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)


ATAGI Advice on mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose intervals and COVID-19 vaccination post infection

ATAGI have provided updated advice on mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose intervals and COVID-19 vaccination post infection. 

It is now recommended that the dose interval between primary doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines should be extended to 8 weeks, with the extended dose interval shown to improve effectiveness and immune response to vaccination, as well as potentially also reduce the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis. 

ATAGI have also recommended that COVID-19 vaccination is deferred 3 months following COVID-19 infection to optimise protection.

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

ATAGI Advice on mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose intervals and COVID-19 vaccination post infection


SMH: The flu shot: when is it safe to get it after having COVID?

With flu season underway in Australia and an increasing number of cases already confirmed, people are encouraged not to delay their yearly influenza vaccine, which is recommended for anyone 6 months of age and over. 

The article features MVEC’s A/Prof Nigel Crawford, who addresses the key considerations such as ideal timing for the influenza vaccination, considerations for people with underlying medical conditions, advice for parents regarding children, and when to get the influenza vaccine post COVID-19 infection. 

To read the article in full, please click on the link below: 

SMH: The flu shot: when is it safe to get it after having COVID?

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

MVEC: Influenza 

MVEC: Influenza FAQs

 


Mandatory influenza vaccination for healthcare workers

As of the 8th April, 2022, influenza vaccination will become a requirement for healthcare workers under the Health Services Amendment (Mandatory Vaccination of Healthcare Workers) Act 2020.

Healthcare workers subject to these Directions are required to be vaccinated against influenza by 15 August 2022 and annually thereafter.

For further information please refer to Department of Health: Vaccination for healthcare workers


CDC: Hospitalizations of Children Aged 5–11 Years with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19

A recent CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) analysed COVID-19 associated hospitalisation rates in children aged 5–11 years during the Omicron-predominant period and the Delta-predominant period.

Hospitalisation rates in unvaccinated children were approximately double those of vaccinated children. Severe disease was more likely to occur in children with a history of diabetes and obesity, with one-third of hospitalised children during the Omicron period having had an underlying neurological condition. Racial and ethnic minority groups were disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Further, the analysis suggests that vaccination of children aged 5-11 years reduces the risk for infection, protects against COVID-19–associated illness and prevents multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children.

To read the full report, click on the link below.

CDC: Hospitalizations of Children Aged 5–11 Years with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19


The Conversation: COVID-19 vaccines for the youngest children may be inching closer to authorization – a pediatrician explains how they’re being tested

COVID-19 vaccines offer safe and effective protection against severe disease and are strongly recommended for everyone over the age of 5 years. While children often experience milder symptoms of disease than adults, US data obtained during the Omicron surge in cases shows a significant spike in the rates of hospitalisation in children under 5.

This article explores the immune response to COVID-19 vaccines in children of different age groups, the safety and efficacy considerations for vaccinating children under 5, and an approximate timeline for next steps regarding this cohort.

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

The Conversation: COVID-19 vaccines for the youngest children may be inching closer to authorization – a pediatrician explains how they’re being tested

 


ATAGI statement on use of booster doses in adolescents aged 12-15 years

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released a statement on booster doses in adolescents aged 12-15 years.

Following their review of evidence on the benefits and risks of a booster dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in adolescents in Australia aged 12-15 years, ATAGI does not recommend that adolescents aged 12-15 years need to receive a booster dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and will continue to review international evidence on efficacy of a booster in this age group.

ATAGI continue to strongly recommend vaccination of all young people aged 5 to 15 years with 2 primary doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, including those who may have previously had COVID-19. 3 primary doses are recommended for those in this age group who are severely immunocompromised.

For more information please refer to the link below:

ATAGI statement on use of booster doses in adolescents aged 12-15 years


ATAGI advice on use of sedation for COVID-19 vaccination

ATAGI has provided guidance regarding the use of sedation in individuals with anxiety disorders, needle phobia or behavioural disorders, to assist vaccine providers in delivering COVID-19 vaccines.

The advice outlines:

  • indications for sedation
  • safety implications of delivering vaccines under sedation
  • procedural sedation guidelines
  • post-vaccination observation recommendations
  • opportunistic vaccination during sedation for an unrelated procedure

To read the ATAGI recommendations in full, please click on the link below:
ATAGI advice on use of sedation for COVID-19 vaccination

For further information on strategies to manage needle phobia and immunisation, including sedation, please click on the link below:
MVEC: Needle phobia


Moderna: COVID-19 Vaccine Phase 2/3 Study in Children 6 Months to ≤ 6 Years successfully meets its primary endpoint

Moderna has announced interim data from the Phase 2/3 KidCOVE COVID-19 vaccine study ahead of its submission to global regulatory bodies.

Approximately ​4,200 children aged 2 to <6 years and 2,500 children aged 6 months to <2 years were recruited across the U.S. and Canada ​with participants receiving 2 doses of 25 μg, 28 days apart (a lower dose compared with older age groups).

Moderna reports immunogenicity consistent with that seen in adults (18-25 years) receiving doses of 100mcg with a vaccine efficacy of 43.7% in those aged 6 months to <2 years and 37.5% in those aged 2 to <6 years.  Omicron was the predominant COVID-19 strain circulating during this trial.

Adverse events following vaccination were reported as mild or moderate and more frequently ​associated with dose two. No deaths, myocarditis, pericarditis, ​or cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) were reported. ​Independent safety monitoring ​will continue for 12 months following the second dose.

To read the press release in full, please click on the link below:
COVID-19 Vaccine Phase 2/3 Study in Children 6 Months to ≤ 6 Years successfully meets its primary endpoint


ATAGI statement on recommendations on a winter booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine

As part of winter preparedness, ATAGI have provided recommendations for an additional COVID-19 vaccine winter booster dose for select groups who have been identified as being at highest risk of severe COVID-19 disease. These groups include: 

  • individuals aged ≥ 65 years   
  • residents of aged care or disability care facilities  
  • individuals aged ≥ 16 years with severe immunocompromise 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged ≥ 50 years. 

The rollout of winter booster doses will commence from April in line with the 2022 influenza vaccination program, with both vaccines able to be co-administered where appropriate. Winter booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines can be administered from ≥ 4 months since the previous booster dose/confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (whichever is later).

mRNA vaccines (Comirnaty (Pfizer) or Spikevax (Moderna)) remain the recommended brands for use as booster doses, with Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) available for those who have a contraindication to mRNA vaccines. Nuvaxovid (Novavax) may be used in circumstances where no other vaccine brand is deemed suitable.

ATAGI suggests that there is currently insufficient evidence at this time to support a recommendation for additional boosters for other individuals. For these groups, protection from a primary course of COVID-19 vaccine followed by 1 booster dose continues to provide good protection against hospitalisation with COVID-19 disease. Further recommendations may be considered in the future as more evidence emerges.

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

ATAGI statement on recommendations on a winter booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine