SAEFVIC

Research area:  Infection and Immunity

Vaccine research, safety and surveillance, and immunisation education

Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination In the Community (SAEFVIC) is a public health partnership initiative of the Victorian Immunisation Program funded by the Department of Health, Victoria. It was established in 2007 and now comprises two units at two sites:

  • Clinical and surveillance
  • Epidemiology and signal investigation

We are a vaccine safety service and clinical immunisation research team, focusing on vaccine safety and surveillance. This includes management of adverse events following immunisation (AEFI), vaccine-preventable disease research and immunisation education.

Most recently, we established the COVID-19 Platform of Research capturing clinical, biological, demographic and administrative data, as well as patient and healthcare worker experiences of COVID-19. In 2021, SAEFVIC supported the Victorian Specialist Immunisation Services (VicSIS) network established by the Victorian DH to support the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.

SAEFVIC is a national leader in vaccine safety. The growing team includes immunisation nurses, administrative and research staff, epidemiologists, statisticians, data managers and clinicians.  It is a specialist vaccine safety service that helps immunisation providers report and manage both children and adults who have had an AEFI.

Our Outpatient clinics are based at The Royal Children's Hospital (Parkville). SAEFVIC also provides regional clinical support via TeleHealth. Any trends in reports are notified and investigated quickly in close liaison with Victorian and national health authorities, such as the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Our clinical research includes surveillance and clinical studies.  Surveillance projects incorporate active and passive studies, including involvement in national collaborative networks, such as the AusVaxSafety and PAEDS (Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance) networks. These networks focus on conditions of public health importance and support the NIP.

We also have National Health and Medical Research Centre (NHMRC)-funded projects, such as vaccine safety research into febrile seizures. SAEFVIC’s education activities include the Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC).

MVEC is based at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and is a digital information hub providing expert, independent and up-to-date immunisation resources across multiple platforms for both healthcare professionals and members of the public. Our aim is to strengthen and improve the quality and accessibility of vaccine information as well as provide targeted education for providers on vaccine recommendations, safety and vaccination procedures.

MVEC is a proud member of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Vaccine Safety Net (VSN) as a source of reliable and credible vaccine safety information. MVEC undertakes a concerted effort to further develop immunisation content through various channels including providing expert reviews of up-to-date resources, eLearning videos and packages, social media channels, educational webinars and seminars, and collaboration with appropriate partners in developing effective communication of vaccine information to the public.

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A/Professor Nigel Crawford