New immunisation reference page: Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome

Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) is a newly described serious condition which has been reported in people following receipt of dose 1 of COVID-19 AstraZeneca.

Our new reference page explores what is known about the syndrome including symptoms, rates of occurrence globally, risk factors and the types of investigations that should be performed in patients where TTS is suspected.

To read more please refer to the below link:

MVEC: Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome  

 


Information about COVID-19 vaccines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and NCIRS have joined together to develop new resources on COVID-19 vaccines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This information includes frequently asked questions surrounding the safety and effectiveness of available vaccines, as well as the immunisation recommendations for special risk groups.

To access these resources please follow the link below:

NACCHO: COVID-19 Vaccine Updates and Information

Further information on the immunisation recommendations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can be found on our reference page:

MVEC: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander immunisation recommendations

 


New immunisation reference page: COVID-19 weekly vaccine update

The rapid development of multiple COVID-19 vaccines globally has been a tremendous success story for public health. However, it can prove challenging to stay up to date with the increasing literature on various aspects of these vaccines. The COVID-19 weekly vaccine update summarises the data available on COVID-19 vaccines and includes: the specifications of COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine efficacy and effectiveness including against variants of concern; comorbidities and the elderly; vaccine safety; the pipeline for vaccine development; and the WHO SAGE timeline for vaccine authorisation. Each week, the document is updated and contains newly released information on the vaccines.

To subscribe to the update, email kase.anderson@unimelb.edu.au

Alternatively you can access the update via our reference page below:

MVEC: COVID-19 weekly vaccine update


ATAGI- COVID-19 vaccine guidance for patients with immunocompromise

ATAGI have published recommendations for the vaccination of immune compromised patients with COVID-19 vaccines, Comirnaty™ and COVID-19 AstraZeneca.

COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all immunocompromised people due to an increased risk of developing severe disease if infected with SARS-CoV-2. Administration of COVID-19 vaccines should be planned with the treating specialist and in some instances the timing of immune suppressive therapies may be altered to maximise immune responses to vaccination. Reducing the interval between COVID-19 vaccine doses to allow for planning of treatments can also be considered.

To view these recommendations please refer to

For other information on the immunisation of immune compromised people please refer to:

MVEC: Immunosuppression and vaccines


New immunisation reference page: COVID-19 vaccines and allergy

Suspected hypersensitivity reactions, particularly non-urticarial skin rashes following immunisation, are common, however true vaccine allergy, where a person is contraindicated from being immunised with the same vaccine in the future, is rare (in most studies reported as less than 1 case per million doses).

Post-licensure surveillance of COVID-19 vaccines show anaphylaxis following administration of COVID-19 AstraZeneca occurring at similar rates to routine vaccines.  Anaphylaxis following Comirnaty™ (Pfizer/BioNTech), while still extremely rare, occurs at a slightly higher rate of approximately 4.7 cases per million doses.

A confirmed vaccine allergy usually requires a specialist consultation with a vaccine allergy specialist, often with specific testing or a vaccine challenge under supervision.

Find out more about allergies to COVID-19 vaccines, allergies to components of COVID-19 vaccines, and management of these allergies in our new immunisation reference page, COVID-19 vaccines and allergy.

 

 


Updated immunisation reference pages: Influenza vaccine recommendations and FAQ's

MVEC's recommendations for influenza vaccination in 2021 have been updated. Information contained in these pages includes dosing and brand advice (including information on cell-based vaccines), co-administration of influenza vaccines and other vaccines, recommendations in pregnancy and immunosuppression, as well as eligibility for funded doses.

Our FAQ's provide answers to commonly asked questions relating to influenza vaccines and their administration.

For more information please follow the links below:

 


New immunisation reference page: The VicSIS (Victorian Specialist Immunisation Services) Network

Current vaccine safety clinics managed by SAEFVIC have historically had a paediatric focus. With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines within Australia and the initial priority groups involving adults, the VicSIS (Victorian Specialist Immunisation Services) network has been created to enhance adult immunisation services in Victoria to address queries and safely vaccinate under supervision, if required. These services can provide specialist immunisation support and provide a link between the key stakeholders, the Department of Health, SAEFVIC and hospital sites that form part of the network.

The VicSIS network will provide specialist vaccination services for people who have experienced an adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) with a COVID-19 vaccine, or those who are identified as at risk of an AEFI (for example, people with a history of anaphylaxis). Most people are able to proceed with future vaccines following an AEFI. Clinical consults will be offered in which individual recommendations will be developed.

Find out more about where the VicSIS clinics are located and how to refer to them in our new immunisation reference page, linked below.

MVEC: The VicSIS (Victorian Specialist Immunisation Services) Network


New immunisation reference page: Immunisation recommendations for the older population

There are a variety of factors that need to be considered in relation to the vaccination of the older population. A gradual decline of the immune system occurs as people age (known as immunosenescence), impacting how the immune system responds to new infections, as well as the effectiveness of long-term immune memory. An increasing prevalence of comorbidities, as well as the use of various therapies and medications can also cause older adults to be more vulnerable to infections and their complications.

Our new reference page details the vaccine recommendations for the older population, including COVID-19, influenza, pneumococcal and zoster vaccines, as well as highlights the importance of utilising the Australian Immunisation Register when immunising this patient group.

Find out more about the vaccines recommended by reading our new immunisation reference page, linked below.

MVEC: Immunisation recommendations for the older population


ATAGI COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy

COVID-19 vaccines are not routinely recommended in pregnancy, however they are not contraindicated.

COVID-19 vaccines can be considered if a pregnant woman has medical risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease or is at a high risk of exposure and contact with people with the virus. Pregnant women have been shown to have an increased risk of needing admission to intensive care and requiring mechanical ventilation if they contract COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant women of the same age. Pregnant women can discuss this with their health provider to ascertain if the potential benefit of receiving a COVID vaccine outweighs any risks.

ATAGI have released a COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy and considering having a COVID-19 vaccine.

Learn more via links below:

MVEC: Maternal vaccination during pregnancy (recently updated)

ATAGI COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy


New immunisation reference page: Pneumococcal disease and vaccines

Invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) can manifest in many different ways causing disease of varied severity. Certain individuals with specific medical conditions are considered at an increased risk of IPD and therefore are recommended to receive additional vaccines. Our new reference page discusses the different pneumococcal vaccines available and outlines the different immunisation recommendations for each patient group.

To read more follow the link below:

MVEC: Pneumococcal disease and vaccines