News & Events

ADVAC Advanced Course of Vaccinology, organised by Fondation Mérieux and Université de Genève, - Les Pensières, France

May 2017 - News

8 to 19 May 2017 -ADVAC Advanced Course of Vaccinology, organised by Fondation Mérieux and Université de Genève, - Les Pensières, France

Dr Frank Beard from NCIRS attended the 2017 Advanced Course of Vaccinology (ADVAC) held in Annecy, France. ADVAC is an intensive and comprehensive 2-week training program across all fields related to vaccines and vaccination. Topics covered over the 2 weeks included new vaccines, vaccine trials, ethical issues related to vaccine trials, vaccination strategy and policy, and communication. Disease-specific vaccine issues were also covered in detail, including polio, measles, meningococcal and pneumococcal diseases, influenza, malaria, HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, human papillomavirus, rotavirus, dengue and Japanese encephalitis, cytomegalovirus, and rabies. The ADVAC faculty includes Stanley Plotkin and over 60 other top-level lecturers who are all international experts in vaccinology.

May 2017 - Newsletter

May 2017 - Newsletters

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Updated NCIRS meningococcal disease fact sheet

Apr 2017 - News

Thanks to all those who attended the Controlling Meningococcal Disease in 2017 symposium last Friday (7 April 2017). It was fantastic to be able to hear from so many leading clinicians, researchers and public health authorities about meningococcal disease and vaccination programs in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Following our meningococcal symposium, we've updated our meningococcal disease fact sheet, Meningococcal vaccines for Australians: Information for immunisation providers.

The full list of NCIRS fact sheets can be viewed on our fact sheets page.


Controlling meningococcal disease in 2017 - evidence from Australia, NZ and the UK - Friday 7 April 2017

Apr 2017 - Events

This one-day symposium organised by the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, in partnership with the National Neisseria Network and the Communicable Diseases Network Australia was held on Friday 7 April 2017.

Meningococcal disease in Australia has increased from a nadir of 149 cases in 2013 to 253 cases in 2016, however this remains less than half the 688 cases notified in 2002. This increase has been driven by serogroups W and Y, which now account for >50% of cases. This workshop brought together national and international experts on meningococcal disease and heard the latest data from meningococcal B and ACWY vaccine programs in the United Kingdom. The workshop aimed to distill the best evidence to inform Australia’s response to meningococcal disease in 2017.


Resources from the Symposium

NB: Not all speakers were able to offer their presentation publicly as unpublished data was presented
PDFs of selected presentations are available from the following links. Please note files are large and may take a couple of minutes to download.

Trends in case numbers, age and serogroup specific incidence and mortality of invasive meningococcal disease in Australia 2001 - 2016 - Dr Jennie Hood
International context
- Prof. Peter McIntyre
Impact of meningococcal vaccines in UK 2001- 2016 - Dr Shamez Ladhani
New Zealand’s experience with starting and stopping meningococcal vaccine programs - Dr Amanda Kvalsvig
WA outbreak– lessons learned - Dr Paul Armstrong

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Congratulations to NCIRS Public Health Physician, Dr Anastasia Phillips, recipient of the 2016 Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) Sue Morey Medal

Apr 2017 - News

NCIRS would like to congratulate Dr Anastasia Phillips, recipient of the 2016 Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) Sue Morey Medal. The AFPHM Sue Morey Medal is awarded to the trainee who has achieved the highest mark in the AFPHM Oral Examination.

Dr Phillips completed the AFPHM Public Health Medicine Advanced Training Program in 2016 while working at NCIRS. She continues to work at the Centre, predominantly in vaccine safety surveillance, and is a PhD Candidate with the University of Sydney. Dr Phillips also holds an academic appointment as Clinical Associate Lecturer with the School of Public Health, University of Sydney.



Is there a test your child can take before getting vaccinated, as Pauline Hanson said?

Mar 2017 - News

In this article published in The Conversation, Associate Professor Kristine Macartney (NCIRS), Associate Professor Nicholas Wood (NCIRS) and Associate Professor Julie Leask (University of Sydney) address the comments made by Senator Hanson in a recent interview on Insiders. Senator Hanson commented that people should have a test to see if they have a reaction to a vaccine before they are vaccinated. These experts in infectious diseases and immunisation state "Immunisation programs prevent millions of deaths worldwide each year. Vaccine safety monitoring – what experts call vaccine pharmacovigilance – as well as many other checks and balances before and after vaccines registration, ensure that vaccines have a minimal risk of causing harm. There is no blood test to see if vaccines shouldn’t be given. In fact, the best 'test' for deciding if a vaccine is appropriate is taking a good old medical history." 

Read the full article here.


ATAGI 2017 Influenza Statement and updated Influenza Chapter of the Handbook published online

Mar 2017 - News

The following two items have been published on the Immunise Australia website:

1. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) 2017 Influenza Statement, and

2. The updated Influenza chapter of The Australian Immunisation Handbook, 10th Edition (2017 Update)

These two publications are designed to complement each other.

December 2016 - Newsletter

Dec 2016 - Newsletters

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Congratulations to NCIRS Deputy Director A/Prof Kristine Macartney on her Research Action award from the Sax Institute

Dec 2016 - News

Congratulations to NCIRS Deputy Director, Associate Professor Kristine Macartney, who has been awarded one of three 2016 Sax Institute Research Action Awards. The Sax Institute established the Research Action Awards in 2015 to recognise researchers whose work has made a real-world difference to people’s health and wellbeing. A panel of national and international experts chose the three award winners.

Associate Professor Macartney, a paediatrician and infectious disease specialist, has devoted her career to researching the benefits of childhood vaccines and is responsible for a major change in the way vaccine safety is monitored in Australia. From 2017, the AusVaxSafety National Surveillance System – a vaccine monitoring system led by Associate Professor Macartney at NCIRS – will actively monitor the safety of all government-funded vaccines for both children and adults, using real-time reports of patients’ vaccine experiences obtained via SMS or email.

"Vaccines against zoster [shingles], whooping cough [pertussis] and influenza have saved countless people from experiencing severe illness and death – getting the information to persons of all ages about the benefits and risks of vaccines is absolutely crucial. The AusVaxSafety National Surveillance System will greatly assist this because for the first time, we will be continuously monitoring any reactions – or non-reactions – to all vaccines as they are given," said Associate Professor Macartney.

“The commitment of researchers who are passionate about making a tangible difference is critical to improving our health system and individual health outcomes,” said Sax Institute CEO Professor Sally Redman.

“I congratulate our awardees – Associate Professor Kristine Macartney, Dr Kees van Gool and Associate Professor Angela Dawson. Their work is a shining example of how research can help address the issues we face as a society.

“The safety of the vaccines we give to our children, sexual and reproductive healthcare outcomes for women and girls, and improving the equity and efficiency of Medicare are fundamentally important topics − these are three worthy winners.”


Congratulations to Dr Harunor Rashid on his SUPRA Supervisor of the Year Award

Nov 2016 - News

The SUPRA (Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association) Awards recognise and reward excellence in supervision as nominated and judged by research postgraduates at the University. Harunor supervises six PhD students in the Discipline of Child and Adolescent Health – three as research supervisor and three in an auxiliary supervisor role. He has positive and constructive relationships with his students, provides great assistance with research and support for his students’ research careers, and has an expert knowledge of his field of research.

Professor Robert Booy presented the award at a special ceremony at NCIRS. Professor Booy said, “Harunor is one of life's treasures."

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