ATAGI Update after Weekly COVID-19 Meeting – January 12, 2022

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Release date:

January 17, 2022

Target group:

general public

Latest recommendation updates:

  • Previously, severely immunocompromised people aged 12 and over were recommended to have a 3rdapprox Primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine to optimize their protection. This recommendation has now been expanded to include severely immunocompromised children aged 5 to 11 years. See below for more information.

In 2022, the full ATAGI Committee will continue to meet weekly to ensure timely advice is given to the Australian Government and in turn healthcare providers and consumers on the administration of COVID-19 vaccines in the Australian context.

ATAGI recognizes the significant contribution made by Professors Christopher Blyth and Allen Cheng in leading the development and review of recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines in 2020 and 2021. As of January 2022, the ATAGI-COVID-19 Working Group will be chaired by Professor Katie Flanagan and ATAGI Vice-Chair Professor Michelle Giles.

Recent ATAGI considerations

On Wednesday, January 12, 2022, ATAGI met for the first time this year and reviewed the latest developments related to COVID-19 immunization and COVID-19 vaccine safety. ATAGI continues to monitor the COVID-19 epidemiology in Australia, including the Omicron variant of concern and the timing of COVID-19 booster shots, as outlined in our 24 December 2021 advisory.

ATAGI continues to emphasize that vaccination is a key public health intervention. Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program aims to protect everyone in Australia from the harm caused by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccination prevents serious illness and death and reduces disease transmission. ATAGI recommends the COVID-19 vaccination for all Australians aged 5 and over.

As of January 12, 2022, over 45 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Australia. Booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines are likely to increase protection against Omicron variant infection. ATAGI encourages adults 18 years and older to receive a booster dose as soon as they are eligible. Currently, booster doses are recommended starting 4 months after primary vaccination. As soon as practical, ATAGI recommends that booster vaccinations be offered to all eligible adults at least 3 months after the basic course. For more information, see the latest ATAGI booster statement.

Dose intervals for vaccination of 5-11 year old children

ATAGI continues to recommend a 2-dose vaccination schedule for the 5- to 11-year-old Comirnaty (Pfizer) cohort, 8 weeks apart. The interval may be shortened to at least 3 weeks in special circumstances, for higher risk groups (e.g. people with medical risk factors for serious illness) related to ongoing community transmission.

This also includes severely immunocompromised children aged 5-11 years, for whom three doses of vaccine are now recommended as part of the primary immunization. The 3approx The primary dose guidelines have been updated to include children 5 years and older. The recommended interval for the 3rd priming dose is 2 to 6 months after the 2nd dose. ATAGI notes that this is consistent with the recent decision of the Centers for Disease Control.

Pending ATAGI considerations

ATAGI continues to review and consider the impact of the ongoing Omicron outbreak in most of Australia’s jurisdictions. This includes providing a national approach to vaccination recommendations for both primary vaccination and any subsequent booster doses.

The National Immunization Program and the Australian Immunization Register (AIR) have procedures in place to determine if a person is up to date with the recommended vaccines. ATAGI now aims to help formulate a decision-making framework on what is required to be considered “current” on COVID-19 vaccines and the role of booster doses.

ATAGI also noted that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is considering filing Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Safety of COVID-19 vaccines

ATAGI continues to review and monitor reports of rare but potentially serious adverse events following immunization with COVID-19 vaccines, including regular updates to the TGA. The TGAs Weekly report provides a detailed breakdown of adverse events following immunization.

Beginning January 10, 2022, children ages 5 to 11 will have access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

ATAGI notes early vaccine safety Data from the US Pediatric Program (5-11 year old cohort) did not identify safety signals in this cohort.

ATAGI also takes international evidence from the US and France suggesting that vaccination in adolescents 12 years and older may offer some protection against a rare post-infectious inflammatory disease that occurs only with SARS-CoV-2 infection and is known as pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome (PIMS-TS; also known in children as multisystem inflammatory syndrome known). MIS-C).

ATAGI reiterates that the benefits of vaccination with COVID-19 vaccines in Australia and people should be aware of the potential risks and benefits of vaccination as part of informed consent.

Resources and current statements

ATAGI recommends reviewing the following key resources:

For more information, visit the Department of Health’s Provider and Patient Resources website.

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