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vaccination

The following articles have the tag vaccination

Unvaccinated baby succumbs to pertussis

AN INFANT with pertussis who died recently in the Hunter New England region of NSW was unvaccinated, NSW Health has confirmed.

Vaccine fear blamed for boys’ disappearance

Vaccine fear blamed for boys’ disappearance

TWO teenage brothers missing for a week in northern NSW ran away from home over vaccination fears, their older brother has claimed.

Father's vaccination boosts infant pertussis protection

Father's vaccination boosts infant pertussis protection

INFANTS younger than four months whose parents have both been immunised against pertussis have the greatest chance of avoiding infection with the disease, Australian researchers say.

Pharmacy flu vax trial in QLD a success

Pharmacy flu vax trial in QLD a success

QUEENSLANDERS who received this year's influenza vaccine through the state’s pharmacist vaccination trial have reported high levels of satisfaction with the service.

18-month pertussis booster could be reinstated

18-month pertussis booster could be reinstated

A PERTUSSIS booster shot at 18-months of age could be reinstated to the National Immunisation Program (NIP) next year.

Vax success as genital warts incidence in girls drops 90%

A 90% drop in genital warts among girls aged 12–17 years has reaffirmed the success of the National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program, according to new data.

HPV vaccine provides herd immunity

HPV vaccine provides herd immunity

SEVEN years after the implementation of the schools-based HPV vaccination program there has been a small but significant reduction in HPV among unvaccinated women, suggesting a herd immunity effect, an Australian study has found.

Suspected meningococcal death in Qld

Suspected meningococcal death in Qld

A SECOND death from suspected meningococcal disease has been reported by health authorities in as many days, this time in Queensland's southeast.

Meningococcal death baffles doctors

A WOMAN has died of meningococcal disease in a Hunter New England hospital but authorities are unable to confirm which strain of the infection she contracted.

Pertussis vax in late pregnancy

QUEENSLAND GPs will be able to offer pregnant women free pertussis vaccination in their third trimester from late July, with at least one other state actively considering the same strategy.

Free pertussis vax for pregnant women

PREGNANT women in Queensland will become the first in Australia to be offered free pertussis vaccinations later this month.

Free MMR vax offered in school to combat measles rise

Free MMR vax offered in school to combat measles rise

NSW Health will begin offering free MMR vaccines in high schools from next week due to concern that up to 40% of students are missing one or both doses of the vaccine.

Flu vax: more harm than good?

AMID the push to increase influenza vaccination among the general population this season, experts have warned that annual flu vaccines may be doing more harm than good.

Australian study confirms no link between autism and vaccines

Australian study confirms no link between autism and vaccines

THE first large-scale review to investigate any relationship between childhood vaccines and autism has confirmed there is no link, and the Australian researchers have reiterated that there is no reason to avoid immunisation on these grounds.

‘Fear and alarm’: Public warned about anti-vax group

THE Health Care Complaints Commission of NSW has issued a public warning saying Australia’s leading anti-vaccine lobby group spreads misleading information that causes alarm and could put public health at risk.

Pharmacist vax trial misleading: patients

Pharmacist vax trial misleading: patients

PATIENTS recruited to a pharmacist influenza vaccination trial in Queensland have complained of being misled after initially arranging for their immunisations to be administered by nurse practitioners.

Younger adults need flu vax

GPs should routinely recommend influenza vaccine to a younger, healthy demographic to help protect against the H1N1 strain, expected to circulate this year, experts believe.

Young snub docs' warning to get flu vax

Young snub docs' warning to get flu vax

MORE than half of young to middle-aged healthy adults are flouting expert warnings by choosing not to vaccinate against influenza this season, a survey reveals.

Nurse clinic: vax trial misleading

Nurse clinic: vax trial misleading

A NURSE practitioner clinic chain has hit out at pharmacists over a looming flu vaccination trial, accusing those behind the trial of misleading patients.

Immunosuppressed patients should get multiple flu jabs

MULTIPLE doses of the influenza vaccine should be routinely administered to immunosuppressed patients to ensure they get the same protection that a single dose provides healthy patients, according to an immunisation expert.

Anti-vax group threatened with closure over acronym

ANTI-vaccination campaigners claim to have been threatened with immediate closure for not changing their acronym following a tribunal ruling.

Pharmacists ‘misleading’ on vaccination, says nurse clinic

A NURSE practitioner clinic chain has hit out at pharmacists over a looming flu vaccination trial, accusing those behind the trial of misleading patients.

New HCCC complaint against AVN underway

A FRESH investigation into anti-vaccination campaigners is aiming to clamp down on their ability to publish misleading, misrepresented and incorrect information.

AVN changes name but keeps acronym

AVN changes name but keeps acronym

CRITICS of the controversial group the Australian Vaccination Network have welcomed the forced insertion of the word ‘skeptics’ into its name saying it better represents the organisation’s position.

Parents may be dissuaded by pro-vax information

Parents may be dissuaded by pro-vax information

PRO-VACCINATION messages may not always work as intended and for some parents may reduce their intention to vaccinate, a US study has found.

Pharmacy vax plan risky, AMA warns

Pharmacy vax plan risky, AMA warns

A PILOT program that would see Queensland pharmacies providing influenza vaccinations is a risk to patient safety and should not go ahead, the AMA has warned.

Vax app provides ‘strong scientific evidence’

Vax app provides ‘strong scientific evidence’

DOCTORS and scientists have launched another counterattack in the immunisation information war, unveiling an app today which puts “strong scientific evidence” supporting vaccination literally at GPs’ fingertips.

AVN does not rule out court challenge

THE Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) is not ruling out a Supreme Court challenge after a tribunal upheld a NSW government order to change its name to reflect its sceptical views.

Remove NSW Health logo

A NSW government-funded community health group encouraging parents to get advice from the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) will be asked to remove the NSW Health logo from its website after the department said it had ended its association with it.

One dose of HPV vaccine may be enough

A SINGLE dose of the HPV vaccine — rather than the recommended three — may be enough to prevent cervical cancer, researchers say.

Community health group told to remove NSW Health logo

Community health group told to remove NSW Health logo

A NSW government-funded community health group encouraging parents to get advice from the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) will be asked to remove the NSW Health logo from its website after the department said it had ended its association with it.

Meningitis most feared by parents

PARENTS rank meningococcal as one of the infectious diseases they fear most but they lack awareness about protecting against the various serotypes.

Polio on the move, GPs warned

GPs have been urged to consider polio when treating patients with acute onset of limb paralysis, in the wake of an overseas resurgence of the disease.

Parents need meningococcal B vax education

GPs have an important role to play in addressing a lack of awareness about meningococcal B vaccination, according to an expert.

New vaccination law rejected

A BILL proposing the exclusion of unvaccinated children from Queensland childcare centres has been rejected by a parliamentary health committee.

Published data on reactions to flu vaccine insufficient

THE risk of fever in children after one dose of trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV) could be more than three times higher than published data suggests, according to new research.

Unvaccinated kids in QLD - what next?

Unvaccinated kids in QLD - what next?

A PLANNED law to exclude unvaccinated children in Queensland from childcare has been rejected by a parliamentary health committee today.

Call to expand pneumo vax in asthma care

Call to expand pneumo vax in asthma care

RESEARCH linking asthma with an increased risk of invasive pneumococcal disease has prompted calls for more people to be offered routine vaccination.

Flu vax may halve MI risk

INFLUENZA experts are calling for reassessment of the national vaccination program following research revealing that the flu injection almost halves the risk of myocardial infarction in middle aged people with ischaemic heart disease.

No tax benefit for anti-vax parents if I’m elected, says Rudd

PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd has upped the ante in his war against the anti-vaccination lobby, threatening to withhold family tax benefits worth thousands of dollars from parents whose children are not fully inoculated.

More reasons to give HPV vax

More reasons to give HPV vax

MOUNTING evidence of the role of human papillomavirus in non-cervical cancers is another reason for GPs to ensure all Australian boys and girls complete the vaccination schedule, an expert says.

HPV triples risk of oesophageal cancer

HUMAN papillomavirus (HPV) triples the risk of people developing oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), according to Australian research that could impact on international vaccination programs.

Doctor slams AVN for inaccuracies on anti-D injections

Doctor slams AVN for inaccuracies on anti-D injections

A PAEDIATRICIAN has reported the Australian Vaccination Network to the NSW HCCC after its Facebook site posted misleading information about anti-D prophylaxis.

GPs proactive on flu vax in practice

GPs proactive on flu vax in practice

THE vast majority of GPs are leading by example and vaccinating themselves and their staff against influenza, a survey shows.

Definition of ‘fully immunised’ expands

Definition of ‘fully immunised’ expands

GPs are being urged to exercise caution when administering the new quadrivalent MMRV vaccine to minimise the risk of febrile convulsions.

