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Vaccine ; 40(1): 18-20, 2022 01 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541012


In 2017 the World Health Organization's Tailoring Immunization Programmes guide (TIP) was used to identify pockets of low immunization coverage in Australia. The regional centre of Maitland had high numbers and rates of children who were overdue for scheduled vaccinations (2016, n = 344, 37.7%). Families were not opposed to immunization but had conflicting priorities or experienced service access barriers. A tailored strategy was developed including friendly, personalised reminders, outreach appointments and home visiting for those families most in need. Research translation was not quick and easy. A process evaluation identified areas where more support was needed to advance the strategy. Coverage rates have increased from 62.3% (2016) to 86.2% (2020). The number of overdue children has decreased even during COVID-19 restrictions when health services expected families would avoid primary care services. The TIP approach is valuable for improving childhood immunization coverage and is being utilised in other communities with low coverage.

COVID-19 , Vaccination Coverage , Australia , Child , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , World Health Organization
BMJ Open ; 11(3): e043880, 2021 03 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1153680


OBJECTIVES: To assess the safety of live attenuated herpes zoster vaccine live (ZVL) through cumulative analysis of near real-time, participant-based active surveillance from Australia's AusVaxSafety system. DESIGN AND SETTING: ZVL was funded in Australia for adults aged 70 years from November 2016, with a time-limited catch up programme for those up to 79 years. This cohort study monitored safety in the first two programme years through active surveillance at 246 sentinel surveillance immunisation sites. PARTICIPANTS: Adults aged 70-79 years vaccinated with ZVL who responded to an opt-out survey sent via automated short message service (SMS) 3 days following vaccination (n=17 458) or contributed supplementary data through a separate, opt-in online survey at 16 and 24 days following vaccination (n=346). PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Rates of overall and prespecified adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) by sex, concomitant vaccination and underlying medical condition. Signal detection methods (fast initial response cumulative summation and Bayesian updating analyses) were applied to reports of medical attendance. RESULTS: The median age of participants was 72 years; 53% were female. The response rate following automated SMS was high (73% within 7 days of vaccination). Females were more likely than males to report any adverse event within 7 days of vaccination (RR 2.07, 95% CI 1.86 to 2.31); injection site reaction was the most commonly reported (2.3%, n=377). Concomitant vaccination was not associated with higher adverse event rates (RR 1.05, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.18). Rates of medical attendance were low (0.3%) with no safety signals identified. Supplementary opt-in survey data on later onset adverse events did not identify any difference in AEFI rates between those with and without underlying medical conditions. CONCLUSIONS: ZVL has a very good safety profile in the first week after vaccination in older adults. Active, participant-based surveillance in this primary care cohort is an effective method to monitor vaccine safety among older adults and will be used as a key component of COVID-19 vaccine safety surveillance in Australia.

Herpes Zoster Vaccine/adverse effects , Herpes Zoster/prevention & control , Watchful Waiting , Aged , Australia/epidemiology , Bayes Theorem , Cohort Studies , Female , Herpes Zoster/epidemiology , Herpes Zoster Vaccine/administration & dosage , Humans , Male , Vaccination