Information updates

World Allergy Week 2021

World Allergy Week (13th to 19th June 2021)

 pdfWorld Allergy Week 2021 Media Release 

World Allergy Week (13th to 19th June 2021) seeks to raise awareness of anaphylaxis (severe allergic reactions), that are potentially life-threatening and require immediate attention. World leading ASCIA Action Plans and First Aid Plans for Anaphylaxis provide excellent guidance on what to do in an emergency.

During World Allergy Week 2021, ASCIA is proud to announce that the 2021 versions of ASCIA Action Plans and First Aid Plans for Anaphylaxis are now available. To read more go to 

ASCIA is also participating in activities during World Allergy Week 2021 hosted in conjunction with the National Allergy Strategy, Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia and the Centre for Food & Allergy Research. This includes an event at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 17th June 2021.

Updated ASCIA Guidelines for the Acute Management of Anaphylaxis will be available by the end of June 2021.

Updated and new ASCIA Anaphylaxis e-training courses will be available in August 2021.

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Updated ASCIA Action Plan for Drug (Medication) Allergy

The ASCIA Action Plan for Drug (Medication) Allergy has been updated in June 2021 and is now available on the ASCIA website

The changes made to this plan are consistent with the changes made to the 2021 versions of the red ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis and the green ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions. To read more go to

The need for an ASCIA Action Plan for Drug (Medication) Allergy and ASCIA Record for Drug (Medication) Allergy was identified by the ASCIA Drug Allergy committee a few years ago and development of the first versions was completed in 2020.  There have also been requests for the plan for patients and parents of children who have medication allergies. 

For children who have an allergy to a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) such as paracetamol or ibuprofen the ASCIA Action Plan for Drug (Medication) Allergy can now be provided to their school or children’s education/care (CEC) service.

The ASCIA Action Plan for Drug (Medication) Allergy is a medical document that can only be completed by the patient's doctor and cannot be altered without their permission. This plan should be used in conjunction with the patient’s ASCIA Record for Drug (Medication) Allergy, which has also been updated in 2021.  

The ASCIA Drug Allergy Committee includes leading clinical immunology/allergy specialists from Australia and New Zealand.  The committee is Chaired by Professor Connie Katelaris AM, who took ove this role in September 2020 from Professor Michaela Lucas (current ASCIA President), who both played a significant role in the development of these documents.

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Updated ASCIA Action Plans

Following an extensive review process by the ASCIA anaphylaxis committee, ASCIA Action Plans have been updated.  The 2021 versions of the following plans are now available at

  • ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis (RED) EpiPen®, Anapen® and Generic versions for adults or children with medically confirmed allergies, who have been prescribed adrenaline autoinjectors. Anapen® is expected to be available in Australia on the PBS from September 2021. 
  • ASCIA Action Plan for Drug (Medication) Allergy (GREEN) for adults or children with medically confirmed drug (medication) allergies, who have not been prescribed adrenaline autoinjectors.
  • ASCIA Action Plan for Allergic Reactions (GREEN) for adults or children with medically confirmed food or insect allergies, who have not been prescribed adrenaline autoinjectors. 

ASCIA Action Plans and First Aid Plans 2021The main change to the 2021 ASCIA Action Plans is that the number of positioning images has increased from three to five:

  • Each plan now includes images that show the recovery position and holding a young child flat, not upright.
  • Wording above the images has been expanded to provide more detailed explanations.

Other changes that have been made in response to requests by several reviewers are as follows:

  • The wording ‘- these are signs of anaphylaxis for insect allergy’ after ‘Abdominal pain, vomiting’ has been highlighted in bold.
  • ‘Give other medications (if prescribed)’ has been changed to ‘Give antihistamine (if prescribed)’.
  • In the left column the space for ‘Confirmed allergens’ has been expanded, wording has been updated in the family/emergency contacts, authorisation/consent and review sections, and the adrenaline doses have been reordered to start with the lowest dose of 150mg.

Current ASCIA Action Plans are the 2021 versions, however, the 2020 and 2018 versions are still valid for use throughout 2021. ASCIA Action Plans do not expire, and therefore the plan is still valid beyond the recommended review date, which is a guide for patients to see their doctor.

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ASCIA 2021 Virtual Conference Registration and Abstract Submission is Now Open

It is a pleasure to invite you to participate in the ASCIA 2021 Conference, which is being hosted as a virtual event from Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd September 2021.