Definition of ‘fully immunised’ expands

THREE vaccines have been added to the national criteria for children to be considered fully immunised.

AVN ‘should pack up and go home’: Senate motion passes unanimously

AVN ‘should pack up and go home’: Senate motion passes unanimously

THE campaign against anti-immunisation group the Australian Vaccination Network has intensified after a Senate motion calling for the organisation to disband passed unanimously yesterday.

Pertussis vax acceptable in pregnancy

THE vast majority of Australian women (80%) would follow a recommendation to have the pertussis vaccine during pregnancy, research reveals.

GPs leading the way on flu vax

THE vast majority of GPs are leading by example and vaccinating themselves and their staff against influenza, a survey shows.

Pertussis plan: give vaccine in pregnancy

Pertussis plan: give vaccine in pregnancy

THE vast majority of Australian women (80%) would follow a recommendation to have the pertussis vaccine during pregnancy, research reveals.

Vax scare: TV station busted

A REGIONAL television station has been found guilty of misleading the public, after it quoted the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) making unsubstantiated claims about measles inoculation being linked to autism.

Vaccination proof at enrolment: Plibersek

Vaccination proof at enrolment: Plibersek

The federal health minister will today ask the states to implement a policy to get parents to provide proof of their child’s immunisation status when enrolling them for school.

Plibersek weighs in on GP vax rates

HEALTH Minister Tanya Plibersek has leapt to the defence of GPs, saying they do a “terrific job”, after the shadow health minister suggested they were to blame for sliding vaccination rates.

Study favours pertussis vax in pregnancy

Study favours pertussis vax in pregnancy

AUSTRALIAN experts say pertussis vaccination in pregnancy is likely to be more effective than postpartum vaccination, despite a lack of real world data.

TV station guilty of misleading vax claims

A REGIONAL television station has been found guilty of misleading the public after it quoted anti-vaccination lobby the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) making unsubstantiated claims that measles inoculation was linked to autism.

RACGP defends vax CPD course

THE RACGP has strongly defen­ded its CPD accreditation system after a media report said one accredited course was teaching GPs about the widely discredited links between vaccination and autism.

Vax ban could turn doctors into ‘police’

Vax ban could turn doctors into ‘police’

BANNING unvaccinated children from school could become a “serpent’s egg” policy that becomes dangerous once hatched, with doctors and teachers forced to become “police”, a former state health minister has warned.

Doctors back proof of vax law for childcare

LEGISLATION passed by the NSW lower house last week forcing childcare centres to exclude children without vaccination records or valid exemptions is supported by doctors and should lift vaccination rates, the AMA says.

Don’t blame GPs for falling vax rates: Plibersek

HEALTH Minister Tanya Plibersek has leapt to the defence of GPs, saying they do a “terrific job”, after the shadow health minister suggested they were to blame for sliding vaccination rates.

Doctors back new vaccination law

Doctors back new vaccination law

LEGISLATION being introduced to the NSW parliament today to exclude children who don’t have vaccination records from childcare centres has the support of doctors and should lift immunisation rates, the AMA says.

Vax ban could turn doctors into police

BANNING unvaccinated children from school could become a “serpent’s egg” policy that becomes dangerous once hatched, with doctors and teachers forced to become “police”, a former state health minister has warned.

RACGP under fire over anti-vax CPD info

THE RACGP has strongly defended its CPD accreditation system after a media report said one accredited course was teaching GPs about the widely discredited links between vaccination and autism.

Make kids’ vax records compulsory

PARENTS could be forced to show schools documentation of their children’s vaccination history, as Health Minister Tanya Plibersek calls for a nationally consistent policy on vaccination.

Media surveillance may combat vax myths

Media surveillance may combat vax myths

A GLOBAL media surveillance system has been developed by international experts in an attempt to stop the spread of misinformation about vaccines.

Govt wants vaccination documentation before kids start school

PARENTS could be forced to show schools documentation of their children’s vaccination history, as Health Minister Tanya Plibersek calls for a nationally consistent policy on immunisation.

Call to remove Fluvax from GPs’ fridges

A PUBLIC health expert has called for all stocks of CSL’s Fluvax to be removed from the fridges of GP practices involved in vaccinating children.

Flu vaccines need more scrutiny to keep public trust

Flu vaccines need more scrutiny to keep public trust

LESSONS must be learnt from the regulatory history of Fluvax to ensure the long-term success of paediatric influenza vaccination programs, experts insist.

