Australian Government Department of Health: COVID-19 vaccines

The Australian Government Department of Health have developed a dedicated resource for COVID-19 vaccines. This site will host news and information for Australians about the development, approval process and plans for COVID-19 vaccines.

To access this resource, please follow the link below:

Australian Government Department of Health: COVID-19 vaccines


FDA report reveals phase 3 clinical trial data for the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine candidate

In preparation for a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), the FDA has made public the interim results of phase 3 clinical trials for the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine candidate. This meeting will discuss the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) application and determine any recommendations for approval.

Phase 3 clinical trials were spread across the US, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, South Africa and Turkey. The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine candidate utilises a messenger RNA (mRNA) platform and its' studies involved participants aged 16 to  85 years. Findings have shown that the vaccine candidate has an acceptable safety profile and following the administration of 2 doses, has an efficacy rate of 95%.

To read the document in full please refer to the link below:

Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee: FDA briefing document- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine


The Lancet: Safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) against SARS-CoV-2: an interim analysis of four randomised controlled trials in Brazil, South Africa and the UK

The Oxford Vaccine Trial group have published interim results for phase 3 clinical trials of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate (ChAdOx1 vCoV-19). This vaccine utilises a viral vector platform and previous phase 1/2 studies have shown an acceptable safety profile. Participants in the phase 3 trials, held across the UK, Brazil and South Africa, were aged 18y or older. Findings have shown that when participants received 2 equal doses, vaccine efficacy was 62.1%. Participants who received a lower dose followed by a standard dose, vaccine efficacy was 90.0%.

To read the article and view these results in full, follow the link below:

The Lancet: Safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) against SARS-CoV-2: an interim analysis of four randomised controlled trials in Brazil, South Africa and the UK

 


Contain This: A new podcast by the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security

"Contain This" is a podcast produced by the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security looking at global health security trends. The Centre has recently kicked off a new series on COVID-19 vaccines as it plans the $500 million Regional Vaccine Access and Health Security Initiative targeting Southeast Asian and Pacific island countries.

To listen to discussion on topics such as vaccine uptake, financing, priority groups, as well as safety and efficacy, please refer to the link below:

Contain This: The Latest In Global Health Security


SAFEVAC- the adverse event reporting database for Victoria

The AEFI-CAN database has been formerly renamed SAFEVAC, to better reflect what the database is: an Australian integrated database for the reporting of Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) and associated clinical visits, as well as vaccine errors.
The mission of SAFEVAC is to promote confidence in the National Immunisation Program (NIP) through enhancing national vaccine safety monitoring and rapid signal detection.

Currently AEFI reporting can only be completed via SAFEVAC if the vaccine was administered in Victoria or Western Australia (reports followed up by SAEFVIC or WAVSS respectively). Some other jurisdictions use the database for internal management of reports.

For more information on SAEFVIC, the Victorian vaccine safety service, please visit our MVEC page here.

To access the SAFEVAC database, please click here.


UK authorises Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

Following a thorough analysis of data produced from rigorous clinical trials, the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK have concluded that the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine meets the strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness required. As such, the UK government has announced it's approval with plans to make the vaccine available from as early as next week. Final advice on priority groups is still being determined by the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI).

To read the press release please refer to the link below:

UK authorises Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine


TGA COVID-19 resource hub

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) have developed a dedicated COVID-19 resource hub to host information for consumers, health care professionals and sponsors. This hub details the COVID-19 vaccine approval process for Australia, common questions relating to COVID-19 vaccine safety, quality and effectiveness, as well as the regulatory processes and requirements.

To view this page please follow the link below:

Therapeutic Goods Administration: COVID-19 vaccines

 


Aljazeera: COVID-19 vaccines explained in maps and charts

The following article gives an overview of the various vaccine platforms being utilised to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, and outlines which vaccines are currenly in human trials.

To read more follow the link below.:

Aljazeera: COVID-19 vaccines explained in maps and charts


MMWR: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' Ethical Principles for Allocating Initial Supplies of COVID-19 Vaccine - United States, 2020

Once a COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use, it is expected that the initial supply will be limited. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in the United States, has published it's approach for recommending and allocating COVID-19 vaccines to the American population. In addition to scientific data, decisions on the allocation of COVID-19 vaccines will be based around 4 ethical principles. These include: the need to maximise benefit and minimise harm, promote justice, mitigate health inequities and promote transparency.

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

MMWR: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices' Ethical Principles for Allocating Initial SUpplies of COVID-19 Vaccine - United States, 2020


The Lancet - Emergency use authorisation for COVID-19 vaccines: lessons from Ebola

In order to increase public acceptance of an emergency use authorisation for COVID-19 vaccines, the following article in The Lancet suggests that lessons can be learnt from previous experiences with Ebola virus vaccines in Guinea and the Democratic Republic on the Congo.

Emergency use authorisation allows the public to access promising medicinal products prior to licensing and registration. In the setting of a public health emergency, their use may be ethically justified if certain conditions are met.

By having a transparent evaluation process, ensuring that it meets a favourable benefit-risk ratio based on quality and safety data, and having an accountable system of regulatory oversight and monitoring, the ethical quality and overall acceptance of a COVID-19 vaccine can be improved.

To read more follow the link below:

The Lancet - Emergency use authorisation for COVID-19 vaccines: lessons from Ebola