NIP: Vaxelis® added to schedule

From 1 July 2023, Vaxelis® will be added to the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

Vaxelis® is a hexavalent (six-in-one) vaccine that protects against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis and haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib).

Vaxelis® is registered for use from 6 weeks of age. It does not require reconstitution.

More information will be shared when it becomes available.


RSV Awareness Week

It’s Australia’s first RSV Awareness Week from 4-10 June. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a highly contagious virus that causes seasonal outbreaks in infants and young children, usually during the winter months. While most will have mild symptoms and recover quickly, others develop severe disease.

Learn more about the campaign and about RSV at www.ifa.org.au/RSVandMe or by searching #RSVandMe on social media.


ATAGI advice on the preferential use of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines for primary vaccination of people aged 12 years or older

ATAGI has reviewed the latest evidence regarding the use of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines. It is now recommended that individuals aged 12 years and over receive bivalent vaccines for primary vaccination and booster doses in preference over using the original/ancestral strain vaccines. Whilst safety and immunogenicity data for bivalent vaccines in a primary series is limited, the safety profile when used as a booster dose is similar to when original/ancestral vaccines are used.   

  • Individuals aged 12-17 years are recommended to receive BA.4/5-containing bivalent vaccines for primary vaccination and booster doses. 
  • Individuals aged 18 years and over can receive either BA.1-containing or BA.4/5-containing vaccines for primary vaccination and booster doses. 
  • Individuals aged 12 and over who have commenced their primary course with an original (ancestral) vaccine are recommended to complete the course with a bivalent vaccine.
  • There are no bivalent vaccines currently available for use in children aged 6 months-11 years and therefore original/ancestral strain vaccines should continue to be used (noting that booster doses are not recommended for anyone under 5 years of age).

There are no changes to who is recommended to receive booster doses. Schedules and intervals between doses also remain unchanged.

ATAGI advice on the preferential use of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines for primary vaccination of people aged 12 years or older


Victorian Department of Health: Vaccine error management

The Victorian Department of Health has recently introduced a new immunisation resource on vaccine error management.

The resource includes easy-to-understand information about preventing vaccine errors and the most common vaccine errors, as well as directions for reporting vaccine errors to SAEFVIC (Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination In the Community).

Department of Health: Vaccine error management


ABS-CBN: Over 3 million kids vaxxed in first week of ‘Chikiting Ligtas’ - DOH

The Philippines Department of Health, with the support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO), recently launched ‘Chikiting Ligtas 2023’, a nationwide immunisation catch-up campaign to vaccinate children against measles, rubella and polio.

More than 3 million children have been vaccinated in the campaign’s first week.

Vaccine catch-up was the theme of WHO’s World Immunization Week in April this year. The Philippines has the fifth highest number of zero dose children, children who have not received any routine vaccines, globally.

ABS-CBN: Over 3 million kids vaxxed in first week of ‘Chikiting Ligtas’ - DOH


AAP FactCheck: No evidence of link between vaccine and ovary damage

MVEC director Professor Nigel Crawford spoke to the Australian Associated Press FactCheck team, addressing claims made about the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, Gardasil®9.

It has been claimed that the HPV vaccine can damage the ovaries and that is has been withdrawn from use in the United States. AAP FactCheck deemed this claim false.

Prof Crawford confirmed there is no evidence to support the claim that the HPV vaccine causes damage to the ovaries. The claim stems from a longstanding myth that the vaccine is associated with premature ovarian failure (POF). "The timing of the HPV vaccine around puberty (12-13 years) has led to some of these concerns (about POF) being raised", Prof Crawford said.

Prof Crawford further confirmed there is no evidence to support claims that the HPV vaccine is linked to seizures.

AAP Factcheck: No evidence of link between vaccine and ovary damage


2023-24 Federal Budget: Shingrix to replace Zostavax on NIP

The 2023-24 Federal Budget has allocated $446.7 million to replace Zostaxav with Shingrix, a different zoster (shingles) vaccine, on the National Immunisation Program (NIP). 

Shingrix is an inactivated vaccine whereas Zostavax is a live-attenuated vaccine, unsafe for immunosuppressed people. This means people with immunocompromise will now be able to access funded protection against the development of herpes zoster. 

Further details regarding which populations will be able to access Shingrix on the NIP have not been announced. 

MVEC: Zoster (herpes zoster)


NCIRS: Recording of HPV in 2023 webinar

The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) has recently uploaded recordings of presentations from its recent HPV in 2023 webinar, held on 5 May 2023.

Leading researchers presented on:

  • the HPV vaccine and its impact in Australia and globally
  • a roadmap for cervical cancer elimination in Australia and our region
  • changes to the Australian HPV vaccination schedule and their implications
  • initiatives designed to maintain high levels of HPV vaccine coverage.

NCIRS HPV in 2023 webinar recordings


TGA: Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine SPIKEVAX receives approval for full registration

On 21 April 2023, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved Moderna Australia’s application to transition its original/ancestral strain COVID-19 vaccines from provisional to full registration. This applies only to the formulations used for people aged ≥ 12 years.

It is the first COVID-19 vaccine to receive full registration within Australia.

Moderna’s original/ancestral strain COVID-19 vaccine formulation given to children aged 6 months to ≤ 5 years, and the Moderna SPIKEVAX bivalent vaccines remain provisionally registered only.

TGA: Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine SPIKEVAX receives approval for full registration

For more information about the provision registration of COVID-19 vaccines in Australia, see our reference page.


ABC: Ghana becomes first country in world to approve Oxford University’s new R21 malaria vaccine

Ghana has become the first country to approve a new malaria vaccine, a possible step forwarding in fighting the disease.  

This is the second malaria vaccine to be approved, following RTS,S which is currently recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to WHO, 100 million doses are needed annually to cover 25 million children but, due to lack of funding and commercial potential, RTS,S manufacturer GSK has only committed to 15 million doses each year up to 2028. 

A second vaccine is urgently needed. 

Malaria kills more than 600,000 people each year. In 2021, there were an estimated 247 million cases of malaria with 95% of cases occurring in the WHO African Region. Children under 5 are the most vulnerable group affected by malaria. 

Malaria vaccines have taken decades to develop due to the complicated structure of the malaria parasite. 

Final-stage trial data for the R21 vaccine is yet to be published and regulatory bodies including the World Health Organization are still assessing the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. 

ABC: Ghana becomes first country in world to approve Oxford University’s new R21 malaria vaccine