Latest recommendation updates:
- ATAGI has released clinical recommendations on the use of Nuvaxovid (Novavax) COVID-19 vaccine.
Recent ATAGI considerations
On Thursday 27 January 2022, ATAGI met to consider the latest developments relating to COVID-19 immunisation. As of 26 January 2022, over 48 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Australia. ATAGI encourages all adults aged 18 years and over to receive a booster dose as soon as they are eligible.
ATAGI continues to monitor COVID-19 epidemiology in Australia including the Omicron variant of concern and the timing of COVID-19 booster vaccinations as outlined in our 24 December 2021 advice.
Booster doses for people under the age of 18 years
ATAGI has begun considerations of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses in people under the age of 18.
After the meeting, ATAGI noted that on 28 January 2022 the TGA provisionally approved the Pfizer vaccine as a booster in 16-17 year-olds. ATAGI will release recommendations on the use of boosters in this age group shortly.
Last week, ATAGI reduced the time allowable for deferral of vaccination following SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) infection from 6 months to 4 months. ATAGI continues to review the evidence regarding the optimal timing of vaccination following COVID-19 disease and will enhance its clinical guidance on this soon. ATAGI notes there are several reasons people may choose to be vaccinated soon after infection rather than defer to 4 months. These may include:
- if the individual is at greater risk of severe COVID-19
- if the infection occurred in the Delta period, i.e., before Omicron was introduction to Australia in late November (as evidence suggests Omicron infection is more likely in people who had the Delta variant)
- if the individual has had not completed their primary COVID-19 vaccine course and therefore has less protection against COVID-19
COVID-19 vaccine safety
This week the ATAGI COVID-19 Safety Group provided an update to the ATAGI COVID-19 Working Group. The TGA’s Weekly Report provides a detailed breakdown of adverse events following immunisation.
The ATAGI COVID-19 Safety Group notes new information on vaccine safety in the 5 to 11 year old COVID-19 vaccine program is available publicly on the AusVaxSafety website.
Resources and recent statements
ATAGI recommends review of the following key resources:
- ATAGI Statement on the use of Novavax COVID-19 vaccine (Nuvaxovid)
- Clinical Guidance for COVID-19 vaccination providers (new look web version of the clinical guidance)
- 24 December 2021: ATAGI Statement on the Omicron variant of concern and the timing of COVID-19 booster vaccination
- 19 January 2022: Updated ATAGI recommendations on the use of a 3rd primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine in severely immunocompromised individuals
- A list of risk factors associated with severe COVID-19 is available in the Clinical guidance.