New immunisation reference page: COVID-19 vaccines in people with immunocompromise

Despite vaccination being recommended, there is currently minimal data on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in the immunocompromised population. In principle, there are no theoretical safety risks and no vaccine safety signals have been identified for vaccinated people with immunocompromise to date.  Similar to responses following the administration of other inactivated vaccines in immunocompromised people, a reduced efficacy may occur following vaccination against COVID-19. 

Our new reference page collates the various recommendations and guidance available for a broad group of immunocompromising conditions and therapies, as well as providing specific recommendations and/or links where available

To read more, follow the link below:

MVEC: COVID-19 vaccines in people with immunocompromise


New immunisation reference page: Adverse events following COVID-19 immunisation

All immunisations are medications and all medications do have side effects. For each vaccine there is a known list of common or expected adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) and then a smaller list of serious side effects. Reporting significant adverse events is important to allow for signal detection and investigation as part of post-licensure vaccine safety monitoring.

Our new reference page explores what sort of reactions are common and expected following COVID-19 immunisation, and what sort of reactions warrant reporting.

For more information please refer to the following:

MVEC: COVID-19 vaccine adverse events


ABC News: ATAGI have told the Prime Minister to pull back on the AstraZeneca vaccine for under 50s and use Pfizer, but who are they?

The Australian Government’s recent decision to amend Australia’s vaccine program was based on the recommendation provided by ATAGI, following international evidence linking a rare blood-clotting condition to the AstraZeneca vaccine in younger people.

ATAGI is the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. They provide recommendations to the Minister for Health regarding the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and other immunisation issues including immunisation research and immunisation policies, procedures and vaccine safety.  Comprising of 14 medical experts, the group is co-chaired by Associate Professor Christopher Blyth, a specialist in paediatric infectious diseases, and Professor Allen Cheng, who specialises in epidemiology and public health.

This article summarises the role of ATAGI, including their recent recommendations to the Government regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine.

To read more follow the link below:

ABC News: ATAGI have told the Prime Minister to pull back on the AstraZeneca vaccine for under 50s and use Pfizer, but who are they?

For more information on ATAGI, please refer to our MVEC reference page:

MVEC: ATAGI


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