ATAGI: Recommendations on the use of the Moderna and Pfizer monovalent Omicron XBB.1.5 COVID-19 vaccines

On 20 November, ATAGI released new recommendations for the use of monovalent XBB.1.5 COVID-19 vaccines for primary vaccination and boosters, in those aged 5 and older.

The monovalent XBB.1.5 vaccines target currently circulating Omicron subvariants. This differs to the bivalent COVID-19 vaccines which offer protection against both earlier Omicron subvariants and the original strain of COVID-19.

All currently available COVID-19 vaccines provide strong protection against severe disease. Monovalent XBB.1.5 vaccines show a modest increase in protection and are therefore considered the preferred option.

People who have not received their recommended 2023 dose(s) are encouraged to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Those who have already received their 2023 dose(s) do not need revaccination with a monovalent XBB.1.5 vaccine.

The monovalent Omicron XBB.1.5 vaccines available for use in Australia are:

  • Pfizer (5 to < 12 years – light blue cap)
  • Pfizer (≥ 12 years – dark grey cap)
  • Moderna (≥ 12 years)

Eligible children under 5 years can continue to receive an age-appropriate original strain vaccines (Pfzier – maroon cap).

ATAGI statement

Australian Immunisation Handbook: New chapter on COVID-19

Today, 5 October 2023, the Department of Health and Aged Care has published a new chapter on COVID-19 in the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

In a major update, the new COVID-19 disease chapter consolidates the available COVID-19 clinical guidance material.

The chapter includes the following subsections:

  • Overview 
  • 建议 
  • Vaccines, dosage and administration 
  • 禁忌症与注意事项 
  • Adverse events 
  • Nature of the disease 
  • Clinical features 
  • 流行病学 
  • Vaccine information 
  • Transporting, storing and handling vaccines 
  • Public health management 
  • Variations from product information. 

Australian Immunisation Handbook: COVID-19

Misinterpretation and misuse of recent COVID-19 study

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) authors of a recent COVID-19 study have released a statement addressing the misinterpretation and misuse of their publication, BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccination in children alters cytokine responses to heterologous pathogens and Toll-like receptor agonists.

The publication has been used to claim that COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous and that they suppress the immune system. The research does not provide any evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines are harmful to the immune system of children or adults.

MCRI: A statement regarding a recent COVID-19 vaccination publication

Decommission of COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program

The COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program was decommissioned on 30 September 2023. From January 2021 to September 2023, successful completion of this program was mandatory for all providers delivering COVID-19 vaccines.

In Victoria, Secretary Approval from 1 October allows nurse immunisers and pharmacist immunisers to independently deliver COVID-19 vaccines, in addition to medical practitioners. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health practitioner immunisers can administer COVID-19 vaccines under the written instruction of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner or authorised midwife.

Read more on the Victorian Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine page.

BMJ: Considerations for vaccinating children against COVID-19

In July, BMJ published a literature review led by researchers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) including MVEC Director Prof Nigel Crawford. The paper describes COVID-19 in children, with a focus on low-income and middle-income countries, and summarises the published literature on safety, efficacy and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in children and adolescents.

The review emphasises that at-risk groups should be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination. According to the review, COVID-19 vaccines are effective against severe COVID-19 in children and adolescents, although there is limited additional benefit in healthy children given widespread infection-derived immunity.

For more information, access the publication and accompanying MCRI news story below.

BJM Paediatrics Open: Considerations for vaccinating children against COVID-19
MCRI: COVID-19 vaccines are effective against severe cases in children

Updated monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines approved by FDA

On 11 September, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved COVID-19 vaccines updated to include a monovalent component that targets currently circulating variants.

Bivalent Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are no longer authorised for use in the US.

In Australia, bivalent COVID-19 vaccines (those which target the original/ancestral strain of the virus as well as an Omicron subvariant) continue to be recommended for primary vaccination and boosters in people aged 12 years and older.

Read more in the FDA’s press release: FDA: Updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccines

Current ATAGI advice on bivalent COVID-19 vaccines:
ATAGI: Recommendations on use of the Pfizer bivalent COVID-19 vaccine (February 2023) 
ATAGI: Recommendations on use of the Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine (February 2023) 
ATAGI: Advice on the preferential use of bivalent COVID-19 vaccines for primary vaccination of people aged 12 years or older (May 2023) 


ATAGI: Update on the COVID-19 vaccination program

On 1 September 2023, ATAGI updated its recommendations for additional COVID-19 vaccines doses. An additional 2023 dose is recommended for everyone aged 75 and over (if 6 months have passed since their last dose). 

Everyone aged 65 to 75 and people aged 18 to 64 with severe immunocompromise should consider an additional 2023 dose (if 6 months have passed since their last dose). 

In February 2023, ATAGI recommended COVID-19 boosters for everyone aged over 65 and for people aged 18 to 64 with severe immunocompromise (if 6 months have passed since their last dose). People who were recommended to receive a booster in February and who have not yet had one should receive an additional dose as soon as possible. 

ATAGI: Update on the COVID-19 vaccination program


这项多中心全国性研究调查了 2020 年 3 月至 2022 年 4 月期间 COVID-19 疾病对癌症患者的影响。

结果表明,血癌患者的 PCR 检测结果呈 COVID-19 阳性的时间比实体器官肿瘤患者的时间要长得多。化疗类型或特异性免疫抑制疗法不能预测严重疾病。

令人欣慰的是,随着时间的推移,癌症患者的 COVID-19 疾病严重程度有所下降。这与疫苗接种率、混合免疫、强大的检测机制以及抗病毒疗法的可用性和早期使用的增加相一致。  

尽管较新的 COVID-19 毒株有可能逃避疫苗接种和抗体疗法引起的保护,但由于 T 细胞免疫,仍然存在良好的交叉保护。所以, 对于严重免疫功能低下的个体,建议进行 3 剂初次疫苗接种以及加强剂量的疗程。  


ATAGI 关于优先使用双价 COVID-19 疫苗对 12 岁或以上人群进行初次接种的建议

ATAGI 审查了有关使用二价 COVID-19 疫苗的最新证据。现在建议 12 岁及以上的个人优先接种二价疫苗进行初次接种和加强剂量,而不是使用原始/祖先菌株疫苗。虽然初级系列中二价疫苗的安全性和免疫原性数据有限,但用作加强剂量时的安全性与使用原始/祖先疫苗时的安全性相似。   

  • 建议 12-17 岁的个人接种含 BA.4/5 的二价疫苗用于初次接种和加强剂。 
  • 18 岁及以上的个人可以接受含 BA.1 或 BA.4/5 的疫苗用于初次接种和加强剂量。 
  • 建议已使用原始(祖传)疫苗开始初级课程的 12 岁及以上个人使用二价疫苗完成课程。
  • 目前没有可用于 6 个月至 11 岁儿童的双价疫苗,因此应继续使用原始/祖先株疫苗(请注意,不建议 5 岁以下的任何人接种加强剂)。


安泰 关于优先使用双价 COVID-19 疫苗对 12 岁或以上人群进行初次接种的建议


我们最近更新了 COVID-19 免疫参考页面以简化信息。现在,您可以在一页上找到针对成人和儿童的 COVID-19 信息和建议。


更新 – MVEC:COVID-19

有关其他 COVID-19 相关信息,请参阅:

MVEC:COVID-19 疫苗和过敏