Pertussis vax to protect earlier

THE timing of pertussis vaccination in infants and children has been moved forward to minimise the risk of infection, according to the latest Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Infant pertussis vaccine moved forward

Infant pertussis vaccine moved forward

THE timing of pertussis vaccination in infants and children has been moved forward to minimise infection, according to the latest Australian Immunisation Handbook released today.

Pertussis cocooning is effective

Pertussis cocooning is effective

BABIES whose mothers have been immunised against pertussis during or before pregnancy appear to be protected against infection via placental transfer of maternal antibodies, experts say.

Pre-pregnancy pertussis vaccination most effective: study

Pre-pregnancy pertussis vaccination most effective: study

VACCINATING women before pregnancy could have the greatest impact on preventing pertussis infection in babies, a much-anticipated study of the cocooning strategy has suggested.

ACCC launches action against homeopathy site

THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched Federal Court proceedings against owners of a website warning of the so-called health dangers of vaccination.

ACCC launches action against homeopathic website

ACCC launches action against homeopathic website

THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched Federal Court proceedings against owners of a website warning of the so-called health dangers of vaccination.

Incompetency claim thrown out by tribunal

THE Medical Board of Australia (MBA) says it will “consider the implications”, after a GP who congratulated a patient for refusing to vaccinate her child avoided disciplining by a tribunal - despite the MBA’s push for a finding of incompetency.

Alert on possible measles exposure in Queensland

QUEENSLAND Health is warning that residents of Brisbane and Mount Isa may have been exposed to measles early this month.

National pertussis cocooning vaccination approach lacking

National pertussis cocooning vaccination approach lacking

THE tragic death of a Queensland infant from pertussis has highlighted the lack of a national approach to booster vaccination for family members.

Booklet to combat vaccination myths

Booklet to combat vaccination myths

DANGEROUS misinformation being circulated about immunisation has prompted the development of a reference booklet that GPs can use during difficult consultations with conscientious objectors.

Study backs pertussis vax in late stage of pregnancy

Study backs pertussis vax in late stage of pregnancy

THE first study of its kind to evaluate pertussis immunisation strategies among US women backs vaccination late in pregnancy to protect infants.

HPV vax uptake poor in older women

RATES of HPV vaccination among women aged 27–45 are low at 1.9%, with GPs expressing reservations about immunising this age group, Australian research has found.

Aussie travellers ignoring rabies risks

Aussie travellers ignoring rabies risks

AUSTRALIAN tourists going to rabies-endemic countries either do not understand or ignore the risks of deliberate interactions with animals, a report suggests.

Australia lags behind on antenatal pertussis vax

Australia lags behind on antenatal pertussis vax

A STRONG national recommendation on vaccination of pregnant women against pertussis would benefit Australia, according to experts, as the UK moves to implement a temporary program.

Worst measles outbreak in 10 years hits NSW

NSW is in the midst of the worst outbreak of measles in a decade with 124 cases reported so far this year.

Anti-vax group under fire as ‘duplicitous’

Anti-vax group under fire as ‘duplicitous’

THE Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) has rejected suggestions that its name is “duplicitous” and should be changed, after a major health professional body advertised one of its seminars before learning it was considered an anti-vaccination lobby.

Universal HPV vax may stymie growth in head and neck cancers

AUSTRALIA’S world-first decision to extend funding of the quadrivalent HPV vaccine to boys will boost protection for girls and reduce the growing burden of head and neck cancers, experts say.

Anti-vax lobby rejects AMA call for name change

The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) has rejected suggestions that its title is “duplicitous” and should be changed after a major health professional body advertised one of its seminars before learning it was considered an anti-vaccination lobby.

Insufficient supply of zoster vaccine until 2014: CSL

IMMUNISERS are keen to access the herpes zoster vaccine but it will be 2014 before there is sufficient supply to maintain a national program, CSL says.

Cocooning program abandoned as pertussis epidemic wanes

Cocooning program abandoned as pertussis epidemic wanes

AS AUSTRALIA winds back its pertussis cocooning program, NSW Health will now offer free vaccination for new mothers only, while most other states cease to offer any parent/carer protection.

Plea to continue pertussis booster program

Plea to continue pertussis booster program

STATE governments should consider maintaining free pertussis booster programs for new parents until clinical data on other potential vaccination strategies are available, the AMA says.

Grants available for ideas to improve immunisation

Grants available for ideas to improve immunisation

IMMUNISATION providers are invited to submit proposals in a new competitive grants award program for improving aspects of vaccination.

