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


Sydney Institute for Infectious Diseases webinar recording now available: JEV outbreak in Australia - important insight for clinicians

A recording of the Sydney Institute for Infectious Diseases webinar: JEV outbreak in Australia - important insight for clinicians is now available.  

The Australasian Society of Infectious Diseases (ASID) and Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurologists (ANZAN) welcomed a panel of expert speakers to discuss the current JEV outbreak in Australia on Thursday 17 March.  

To access the recording, please click on the link below: 

Sydney Institute for Infectious Diseases webinar: JEV outbreak in Australia - important insight for clinicians

For additional information regarding JEV, please refer to our MVEC reference page: 

MVEC: Japanese encephalitis 


Vocal cord dysfunction/inducible laryngeal obstruction(s) mimicking anaphylaxis during SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccination

Researchers at Monash Health have published findings related to vocal cord dysfunction/inducible laryngeal obstruction(s) (VCD/ILO) in relation to incident-associated VCD which may be related to vaccination.

Their findings are related to a case series of ten individuals who were initially labelled as having experienced anaphylaxis following COVID-19 vaccination. These individuals were referred on to a specialist allergy service, where 9 out of the 10 received a second dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine that caused their initial reaction.  It was found that 2 out of the 10 individuals met the Brighton Criteria for anaphylaxis, and symptoms recurred in 8 of the 9 individuals who received a second dose, mirroring their initial reactions which had been diagnosed as anaphylaxis.

Clinical features of VCD/ILO overlap with those of the Brighton Criteria for vaccine-related anaphylaxis, with this research demonstrating the need for providers to be able to differentiate between anaphylaxis and VCD/ILO.

To read the article in full, please follow the link below:

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: Vocal cord dysfunction/inducible laryngeal obstruction(s) mimicking anaphylaxis during SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) vaccination

For further information on how to differentiate between anaphylaxis and an acute stress response, refer to the animation on the MVEC: Allergy and Immunisation reference page.


The Conversation: Flu, COVID and flurona: what we can and can’t expect this winter

With international borders open and public health measures alleviated, it is highly likely that COVID-19 and influenza will be circulating simultaneously in Australian communities this coming winter. 

This article addresses some probable outcomes and provides helpful tips on how people can protect themselves during this flu season.  

Click on the link below to read the full article: 

Flu, COVID and flurona: what we can and can’t expect this winter 


The New York Times: In Africa, a Mix of Shots Drives an Uncertain Covid Vaccination Push

While many wealthy countries are well on track with their COVID-19 booster rollout using the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, African countries continue to rely on products and dosing schedules that many researchers believe render lower vaccine efficacy.  

With COVID vaccination rates averaging about 14% across the continent, experts reveal that there are several barriers to vaccination to consider and warn that a fifth, potentially more lethal wave is imminent.  

Follow the link below to read the full article: 

The New York Times: In Africa, a Mix of Shots Drives an Uncertain Covid Vaccination Push  


CDC: Effectiveness of COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccination in Preventing COVID-19–Associated Emergency Department and Urgent Care Encounters and Hospitalizations Among Nonimmunocompromised Children and Adolescents Aged 5–17 Years

A recent study conducted by the CDC and the VISION Network examined 39,217 emergency department (ED), urgent care (UC) encounters and 1,699 hospitalisations among persons aged 5 to 17 years with COVID-19–like illness during April 9, 2021–January 29, 2022. The study employed a case-control test-negative design to estimate the VE of two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in preventing COVID-19 associated hospitalisations in this cohort. 

Click on the link below to access the study findings:

Effectiveness of COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 mRNA Vaccination in Preventing COVID-19–Associated Emergency Department and Urgent Care Encounters and Hospitalizations Among Nonimmunocompromised Children and Adolescents Aged 5–17 Years 


CDC: Effectiveness of 2-Dose BNT162b2 (Pfizer BioNTech) mRNA Vaccine in Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Children Aged 5–11 Years and Adolescents Aged 12–15 Years — PROTECT Cohort

The CDC has released the findings of a recent PROTECT study, assessing the efficacy of two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in preventing infection from the Omicron variant amongst children 5 to 11 and adolescents 12 to 15 years of age. The study included clinical data from a cohort of 1,364 participants gathered from July 2021 to February 2022.

The report provides evidence that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is effective in preventing both asymptomatic and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection in this cohort.

Click on the link below to read the full report:

Effectiveness of 2-Dose BNT162b2 (Pfizer BioNTech) mRNA Vaccine in Preventing SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Children Aged 5–11 Years and Adolescents Aged 12–15 Years — PROTECT Cohort  

 


New global vaccine trial launched to evaluate fractional COVID-19 booster shots

CEPI will provide up to AU $12.3 million to support a global clinical trial led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) on the potential merits of administering a reduced COVID-19 booster dose. The trial which will include up to 3300 healthy adults across Australia, Indonesia and Mongolia coincides with a large-scale global initiative to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines. 

 “Our project, announced today with CEPI, will specifically examine how best to vaccinate communities with follow-up booster shots and the timings around these subsequent booster doses. And while fractional doses could provide the opportunity for great savings for countries, they are also likely to produce less side effects, which will improve the acceptability of booster doses” MCRI’s Professor Kim Mulholland.  

A similar strategy, known as fractionation has previously been used to maximize global vaccine supply during outbreaks of Yellow fever, Polio and most recently, for the experimental rotavirus vaccine.  

To fund this important work, CEPI’s Global Pandemic Preparedness Summit will take place next month, bringing together leading figures from across the world to work on this urgent global health initiative.

To read the article in full, please click on the link below:
New global vaccine trial launched to evaluate fractional COVID-19 booster shots