer bivalent (Original/Omicron BA.1) COVID-19 vaccine


ATAGI recommendations for a booster dose of the paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 5 to 11 years

ATAGI have recommended COVID-19 booster doses for some groups of 5-11 year olds who have previously completed a primary course of COVID-19 vaccination. Eligible groups include those with severe immunocompromise, a disability with significant or complex health needs, or those with complex/multiple health conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19 disease. 

Boosters in this age group can be administered 3 or more months after completing a primary course of COVID-19 vaccines. An interval of 3 months between COVID-19 infection and COVID vaccines is recommended.  

There is currently not enough evidence to support booster doses for other groups of 5-11 year olds, however recommendations may change as more evidence emerges. All children in this age group are recommended to receive a primary course of COVID-19 vaccination.  

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

ATAGI recommendations for a booster dose of the paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 5 to 11 years.


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