Circumcision may be cut from MBS

THE government will consider removing circumcision from the MBS as part of a planned review of paediatric surgery, in a move certain to be opposed by proponents who compare the ethics and practice of infant male circumcision to childhood vaccination.

Febrile seizures rare with measles-containing vaccines

A LARGE US study has found no link between administration of measles-containing vaccines and febrile seizures in children aged 4–6 years.

Homeopathic website claims defy TGA

A HOMEOPATHY website that claims its products are alternatives to vaccination has for six months operated in defiance of orders to comply with the Therapeutic Goods Advertising (TGA) Code.

Push intensifies for no-fault vaccination compensation

PUBLIC health experts are ramping up calls for a no-fault compensation scheme to assist Australian families affected by “very rare” adverse reactions to childhood immunisations.

HPV vax improves attitude to safe sex

AUSTRALIAN research has countered the view that vaccinating young women against human papilloma­virus (HPV) could encourage risky sexual behaviour.

New pertussis strain responsible for Australian epidemic

New pertussis strain responsible for Australian epidemic: experts

A NEW dominant strain of the Bordetella pertussis bacterium may be driving Australia’s epidemic of infection, experts have warned.

Australian flu vax not ‘out of date’ despite WHO tweaks

THE seasonal flu vaccine made for this Australian winter is not out of date, GPs are being assured, despite the WHO’s recent ‘tweaking’ of the strains that will be targeted in the northern hemisphere.

Pertussis vax in pregnancy may become routine

AUSTRALIAN immunisation experts are considering following the US move to recommend routine vaccination of pregnant women against pertussis.

Doctors' belief in efficacy motivates flu jab uptake

Doctors' belief in efficacy motivates flu jab uptake

DOCTORS are more likely than nurses to be vaccinated against influenza, according to findings from a meta-analysis of studies of healthcare workers (HCW) in Australia and other developed countries.

Vaccination

AVN wins case against HCCC ruling

THE Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) overstepped its powers when it ordered the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) to post a warning on its website, the NSW Supreme Court has ruled.

Mandatory flu vax proposed for healthcare workers

GPs already rank among Australia’s best healthcare workers when it comes to getting their flu vaccinations – but for some their voluntary annual jabs could become mandatory under a proposal for stricter immunisation rules.

No increased IS risk from rotavirus vaccines

THE largest prospective study of its kind has found no increased risk of intussusception (IS) linked to currently marketed rotavirus vaccines.

Fluvax still restricted for kids

FLUVAX is again missing from the list of seasonal influenza vaccines approved for use in children as young as six months.

Oral HPV infection more likely in men

MEN are three times as likely as women to have an oral infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), according to the first major prevalence study in the US.

Anti-vax views ‘nonsense’: Health Minister

QUEENSLAND Health Minister Geoff Wilson has rubbished the views of Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) president Meryl Dorey, but defended her right to speak at the Woodford Folk Festival on the Gold Coast later this month.

Don’t force flu vax on health workers: experts

POOR uptake of influenza vaccination by healthcare workers needs improvement but making it compulsory is not the answer, Australian experts say in a letter to The Lancet.

Anti-vax advocates continue battle against HCCC

THE Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) continued its challenge in the NSW Supreme Court today against a NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) direction that it should place a notice on its website warning consumers not to read information on the site as medical advice. Former AVN president Meryl Dorey finished giving evidence, and the matter has now been held over for a directions hearing on 6 September, and will be listed for further hearing after that date. The AVN launched a legal challenge last year arguing the HCCC had no authority to order the ...

Vaccine in pregnancy may prevent pertussis deaths

Vaccination of pregnant women against pertussis may emerge as the most effective response to the recent epidemic, says a leading immunisation expert. Professor Peter McIntyre, director of the National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance (NCIRS), said more research was needed to evaluate cocooning strategies, including immunising pregnant women as recommended this year by the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. “The main issue is, would pregnant women go along with it … and that usually comes down to what their obstetrician or GP recommends,” Professor McIntyre said. “The lack of success at getting women ...

Cervical abnormalities fall after HPV vaccine program

HIGH-GRADE cervical abnormalities (HGA) have nearly halved in Victorian girls younger than 18 years since the introduction of the HPV vaccination program, a study shows. The world’s first analysis of changes in incidence of precancerous cervical lesions in the wake of a population-wide program of HPV vaccination showed the decrease was progressive and linear in this age group, lead author Dr Julia Brotherton said. Dr Brotherton, from the Victorian Cytology Service Registry, found HGA incidence declined by 0.38% in the youngest vaccinated cohort shortly after the introduction of the vaccination program, compared to an incidence of 0.85% ...

