ATAGI: Statement on the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2024

ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation) has published their recommendations for the use seasonal influenza vaccines in Australia in 2024. 

Influenza vaccines are recommended annually and are funded on the National Immunisation Program (NIP) for: 

  • children aged 6 months to less than 5 years 
  • all adults aged 65 years and older  
  • specific populations aged 5 to 64 years who are at greatest risk of developing complications from influenza infection (including प्रेग्नेंट औरत, First Nations people, and those with certain medical risk factors). 

For more information refer to: ATAGI: Statement on the administration of seasonal influenza vaccines in 2024 


ATAGI: Statement on the administration of COVID-19 vaccines in 2024

TAGI haएस released new advice relating to the administration of further COVID-19 vaccines. 

The need and frequency of further doses beyond a primary course depends on the age of the recipient and their level of immunocompromise:  

  • All individuals aged 75 years and over- recommended to receive a dose every 6 months 
  • All individuals aged 65 to 74 years- recommended to receive a dose every 12 months, but can consider a dose every 6 months 
  • Individuals with severe immunocompromise aged 18 to 64 years- recommended to receive a dose every 12 months, but can consider a dose every 6 months 
  • Individuals without severe immunocompromise aged 18 to 64- can consider a dose every 12 months 
  • Individuals with severe immunocompromise aged 5 to 17 years- can consider a dose every 12 months 
  • Individuals without severe immunocompromise aged 5 to 17 years- not recommended to receive further doses 
  • Individuals less than 5 years- not recommended to receive further doses. 

Omicron XBB1.5 vaccines are preferred for all primary and subsequent doses in all ages. There is currently no supply of the कॉमिरनेटी Omicron XBB1.5 formulation for children aged 6 months- 4 years however it is anticipated to be available later in 2024. Until this time providers should continue using the age-appropriate Comirnaty original formulation for this group.  

For more information refer to: ATAGI statement on the administration of COVID-19 vaccines in 2024 


ATAGI: Statement on the clinical use of Arexvy

ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation) has published a statement on the clinical use of Arexvy, a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine, for the prevention of RSV in older adults in Australia. 

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is one of the leading causes of respiratory tract infections in young children and is associated with severe respiratory disease in people aged over 60 years.   

Arexvy is available on the private market, and is recommended for: 

  • all adults aged over 75 years 
  • First Nations Australians aged 60 to 74 years 
  • Non-Indigenous Australians with medical conditions that increase their risk of severe disease due to RSV. 

ATAGI’s full statement includes further details on recommendations, contraindications, coadministration, RSV and Arexvy.

A new chapter on RSV will be available in the Australian Immunisation Handbook by mid-2024. Until then, use the ATAGI statement for clinical guidance. 

ATAGI: Statement on the clinical use of Arexvy

MVEC: RSV


CDC on RSV vaccine administration errors

The CDC reports that, in the United States, the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine Arexvy has been administered in error to some children and pregnant people. Arexvy is not approved for use in infants or young children, or pregnant people. Most of the reported administration errors occurred in outpatient settings (e.g. GP clinics and pharmacies). 

In January Arexvy was registered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for use in Australia, for the immunisation of people aged 60 years and older to prevent lower respiratory tract disease caused by RSV. 

ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation) today (29 February 2024) published guidance on the clinical use of Arexvy.

CDC Clinical Outreach and Communication Activity: Information on respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine administration errors in young children and pregnancy people


WHO: Nearly 10 000 children vaccinated as malaria vaccine rollout in Africa expands

Nearly 10,000 children in Burkina Faso and Cameroon have received the RTS,S malaria vaccine in recent weeks. The vaccine rollout in the two countries is a critical step forward in the fight against one of the leading causes of death in Africa. At least 28 African countries plan to introduce a malaria vaccine as part of their national immunisation programs.

There have been two malaria vaccines endorsed for use in Africa: RTS,S (available now) and R21 (expected to be available in mid 2024). Four doses are recommended for both vaccines; 3 by 9 months of age and the last dose at 18 months of age.

WHO: Nearly 10 000 children vaccinated as malaria vaccine rollout in Africa expands

Gavi: Vaccine profiles: malaria


The Guardian: Brazil starts mass vaccination amid upsurge in dengue fever

Brazil has become the first country to roll out a national dengue vaccination program, in response to a surge of dengue fever cases across the country. The country's health ministry said nearly 365,000 dengue cases were reported in the first five weeks of 2024, four times the number during the same period in 2023.

Brazil has purchased 5.2m doses of the dengue vaccine Qdenga and is commencing vaccination of children aged 10 to 14 years.

Dengue is a viral infection, spread by mosquitoes to people. Since the beginning of 2023, there have been more than five million cases globally and more than 5,000 dengue-related deaths reported.

The Guardian: Brazil starts mass vaccination amid upsurge in dengue fever

WHO: Disease outbreak news: Dengue


MCRI: Study into rare side effects of COVID-19 vaccines

A new international study will examine the rare side effects caused by COVID-19 vaccines.

The University of Alberta in Canada is leading the study, through the विशेष टीकाकरण सेवाओं का अंतर्राष्ट्रीय नेटवर्क (INSIS). INSIS brings together specialist clinicians in vaccine safety, systems biology and genomics, including AusVaxSafety, to characterise the risk factors and underlying mechanism of adverse events following COVID-19 immunisation.

INSIS focuses on very rare adverse reactions, those which affect less than 0.001 % of the population, that occur after COVID-19 vaccination. This study aims to understand the causes and risk factors behind these occurrences, to ensure the development of even safer vaccines in potential future pandemics.

Read more on the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) website.

 

एमवीईसी: विशेष टीकाकरण सेवाओं का अंतर्राष्ट्रीय नेटवर्क

एमवीईसी: ऑसवैक्ससेफ्टी: ऑस्ट्रेलिया में वैक्सीन सुरक्षा निगरानी

MVEC: AEFI-CAN: Adverse Events Following Immunisation – Clinical Assessment Network

एमवीईसी: कोविड-19


New home for COVID-19 information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria has now moved all COVID-19 information to a new home on the Better Health Channel. Check the website for consumer and clinician information on disease prevention, testing, treatment, long covid, and special risk group advice.  

Better Health: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria 


Cases of measles rising around the world

Rates of measles have been rising around the world. There were 127 cases in the United Kingdom in January 2024, leading the UK Health Security Agency to declare a National Incident. 

In Australia, there were 5 confirmed measles cases in January 2024. This includes 3 in Victoria, 1 in ACT and 1 in Queensland.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a 30-fold increase in measles cases across Europe from 2022 to 2023. 

These data remind us of the importance of achieving and maintaining over 95% coverage with 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine. 

एमवीईसी: खसरा 


New Australian CDC

Australia now has its very own Centre for Disease Control (CDC). 

Headed by Prof Paul Kelly, the interim Australian CDC launched on 1 January 2024 within the Department of Health and Aged Care. The Australian CDC aims to enhance Australia’s health emergency planning and preparedness, strengthen partnerships with stakeholders and provide transparent and consistent public health advice. 

Find out more at the Australian Centre for Disease Control website.