The ASCIA 2021 Conference will provide registered delegates with:

  • An international standard of continuing professional development, with the latest research and issues in allergy and clinical immunology presented by more than 60 speakers, including 12 international experts.
  • An interactive program that allows delegates to submit questions online during live Q&A sessions.
  • Access to all sessions, which will also be available as video recordings on the ASCIA 2021 Conference platform, including concurrent programs for Nurses, Dietitians and Associate Medical Days on Friday.
  • Complimentary registration for ASCIA 2021 Conference dinner meetings on Thursday 2nd September which will be held in Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
  • Opportunities to submit abstracts for posters - accepted posters will be uploaded to the ASCIA 2021 Conference platform and will be published online in a citable medical journal.
  • Opportunities for advanced trainees in allergy/immunology to submit abstracts for Clinical Grand Rounds (CGR) - accepted CGR abstracts will be selected for oral presentations.
  • Opportunities to present in the CFAR Hot Publications - Food Allergy Research session. Submissions will be made directly to CFAR, not via the ASCIA 2021 Conference website.
  • An update on research projects funded from 2015-2019 by the Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australasia (AIFA).
  • Access to updates about new products in sponsored sessions and in the 3D virtual exhibition.
  • Exceptional value, with discounted earlybird registration fees that we expect will encourage ASCIA members and other health professionals with an interest in allergy and clinical immunology to register. These reasonably priced fees are possible due to support from ASCIA 2021 Sponsors and Exhibitors.

To register go to

To view the program go to

To submit an abstract go to

The ASCIA 2021 Conference program includes presentations by 12 international keynote speakers:

  • Dr Kimberly Blumenthal (USA) 
    - IgE Mediated Drug Allergy Reactions
  • Prof Wen-Hung Chung (Taiwan) 
    - T Cell Mediated Drug Reactions and Novel Technologies
  • Dr Andrew Gennery (UK)
    - TAPID Collaboration from a UK Perspective
  • Prof David Khan (USA)
    - Re-Labelling Drug Allergy
  • Prof Mark Little (Ireland)
    - Targeting Subclinical-Immune Pathology in ANCA Vasculitis 
  • Dr Rosan Meyer (UK)
    - Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) 
  • Prof Antonella Muraro (Italy) 
    - Pathogenesis of Food Allergy
  • Prof Elizabeth Phillips (USA)
    - Excipient Allergy
  • Dr Kathleen Sullivan (USA) 
    - COVID-19 and Syndromes in Children, Rubella Associated Granuloma
  • A/Prof Bernard Thong (Singapore) 
    - COVID-19 Vaccine Immediate Reactions
  • A/Prof Paul Turner (UK) 
    - Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy, COVID-19 Vaccine Delayed Reactions COVID-19 in 2021 and Beyond, Food Allergy Prevention in 2021 and Beyond
  • A/Prof Carina Venter (USA)
    - Food Allergy and Diet, Maternal Diet and Food Allergy Prevention in Children.

For more details about these speakers go to  

The ASCIA 2021 Conference program also features presentations by local keynote speakers, including:

  • Dr Katie Allen MP
    2021 Basten Oration: A Journey from Benchside to Bedside, and Population to Politics - Why would you do it?
  • Prof Anthony Kelleher
    - Long COVID
  • Prof Connie Katelaris AM
    - Climate Change and Allergy
  • Dr Jennifer Koplin
    – Food Allergy Prevention - EarlyNuts Study Results
  • A/Prof Philip Robinson
    - Autoimmunity and COVID-19
  • Dr Charlotte Slade
    - Primary Immunodeficiency in the Adult and Elderly Population
  • Prof Mimi Tang
    - Food Allergy Treatment - Peanut Allergy OIT Trial Results
  • Prof Stuart Tangye
    - Immunodeficiency and COVID-19
  • Prof Carola Vinuesa
    - Neuritin to Prevent Autoimmune Disease and Allergies

ASCIA works in collaboration with other medical specialists and organisations, and this is reflected in the ASCIA 2021 Conference program, which includes the following sessions:

  • ASCIA-CFAR (Centre for Food and Allergy Research) Symposium on Wednesday.
  • ASCIA-ANZVASC (Australia and New Zealand Vasculitis Society) Symposium on Friday.
  • ASCIA Immunodeficiency Strategy for Australia and New Zealand Update on Friday.
  • National Allergy Strategy Update on Friday.

We greatly appreciate the support from the ASCIA 2021 Conference sponsors and exhibitors. There will be sponsored sessions each morning and on Wednesday evening, and a 3D virtual exhibition each day.

To view options for support go to

With an outstanding program and innovative virtual format, we expect that the ASCIA 2021 Conference will provide an international standard of education and networking opportunities for ASCIA members and other health professionals with an interest in allergy and clinical immunology.

We look forward to your involvement in the ASCIA 2021 Conference.