Egg-cultured vaccines review for allergic kids

THE Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) will conduct a “full review” of the evidence on administering egg-cultured vaccines to children with egg allergy. ATAGI chair Professor Terry Nolan said this would take in studies that underpin recent guidelines issued by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), which say most allergic children can safely tolerate an egg-cultured vaccine. The issue was under consideration by ATAGI in preparation for the next Australian Immunisation Handbook , due in 2012, Professor Nolan said. “Split doses are quite problematic from the evidence point of view, ...

Cervical abnormalities fall after HPV vaccine program

HIGH-GRADE cervical abnormalities (HGA) have nearly halved in Victorian girls younger than 18 years since the introduction of the HPV vaccination program, a study shows. The world’s first analysis of changes in incidence of precancerous cervical lesions in the wake of a population-wide program of HPV vaccination showed the decrease was progressive and linear in this age group, lead author Dr Julia Brotherton said. Dr Brotherton, from the Victorian Cytology Service Registry, found HGA incidence declined by 0.38% in the youngest vaccinated cohort shortly after the introduction of the vaccination program, compared to an incidence of 0.85% ...

Vaccination concerns hampering US doctors

ONE in five primary care physicians in the United States is now battling parental concern over vaccination, typically requests to have vaccines ‘spaced out’ rather than administered simultaneously.  Vaccine safety concerns and the time constraints of visits were hampering the ability of US doctors to deliver immunisation, researchers say. In a survey, 90% of doctors reported at least one vaccine refusal per month, compared with a study five years earlier in which 60% reported at least one parental vaccine refusal in the previous year. The number of recommended childhood vaccines had risen from 13–16 separate administrations ...

Cervical cancer vaccination rates are missing targets

THE first official figures on the uptake of the quadrivalent HPV vaccine under the National Immunisation Program confirm many girls are failing to complete the three-dose course. Figures released by the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing show 83% of girls aged 12–13 years in 2007 had received their first dose of Gardasil by December 2009, but this fell to 80% for the second dose and 73% for the third dose. A similar mild drop-off was seen in 14–15 and 16–17 year olds offered catch-up immunisation. Cancer Council Australia spokesperson Kate Broun called for more up-to-date ...

TGA warns against second dose of Pneumovax 23

GPs are urged to not administer a second dose of Pneumovax 23 to any patient, as the TGA investigates a surge in adverse reactions to the vaccine. The TGA has received 178 adverse reaction reports for the vaccine so far this year, to 14 April. That was about three times the number recorded over the same period last year (63 adverse reactions) and a fivefold increase over 2009 (34). The Merck Sharp & Dohme-manufactured vaccine is provided under the National Immunisation Program for those people older than 65 years, Indigenous Australians over 50, smokers and those ...

Rare disease cases rising after foreign travel

THE arbovirus chikungunya is an increasing threat to Australian travellers, researchers say, following a cluster of cases in a touring women's rugby team. The Northern Territory Health Department has reported the cluster in a group of 16 Indigenous rugby players who competed in a sevens competition in Bali. Eleven players reported symptoms consistent with arboviral illness including fever and arthralgia, with seven fulfilling the national case definition following testing. The Communicable Disease Control Conference in Canberra is due to hear tomorrow that chikungunya - transmitted by some species of Aedes mosquitos - is on the rise ...

Distracted schoolgirls make better vax patients

SCHOOLGIRLS waiting for immunisation should be allowed distractions such as listening to iPods, say Australian researchers who witnessed sobbing, screaming and fainting on school vaccination days. Mass vaccination with the quadrivalent HPV vaccine under the National Immunisation Program posed challenges in school settings due to the "intense fear response" from adolescent girls, the researchers said. After interviews with 130 school girls, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, as well as parents, teachers and nurses, the researchers found long waits and witnessing other girls' vaccinations allowed fears to build, so that the atmosphere was much worse at the end of ...

Whooping cough vax rates in adults concerning

FEW Australian adults have had a booster dose of whooping cough vaccine, according to new research, despite the recent epidemic. An Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) vaccination survey showed that only one in nine Australians aged 18 years and over had ever received a pertussis vaccination as an adult or adolescent. However, 45% of those vaccinations had been received during 2009. Pertussis vaccine coverage was 43% among the 'at-risk' group, which included parents of young infants, adults working with young children and healthcare workers. Adult vaccination against whooping cough varied widely among the ...

