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SAEFVIC (Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination In the Community) 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 of two units at two sites:

  • Clinical - Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.
  • Epidemiology and Signal Investigation - Monash Health & University

SAEFVIC is 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.

SAEFVIC is a national leader in vaccine safety. The team comprises of immunisation nurses, administrative staff, research staff, an epidemiologist, statistician, data manager 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) and Monash Health (Clayton). 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 Adminsitration

SAEFVIC 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 Surveillance) networks. These networks focus on conditions of public health importance and support the National Immunisation Program.

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.

Group Leaders: 
Georgina Lewis
Clinical Manager
Alissa McMinn
Research Nurse Manager
Donna Lee
Research Nurse
Lois Tham
Administrative Assistant
Adele Harris
Research Nurse
Jock Lawrie
Mel Addison
Research Nurse
Rachael McGuire
Education Nurse Coordinator
Darly Cheng
Clinical Research Fellow
Daniela Say
Research Associate
Francesa Machingaifa
Research Nurse
Victoria Scott
Administrative Assistant
Shidan Tosif
Research Fellow
Danielle Wurzel
Honorary Fellow
Kate Dohle
Research Assistant
Kate Wall
Research Nurse
Belle Overmars
Research Assistant
Jane Tuckerman
Research Assistant
Chelsea Bartel
Research Nurse
Katherine Last
Research Assistant
Kate Hession
Research Nurse Coordinator
Jill Nguyen
Research Assistant
Thomas Saunders
PhD Student

Research Topic : Vaccine Safety 

Project: Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination In the Community (SAEFVIC)
SAEFVIC is an enhanced passive central reporting service in Victoria for significant adverse events following immunisations (AEFI). It is a public health partnership initiative of the Victorian Immunisation Program funded by the Department of Health, Victoria. 

Research Topic: Vaccine Education

Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC)
The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) is an educational website, developed with the aim of providing up-to-date immunisation information for both healthcare professionals and members of the public.

We are based at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), a research organisation, and are affiliated with SAEFVIC (Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination in the Community), the Victorian Vaccine Safety Service.

The content of MVEC reflects a collaboration of information prepared by immunisation paediatricians and adult physicians, immunisation nurses, infectious disease specialists, allergy specialists and infection control teams. All information is reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

MVEC is a proud member of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Vaccine Safety Net. All Vaccine Safety Net members are endorsed by the WHO as a source of reliable and credible vaccine safety information.

MVEC is funded by SAEFVIC and the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Immunisation Section. 

Research Topic: COVID-19
1) COVID-19 at the Melbourne Children’s Campus: Program of Research
A prospective observational study capturing clinical, biological, demographic and administrative data, as well as patient and HCW experiences of COVID-19. The primary objective of this project is to establish a platform of research to examine COVID-19 cases identified at RCH, including: epidemiologic, virologic, immunologic, economic and social science perspectives, placed in the context of a global pandemic.

This platform also aims to reduce the burden on participants approached to become involved in COVID-19 studies, by prioritising research objectives and collating baseline data. The ‘Program of Research’ aims to use multiple methodologies to address key unknowns identified by our Melbourne Children’s Campus COVID-19 Research Expert Working Group.

This research will address questions that are of keen interest for national and international public health policy. The primary outcome is the establishment of a Platform for COVID-19 research at the Melbourne Children’s Campus, aiming to address some of the key questions in the paediatric population

2) COVID-Kids Inpatient
A prospective study to examine clinical, demographic, laboratory and outcome data on hospital paediatric patients with COVID-19. It incorporates the Sentinel Travellers and Research Preparedness for Emerging Infectious Diseases (SETREP-ID) study in adults coordinated by the Doherty Institute. 

3) FFX+
A prospective observational study of COVID-19 transmission and disease course. The study involves a number of different components including contribution of data to the Australian FFX project coordinated through the Peter Doherty Institute as a national study of household transmission.

4) Natural history of SARS-CoV-2 in comparison to influenza A virus: a multi-site study focused in the Southern Hemisphere and equatorial regions
Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus at eight sites across the Southern Hemisphere and equatorial regions including Australia. Data collected via the COVID-Kids Inpatient and FFX+ studies. This will be compared to patients with influenza infection with the aim to give context to the results obtained and better understand the implications for human health for those affected by COVID-19.

5) COVID-19 (PAEDS Study Arm 11.1)
Part of the National PAEDS network, this is a prospective surveillance study of COVID-19 in children presenting to contributing hospitals nationally. This study aims to describe the demographic and clinical features of COVID-19 in children in Australia; estimate the hospitalisation rate of COVId-19 in children using sentinel site data in Australia; collect internationally comparable data for potential future data sharing to enable higher powered analyses of COVID-19 in children.

6) PIMS-TS (PAEDS Study Arm 12)
As part of the National PAEDS network, this is a prospective surveillance study of PIMS-TS in children admitted to PAEDS network hospitals. The main aims of this study are to: To describe the demographic and clinical features of PIMS-TS in children and adolescents admitted to PAEDS network hospitals; to estimate the incidence and further characterise the aetiology of PIMS-TS in Australia; to determine the overlapping features of PIMS-TS with Kawasaki disease and COVID-19 in Australian children; to collect internationally comparable data for potential future data sharing to enable higher powered analysis of PIMS-TS in children and adolescents.

7) Serosurvey (PAEDS Study Arm 11.3)
Part of the National PAEDS network, this is a direct and targeted sampling study of well paediatric patients admitted to The Royal Children’s Hospital for an anaesthetic procedure. The aim is to gain an understanding of what proportion of the Australian population has or may have been exposed to COVID-19.

8) Saliva for diagnosis of COVID-19 in primary care, paediatric and out-of-hospital settings (The SPIT-C19 study)
This study aims to find out whether using saliva to diagnose COVID-19 is as reliable as a nose and throat swab by comparing these two tests. 

9) Best Available Treatment for Paediatric Inflammatory Syndromes Temporally Associated with SARS-CoV-2. 

International registry with the aim to:

  • Understand the complete clinical spectrum of presenting signs and symptoms of children with PIMS-TS
  • Describe the clinical course and the risk of disease progression of children with PIMS-TS
  • Evaluate which treatments are being used worldwide to treat patients with PIMS-TS, and to monitor the response to any immunomodulatory drugs given. 
  • Provide best care recommendations on treatment options in children with PIMS-TS with varying severity and multiorgan involvement

Research Topic: Influenza

PAEDS Study Arm 6: The Influenza Complications Alert Network (FluCAN) Surveillance system.
A case control study of patients hospitalised with confirmed influenza, matched to control patients hospitalised with acute respiratory infections who test negative for influenza. The primary aim is to estimate vaccine effectiveness again hospitalisation with confirmed influenza. This study contributes to the National FluCAN network coordinated by the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne.

  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Commonwealth Department of Health, Immunisation Branch
  • Victorian DHHS, Immunisation branch
  • National Institute of Health (NIH)
  • WHO Influenza collaborating centre (Doherty, UoM)
  • Doherty
  • Monash University
  • The Alfred Hospital
  • PAEDS group
  • The Children’s Hospital Westmead, NSW
  • Women’s and Children’s Hospital, SA
  • Queensland Children’s Hospital, QLD
  • Royal Darwin Hospital, NT
  • Perth Children’s Hospital, WA
  • Monash Children’s Hospital, VIC