Kind regards,

Prof Michaela Lucas     Jill Smith
ASCIA President     ASCIA CEO

On behalf of the ASCIA 2021 Conference committee:

ASCIA Directors: 
Dr Theresa Cole (VIC), A/Prof Jane Peake (QLD), Dr Michael O'Sullivan (WA).

ASCIA Committee Chairs: 
Dr Karl Baumgart (NSW), Dr Lara Ford (NSW), Dr Katie Frith (NSW), Prof Connie Katelaris AM (NSW), Dr Kathryn Patchett (NSW),

ASCIA Associate Representatives: 
Kathy Beck (QLD), Dr Kathryn Heyworth (QLD), Dr Hannah Hu (NSW), Briony Tyquin (NSW).

Other members: 
Dr Tiffany Hughes (SA), Dr Preeti Joshi (NSW), Dr Dean Tey (VIC), Dr Brynn Wainstein (NSW), Dr Melanie Wong (NSW).

Thursday evening dinner meetings (restrictions permitting) will be coordinated by the ASCIA Council Area Representatives for each region: 
Dr Andrew Baker (NZ), Dr Elizabeth da Silva (ACT), Dr Narinder Kaur (NSW), Dr Jovanka King (SA), Dr Alberto Pinzon (QLD), Dr Stephanie Richards (VIC), A/Prof Kristina Rueter (WA).

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Immunoglobulin (Ig) Program Update

The latest immunoglobulin (Ig) Program Update is now available on the National Blood Authority (NBA) website

Ig Program Updates provide a snapshot of the NBA's current work program and priorities in the immunoglobulin space.

Current topics include:

  • Release of new educational and training resources.
  • Updates to BloodSTAR.
  • Updated data on Ig usage.
  • Commencement of an Ig Program evaluation review.
  • Ig health technology assessment (HTA) reviews by the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC).
  • Work on the Ig prioritisation framework.
  • Reports on Ig committee and stakeholder meetings.

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New Animation - How to Position a Person having Anaphylaxis

The ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis includes the following infographics that show the correct and incorrect positioning of a person having anaphylaxis.

When a person has anaphylaxis their blood pressure can drop rapidly, which reduces blood flow to the heart. Laying the person flat will help blood flow to the heart which improves blood pressure, whilst standing can make anaphylaxis worse by causing blood pressure to drop.

A new animation has been developed as part of the National Allergy Strategy, which explains:

  • How to position a person having anaphylaxis, including when giving the adrenaline (epinephrine) injector.
  • Why it is important that a person having anaphylaxis does not stand or walk.

The animation is available at

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New ASCIA Oral Immunotherapy for Food Allergy information

Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is a potential treatment for food allergy. There are currently several clinical research trials of food allergy OIT and other treatments for food allergy underway in Australia and other countries. At present there is no evidence that OIT it is a cure for food allergy and there are no food allergy OIT products approved or registered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia or by Medsafe in New Zealand.

ASCIA has updated its information about Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) for Food Allergy and the following new information is available on the ASCIA website:

  1. New ASCIA OIT for Food Allergy Position Paper for health professionals
  2. New ASCIA OIT for Food Allergy frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for patients, consumers and carers

Whilst both of these documents are new, the Position Paper has been adapted from the previous document that was for patients, consumers and carers, but expanded and updated to provide more detailed information for health professionals. The FAQ is a summary of the most common questions about food allergy OIT.


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Updated ASCIA COVID-19 resources

The ASCIA COVID-19 FAQ, Position Statement and Guides have been updated to reference the following summary of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) statement, issued on 8 April 2021 about AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine safety concerns:

  • ATAGI notes further evidence of a rare but serious side effect involving thrombosis (clotting) with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count) following receipt of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
  • ATAGI recommends that the Pfizer (Comirnaty) COVID-19 vaccine by is preferred over the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in adults aged under 50 years. This recommendation is based on the increasing risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 in older adults (and hence a higher benefit from vaccination) and a potentially increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in people aged under 50 years.
  • The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can be used in adults aged under 50 years where the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks for that individual, and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits.
  • People who have had the first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine without any serious adverse effects can be given the second dose, including adults under 50 years.

Further information from ATAGI is available at

The updated ASCIA COVID-19 resources are avaialble as follows:

ASCIA Allergy, Immunodeficiency, Autoimmunity and COVID-19 Vaccination Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

ASCIA Allergy, Immunodeficiency, Autoimmunity and COVID-19 Vaccination Position Statement

ASCIA Guide: Immunodeficiency, Autoimmunity and COVID-19 Vaccination

ASCIA Guide: Allergy and COVID-19 Vaccination

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