Whooping cough claims another infant

ANOTHER baby has died from whooping cough as the epidemic continues, leading to renewed calls for parents and carers to be vaccinated. A spokesperson for the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne said a newborn had been transferred to the hospital on Monday and was later diagnosed with whooping cough. "The baby was provided appropriate care but sadly died later that day," the spokesperson said. The hospital said appropriate follow-up and infection control measures had been taken as a result of the case. "It is important that new parents take advantage of the free whooping cough ...

Shingles recurrences may be more common than previously recorded

RECURRENT episodes of shingles in immunocompetent patients may be more common than previously reported, researchers say.  Findings of a US population-based study suggest herpes zoster vaccination should be offered to all patients after a herpes zoster (HZ) bout to prevent further episodes.  The study of nearly 1700 people with HZ found a 5.7% recurrence rate in immunocompetent patients, and 6.2% in all patients, after eight years’ follow-up.  HZ recurrences were almost three times more likely in patients with zoster-associated pain of 30 days or more during the initial episode and twice as likely in immunocompromised patients, ...

Shingles recurrences more frequent than first reported

RECURRENT episodes of shingles in immunocompetent patients may be more common than previously reported, researchers say. Findings of a US population-based study suggest herpes zoster vaccination should be offered to all patients after a herpes zoster bout to prevent further episodes. The study of nearly 1700 people with HZ found a 5.7% recurrence rate in immunocompetent patients, and 6.2% in all patients, after eight years’ follow-up. Recurrent HZ episodes were similar to initial HZ episodes in the same population, after adjusting for age and sex, they said. HZ recurrences were almost three times more likely ...

Pertussis rising in vaccinated children

AS pertussis cases continue to mount around Australia, the disease is being increasingly seen in immunised primary school-age children, experts say. NSW Health recently alerted GPs that babies were at risk from older siblings whose immunity from vaccination may have waned, and warned pertussis “can occur in fully vaccinated children”. Notifiable diseases data shows Australia has recorded more than 24,000 pertussis cases to date this year, compared to 29,000 last year. However, Professor Peter McIntyre, director of the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, said while Australia appeared to be “swimming in pertussis”, the high ...

Anti-vaccination lobby’s fundraising authority revoked

AUSTRALIA'S most vocal anti-vaccination lobby has been delivered a heavy blow, northern NSW GP and rural health advocate Dr Sue Page says. The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) was stripped of its charity status yesterday after a NSW Government investigation found it had breached fundraising laws and potentially misled the public. While health professionals had tried to counter the AVN’s misinformation with evidence-based advice, in the end it was a group of people from diverse backgrounds who collaborated in the Stop the AVN (SAVN) group that exposed the group’s modi operandi . “As a clinician I ...

GP advice swayed many patients to get swine flu vax

DOCTOR advice was one of the main reasons people chose to get vaccinated against swine flu, particularly for elderly Australians, a survey shows. Among people who took up the offer of free vaccine, most did so because they believed the threat of the flu was serious (24.7%) or it was offered at work (13.7 per cent). Doctor advice was the most compelling reason among the elderly, cited by 37.8% of those older than 65 years, and also influenced nearly one in 10 people aged 18 to 64 years. A survey by the Australian Institute of Health ...

New advice to screen for hep D in hep B cases

MORE testing for hepatitis D is needed with rising numbers of immigrants from endemiccountries likely at risk, doctors say. Dr Bella Shadur and Dr Ben Cowie, from Royal Children’s Hospital and Royal Melbourne Hospital respectively, said the Australian epidemiology of the infection was changing. Vaccination against hepatitis B was also likely contributing to epidemiological changes. “We are recommending all people with hepatitis B be screened for hepatitis D,” Dr Shadur said. Dr Shadur told the conference that increased testing would lead to more targeted patient management, be a likely catalyst for behaviour changes, and contribute ...

Flu vaccine split-dose safe in egg-allergic kids

MOST egg-allergic children can be safely vaccinated against influenza, according to new allergy guidelines that contrast with existing Australian advice. Dr Ray Mullins, president of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), said the body of current evidence suggested a strict split-dose protocol would permit safe vaccination. While egg anaphylaxis was until recently considered an absolute contraindication to influenza vaccination, because the vaccine was grown in eggs, this was based on decades-old studies, he said. “The amount of egg protein present in modern vaccines as opposed to old ones is very tiny, ...

