Updated immunisation reference page: Pertussis

We have recently updated our pertussis reference page.

Pertussis (commonly known as whooping cough) is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Pertussis is usually more serious in infants under 6 months, but it can affect people of any age.

The updated page includes new details on pertussis epidemiology and more information about transmission. We have also published detailed guidance and recommendations for primary course and booster vaccinations across age groups.



We have recently updated our zoster (also known as shingles) reference page.

Zoster is the reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (VZV) in people who have previously had varicella (chickenpox) infection. Zoster presents with a painful blistering rash. The most common side effect is post-herpetic neuralgia.

The updated page includes new details on eligibility for the upcoming National Immunisation Program (NIP) funding for Shingrix, commencing on 1 November 2023. The page also features commonly asked questions on zoster and Shingrix.


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

Nobel Prize awarded to mRNA vaccine researchers

Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman have received the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their role in the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19.

Read about their work at The Nobel Prize: Discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19

WHO recommends new malaria vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended the new malaria vaccine R21/Matrix-M for the prevention of malaria in children.

The approval of the R21 vaccine is expected to result in sufficient vaccine supply to benefit all children living in areas where malaria is a public health risk.

The R21 vaccine is the second malaria vaccine to be recommended by WHO. In 2021, WHO recommended the RTS,S/AS01 vaccine. Both vaccines are safe and effective in preventing malaria in children.

疟疾每年导致超过 600,000 人死亡。 2021 年,估计有 2.47 亿例疟疾病例,其中 95% 病例发生在世卫组织非洲区域。 5 岁以下儿童是受疟疾影响最脆弱的群体。

Malaria vaccines have taken decades to develop due to the complicated structure of the malaria parasite. Earlier this year, Ghana was the first country to approve the R21 vaccine.

WHO: WHO recommends R21/Matrix-M vaccine for malaria prevention

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

ABC: Permanent funding for South Australian specialist immunisation service

SA Health will permanently fund the Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s specialist immunisation service, set up in 2021.

The unit supports patients with past trauma, neurodiverse conditions and needle phobia, offering sedation for vaccination and for minor medical procedures such as blood tests, dental check-ups and X-rays.

ABC: Needle phobia can impede jabs – but a hospital service is boosting vaccines and injections

Immunisation Coalition: Immunisation for health and life meeting

This weekend on 7 October, the Immunisation Coalition will host the inaugural Immunisation for health and life meeting.

The hybrid event is designed for GPs and nurses who immunise against infectious diseases, and includes keynote presentations, rapid fire presentations, workshops and panel discussions.

When: 9:00 am–4:45 pm (ETD) on 7 October 2023
Where: Melbourne (hybrid)

Visit the Immunisation Coalition website to learn more and to register.

Immunisation Coalition: Immunisation for health and life meeting

Immunisation Coalition: 2023 Shingles webinar

Immunisation Coalition will be hosting the 2023 Shingles Webinar on 15 November.

The webinar will provide an update on shingles epidemiology, changes to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) schedule and current trends in vaccination rates. The webinar features A/Prof John Litt with Dr Andrew Minton as moderator.

When: 6:00 pm–7:00 pm EDT on 15 November 2023 

Find out more and register on the Immunisation Coalition website.

Immunisation Coalition: 2023 Shingles webinar

NCIRS: Multiple vaccinations for children resource

国家免疫研究和监测中心 (NCIRS) has recently developed a new resource to support conversations about administering multiple vaccinations at the same time in children.

NCIRS: Multiple vaccinations for children resource