Information updates

New and updated ASCIA COVID-19 vaccination resources

29 July 2021

The following new ASCIA COVID-19 resource has been developed as a guide for when COVID-19 vaccination should proceed with precautions, or when COVID-19 vaccination is contraindicated, and includes COVID-19 vaccine skin testing and challenge protocols:

The following ASCIA COVID-19 resources have been updated, to be consistent with the new ASCIA COVID-19 Vaccination Guide, the latest updates from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) regarding approval of the Pfizer vaccine for 12-15 year olds and recommendations for patients with immunosuppression (see text below in itallics):

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provisionally approved the use of the Pfizer BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine (COMIRNATY) in individuals 12 years and older. Previously, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was provisionally approved for use in individuals 16 years or older.

Provisional approval for use in the 12-15 years age group has been made following careful evaluation of the available data supporting safety and efficacy, including clinical studies with adolescents 12 to 15 years of age. Use in this age group was supported by the independent expert Advisory Committee on Vaccines.

Further details of the data supporting this approval and TGA's evaluation are included in the Product Information (PI)) and the Australian Public Assessment Report (AusPAR). https://www.tga.gov.au/tga-provisional-approval-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine-include-12-15-years-age-group

Current recommendations for patients with immunosuppression from the Australian Rheumatology Association (ARA) https://rheumatology.org.au/ or the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) www.rheumatology.org/ may be used by clinical immunology/allergy specialists and rheumatologists to guide decisions regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

Each patient with immunosuppression requires shared decision making between patient and prescriber that is based on these recommendations and specific clinical circumstances, including disease activity, co-morbidities and risk of COVID-19 infection.

All of these resources are based on the current information regarding COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia and New Zealand, and will be updated when new information is available.