Adverse vaccine events prompt push for no-fault compensation

ADVERSE reactions to this year’s seasonal flu vaccine, including a case with possible long-term consequences, have spurred a call for a no-fault vaccination compensation scheme for Australia. GPs and infectious diseases specialists at the recent Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) immunisation conference called for a scheme to be part of the new National Immunisation Strategy. Conference delegates were told that rare cases in which vaccination adverse events led to long-term consequences, including one case from the now-withdrawn 2010 flu vaccine, were worthy of community support. “The thrust of debate was that on those rare occasions ...

Campaign on vaccine safety needed

THE AMA has called for a public education campaign to counter misinformation about vaccines as part of a planned National Immunisation Strategy. AMA vice-president Dr Steve Hambleton said the strategy, being developed by the Federal Health Department, would be a “critical vehicle” for promoting evidence-based, best practice immunisation. It should address the need for whole-of-life immunisation records, support GPs, and include a public relations plan to educate the population about the devastating effects of vaccine-preventable diseases, he said. Health Department officials are due to address a Public Health Association of Australia immunisation conference in Adelaide this ...

Anti-vaccination group taken to task by complaints commission

A PROMINENT anti-vaccination lobby misleads the public and inappropriately criticises GPs on its website, the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission (HCCC) has ruled. The commission said the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) also “quotes selectively from research to suggest that vaccination may be dangerous”.  The AVN was investigated by the commission following a complaint by the parents of a baby, Dana McCaffery, who died from pertussis last year, and a separate one from an anti-AVN campaigner, Ken McLeod. The HCCC has advised the AVN to make it clear on its website that its purpose is to provide ...

Anti-vaccination group slates GPs

A PROMINENT anti-vaccination lobby has been accused of misleading the public and inappropriately criticising GPs by the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission. The commission said the Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) “quotes selectively from research to suggest that vaccination may be dangerous”. The AVN has been given 14 days to comply with a recommendation from the commission to include an appropriate statement on its website stating that its purpose is to provide information against vaccination and information provided should not be read as medical advice. However, the only sanction against non-compliance is for the commission to issue ...

The flu vax fallout:Making sure you’re covered

The flu vax fallout:Making sure you’re covered

MDOs are reminding practitioners of their reporting duties, and to ensure patients make informed decisions on seasonal flu vaccinations, following a number of serious adverse reactions.

Multi-dose vial vaccine risk debate reignites

CONCERNS over the infection risk posed by the use of multidose vials (MDV) to deliver swine flu vaccine are being exaggerated, experts say. Dr Greg Rowles, AGPN immunisation representative, has taken outspoken specialist Professor Peter Collignon to task over a recent editorial where he said the use of MDV was “a needless additional risk” for the mass vaccination campaign. “In the past, many infections such as Staphylococcus aureus, hepatitis B and HIV” had been caused by vaccination programs using MDV, Professor Collignon wrote in Australian Prescriber. But Dr Rowles said there were few cases of infection ...

Swine flu: still a looming threat?

Was the threat of swine flu over-estimated, and do we really need to vaccinate everyone now? Rada Rouse reports. HYPE or hoax? Whatever the swine flu pandemic was, a lot of people believe it was never a deadly threat. Earlier this year, the chair of the Council of Europe’s health committee, Dr Wolfgang Wodarg, forced an inquiry into the continent’s multibillion dollar expenditure on swine flu vaccine, saying governments had been hoodwinked by pharmaceutical companies wanting to make big bucks. Worse, he accused the WHO of being in cahoots with Big Pharma ...

H1N1 vigilance vital in pregnancy

NEW swine flu research has underlined the importance of prompt treatment and timely vaccination of pregnant women, experts say. A study of 211 pregnant women with H1N1 presenting to a Singapore hospital showed admission was more likely with comorbidities or breathlessness. Nine developed complications, including first trimester miscarriage and premature labour. The researchers said the study suggested that the effects of swine flu infection in the cohort were overall “relatively benign”, but they attributed this to early presentation, diagnosis and treatment. Most of these women received oseltamivir within 48 hours. However, in a study ...

Post-exposure prophylaxis prevents cases of chickenpox

Varicella vaccination up to five days after exposure to the virus can effectively prevent and ameliorate chickenpox in both adults and children, a study confirms. Until now advice for postexposure prophylaxis has been based mainly on studies with experimental vaccines or in children only, said the authors of the Spanish study. Their research was one of the first to assess the current commercially available vaccines, which have different formulations and lower antigenic content. The authors found the vaccine effectiveness in preventing varicella postexposure was 62.3% but the vaccine was highly effective in attenuating the severity of ...

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