National Cervical Cancer Awareness Week 2022

Almost all cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV. Most HPV infections are preventable through vaccination, with the HPV vaccine preventing 93% of cervical cancers.

National Cervical Cancer Awareness Week is taking place from 7 – 13 November and provides a strong platform to raise continued awareness of cervical cancer and unite Australians to take action to help Australia make cervical cancer history.

HPV vaccines are fully funded for all students in year 7 (or age-equivalent) through the high school immunisation program; however, any missed doses can be obtained at your GP, pharmacy or local council.

For more information visit our Human papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation reference page.


Updated immunisation reference page: Monkeypox (MPX)

Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (an infection spread from animals to humans). It is caused by a virus that belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus (which also causes the variola virus responsible for smallpox disease and the vaccinia virus, which is used in smallpox vaccines). 

Historically, smallpox vaccines have been used in the prevention of smallpox infection, however, they are also likely to be effective against monkeypox. 

There are two types of smallpox vaccines available for use in Australia for the prevention of monkeypox: 

  • ACAM2000™ – 2nd generation, live-attenuated vaccine 
  • JYNNEOS® – 3rd generation, non-replicating vaccine 

Our Monkeypox reference page has been updated to included expanded eligibility criteria for those at highest risk of being infected.  

To view the updated page in full, follow the link below: 

MVEC: Monkeypox


Updated immunisation reference page: Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a rare but potentially serious infection caused by the flavivirus and is spread to humans through mosquito bites. It is a leading cause of vaccine-preventable encephalitis (brain infection) in Asia and the Western Pacific. It has recently been detected in piggeries in Victoria and the Eastern states of Australia and human cases have been reported. 

Our Japanese encephalitis reference page has been updated to include expanded eligibility criteria for Victorians in flood affected areas in Northern Victoria where more mosquitoes are present.  

To view the updated page in full, follow the link below: 

MVEC: Japanese encephalitis 


Updated Immunisation reference page: Mandatory vaccine directions in Victoria

A vaccine mandate means that proof of vaccination, or an authorised medical exemption, is required in certain settings. Mandating is generally considered a late step in optimising vaccine uptake, as it is important to ensure vaccine access is available in an equitable way, before progressing to a mandate. Vaccine mandates may vary depending on the jurisdiction and there may be some variations around Australia.    

Our mandatory vaccine directions reference page has recently been updated to include the directions relevant to individuals in Victoria. They include: 

  • vaccine specific directions  
  • policy specific directions. 

To view the updated page in full, follow the link below:  

MVEC: Mandatory vaccine directions in Victoria 


Updated Immunisation reference page: Epilepsy and immunisation page

Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that leads to a person having seizures. Whilst the cause of epilepsy in most people is often unknown, it can include genetic conditions, brain injury or infection, hypoxic insult at birth, brain tumours or neurodegenerative diseases.   

Infections, including those that are vaccine preventable (eg. measles, influenza, COVID-19 etc) can trigger seizures in people with epilepsy. Whilst vaccination is generally recommended, in rare instances a vaccine can also cause a seizure. This is why a risk/benefit assessment is important when planning vaccination for people with epilepsy.  

Our reference page has recently been updated to detail:    

  • epilepsy and vaccine-proximate seizures 
  • genetic epilepsies with a high association with vaccine-proximate seizures  
  • immunisation recommendations and management. 

To view the page in full, follow the link below:  

MVEC: Epilepsy and immunisation page 


Updated Immunisation reference page: Tuberculosis (BCG)

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection that predominantly manifests in the lungs but can spread to other areas of the body including the brain, bones, kidneys and lymph nodes. Whilst Australia has some of the lowest rates of TB in the world, it is estimated that globally one-quarter of the world’s population is infected.  

Our reference page has recently been updated to include information on: 

  • the infection and what to look for 
  • epidemiology 
  • vaccination 
  • tuberculin skin testing. 

To view the page in full, follow the link below: 

MVEC: Tuberculosis (BCG) 


Updated immunisation reference page – Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)

Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) is a rare but serious complication following suspected inadvertent administration of a vaccine too high in the deltoid or into the shoulder joint. It can cause a local inflammatory response and potential trauma to local structures within the shoulder joint with symptoms lasting for weeks, months or even years.  

Our reference page has recently been updated to detail:    

  • symptoms/features of SIRVA 
  • impacts and implications  
  • diagnosis and treatment options 
  • how to prevent SIRVA 
  • where to report a case of SIRVA. 

 To view the page in full, follow the link below:  

MVEC: Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) 


Updated immunisation reference page: Myocarditis and pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccines

MVEC’s myocarditis and pericarditis reference page has been updated following the recent changes to the guidance on myocarditis and pericarditis associated with COVID-19 vaccination.  

This update is reflective of ATAGI’s recent advice which has identified that all of the COVID-19 vaccines available within Australia (including non-mRNA COVID-19 vaccines) carry a small increased risk of myocarditis or pericarditis occurring following vaccination. 

To view the page in full, follow the link below: 

MVEC: Myocarditis and pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccines   


Updated immunisation reference page - Pharmacist immunisers

Our pharmacist immuniser reference page has recently been updated to incorporate the expansion of the pharmacist immuniser program allowing accredited pharmacist providers to administer additional vaccines to more people.  

Pharmacist immunisers that have completed a recognised ‘Immuniser program of study’, are now authorised to administer the following vaccines in Victoria: 

  • human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines to those aged 12 years and older 
  • pneumococcal vaccines to people aged 50 years and older 
  • herpes zoster (shingles) vaccine to people aged 50 years and older 
  • monkeypox vaccines to patients recommended for vaccination aged five years and older. 

In addition to this, pharmacist immunisers are now able to administer the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (dTpa) vaccine to anyone aged 12 years or older (previously only to those from 15 years of age). 

To view the page in full, follow the link below: 

MVEC: Pharmacist immunisers 


New immunisation reference page: Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and immunisation

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a condition that most commonly affects teens and young adults and involves a cluster of symptoms including increased heart rate (tachycardia), dizziness, weakness, vision changes, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbances or nausea. 

No link has been found between vaccination and POTS and a diagnosis of POTS is not a contraindication to receiving vaccinations. In fact, some cases of POTS are thought to occur following an acute infection, some of which are vaccine-preventable.  

Vaccination is an important way to stay healthy and protected against disease. Any concerns an individual with POTS has regarding immunisation should be discussed with an individual’s treating healthcare practitioner. 

Our new reference page outlines what POTS is and the implications of having POTS on immunisation.  

For further information, click on the link below: 

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and immunisation