Covid-19 research: Vaccine research

With the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and other trials continuing around the world, the Australian population must be adequately equipped to monitor each vaccine and the effectiveness of the public health response.

At Murdoch Children's and the campus, we have a range of vaccinology and immunisation experts working to monitor the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Australia. This includes work to monitor and evaluate vaccine safety and efficacy, led by Professor Nigel Crawford.

The team led by Professor Margie Danchin is focusing on the importance of effective public health communication around vaccination and the role this plays in the overall public health response. The team also aims to understand how families have interpreted and adhered to public health prevention measures, their knowledge of COVID-19, and their trust in the government during this time, to assess how this contributes to effective vaccine deployment.


Vaccine Preparedness: How can we ensure Australians are ready to be immunised against SARS-CoV-2?

In this seminar, we heard from Prof Nigel Crawford, Professor Margie Danchin and Prof Jim Buttery who described the current Australian vaccine landscape, including important topics about SARS-CoV-2 vaccine safety and communication. This was followed by a panellist discussion and Q&A. In addition to the presenters, panellists included Prof Terry Nolan, Prof Jodie McVernon, Prof Fiona Russell and Dr Annaliese van Diemen (Deputy Chief Health Officer) who all have extensive expertise in infectious diseases and vaccinology. Panellists discussed vaccine safety, priority groups for vaccination, the role of healthcare workers in deployment, and public communication surrounding a future SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.


Clinical trial alliance for SARS-COV-2 Vaccine

Professor Terry Nolan is contributing to the Doherty Institute’s national initiative, Vax4COVID, which is an alliance of Australian vaccine clinical trial centres, with extensive experience and expertise in the conduct of vaccine clinical trials, including pandemic viral vaccines. While the lower rates of infection in Australia are unlikely to make us attractive for phase III trials, this alliance was formed to facilitate the conduct of Phase II trials of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine candidates in Australia.

COVID-19 Vaccine Preparedness Study

The team led by Professor Margie Danchin is working with the Department of Health (DH) to engage those who receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the early stages of rollout in Victoria. This includes healthcare workers, aged and disability care workers, people aged 70 years old and older, and adults with underlying health conditions. This study aims to understand the questions, concerns, information needs, and decision-making factors of these groups who were prioritised to receive and deliver COVID-19 vaccines. With involvement from participants, the team will use a co-design approach to inform the development of communication messages and strategies for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout by the DH. This will help DH give clear and accurate information to Victorians to help them make decisions regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

Weekly COVID-19 Vaccine update

The Melbourne Children's Campus team led by Prof Fiona Russell, in conjunction with the World Health Organization (WHO), is producing a Weekly COVID-19 Vaccine Update. This resource aims to share updates about vaccine efficacy and effectiveness, vaccine specifications, vaccine development pipeline and the timeline for the WHO review of the various COVID-19 vaccines. This living document aims to be informative, timely and impactful.

Monthly Clinical Vaccine Update Series on COVID-19 vaccines

This Clinical Vaccine Update (CVU) is a mini-series of free webinar sessions for healthcare professionals. Each CVU mini will provide information on the latest in COVID-19 vaccine news and clinical updates from a range of presenters. A recording is available on the education portal of the Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) website.

Associated resources

Associated campus papers

Teen receiving vaccination

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