News & Events

NCIRS Influenza Fact Sheet Updated

Apr 2016 - News

The NCIRS Fact Sheet on Influenza has been updated to include the latest epidemiological data on Influenza vaccines for Australians in anticipation of this year's flu season. 

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Updated NCIRS Fact Sheet, FAQ and Position Statement on HPV Vaccination

Apr 2016 - News

The NCIRS Fact Sheet on HPV vaccination has been updated. The HPV Fact Sheet is also accompanied by a NCIRS Position Statement on HPV vaccination as well as a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on the Quadrivalent Vaccine. Each of these documents is designed to include the most recent data available on HPV epidemiology as well as to address recently raised concerns about the HPV vaccine.

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New study shows efficiency of the PAEDS Network

Mar 2016 - News

The Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) Network is an NCIRS initiative which conducts surveillance of serious childhood conditions, including vaccine-preventable diseases and markers for infectious diseases such as acute childhood encephalitis (inflammation and swelling of the brain). The effectiveness of the program has been acknowledged anecdotally, but has not been validated empirically — until now. A new study published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection has provided data and analysis demonstrating that PAEDS is an “efficient, sensitive and accurate surveillance mechanism for detecting cases of childhood encephalitis—including those associated with emerging infectious diseases”.

The study piloted active surveillance for suspected encephalitis from May to December 2013 at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, NSW. For the study, suspected encephalitis in children was identified using a variety of methods: the PAEDS method (consisting of nurses actively screening children’s admission records); monitoring of cerebrospinal fluid microscopy records; magnetic resonance imaging reports; and pharmacy dispensing records. Out of the four methods, the PAEDS method was the most efficient and accurate mechanism for detecting suspected encephalitis.

The study’s authors concluded that active surveillance significantly increased the ascertainment of encephalitis cases compared to passive approaches in monitoring. The study is titled Pilot surveillance for childhood encephalitis in Australia using the Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) network and is authored by PN Britton, RC Dale, E Elliott, M Festa, K Macartney, R Booy and CA Jones. 

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NCIRS Polio Fact Sheet Updated

Feb 2016 - News

The NCIRS fact sheet on polio has been updated to include current data on polio epidemiology and to align with recommendations in The Australian Immunisation Handbook on the use of IPV-containing vaccines.

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NCIRS's Gulam Khandaker selected for the Centre for Research Excellence - Cerebral Palsy Leaders Program 2016

Jan 2016 - News

NCIRS's Dr Gulam Khandaker has been selected for the Centre for Research Excellence - Cerebral Palsy Leaders Program, 2016. Twelve early career researchers from around Australia have been selected for a 1-year leadership/mentoring program. Congratulations go to Dr Khandaker for winning the award. (Dr Khandaker is pictured here at a free wheelchair distribution camp in a rural village in Bangladesh. Free wheelchairs are donated by Wheelchairs for Kids (WFK), an Australian philanthropic organisation.)


NCIRS A/Prof Nick Wood interviewed by ABC News

Jan 2016 - News

Associate Professor Nick Wood of NCIRS has commented on a recent study into attitudes of parents who avoid vaccinating their children. A/Prof Wood has suggested that promoting shame among parents who did not vaccinate was not an effective tactic to improve vaccination rates. He also emphasised that it was important to not 'lump-in' people who could not get their children vaccinated for logistical reasons with those who were ideologically opposed to vaccination.

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PDF of 10th edition Immunisation Handbook (2015 update) available online

Jan 2016 - News

A PDF version of the 2015 update of the 10th edition Australian Immunisation Handbook is available on the Australian Government Department of Health Immunise Australia website.

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'No jab, no pay' begins - Radio National podcast

Jan 2016 - News

Associate Professor Kristine Macartney of NCIRS appeared on ABC's Radio National breakfast program on January 11 to discuss the introduction of the federal government's 'No Jab, No Pay' initiative. This policy came into effect on January 1 and stipulates that children who are not fully immunised up to the age of 19 are no longer eligible for the Child Care Benefit or Rebate, nor the Family Tax Benefit A supplement. However, some experts have raised concerns that the policy may be counter-productive.

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Vaccines to expect when you're expecting and why

Jan 2016 - News

Immune systems of women are uniquely altered by pregnancy. Because of this, vaccination against influenza is strongly recommended during this time as pregnancy increases the risk of complications. Similarly, newborns are particularly vulnerable to certain infections, and don't respond well to some vaccines until they are at least a few months old. In this Conversation explainer, NCIRS Deputy Director Kristine Macartney, with Annette Regan and Helen Marshall, explain which vaccinations are recommended during pregnancy, and why.

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Whooping Cough Immunisation Clinic opens at Westmead

Dec 2015 - News

Associate Professor Nicholas Wood of NCIRS attended the opening of the new Whooping Cough Immunisation Clinic at Westmead Hospital. The new clinic, targeting pregnant women booked for birth at the hospital, is the first to be opened in the Western Sydney Local Health District and aims to reduce rates of pertussis (whooping cough) in pregnant women, new mothers and their newborn babies.

 

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