The Influenza Specialist Group (ISG) website will be closing down

26 June 2019

The information on the ISG website is gradually being integrated into the Immunisation Coalition's website: Immunisation Coalition - Influenza

Every effort is being made to ensure the information that appears on the ISG website remains accurate and up to date until such time that the integration is complete.

Should you have any questions about this website or the Immunisation Coalition, you can send a message here by email

16 October 2018

Influenza Vaccine Composition 2019 - Southern Hemisphere/Australia

The formulation of influenza vaccines for use in Australia is determined each year by the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC) based on information and recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO). A meeting of the AIVC was held on 10th October 2018 where the expert committee reviewed and evaluated data related to epidemiology, antigenic and genetic characteristics of recent influenza isolates circulating in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, serological responses to 2017-2018 vaccines, and the availability of candidate vaccines viruses and reagents. The committee recommended that the TGA should adopt the 27 September 2018 WHO recommendations; the influenza vaccine components for the Australian 2019 influenza season should contain the following:

The influenza vaccine for the Australian 2019 influenza season is to contain the following virus strains:

Egg based Quadrivalent influenza:

  • an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • an A/Switzerland/8060/2017 (H3N2)-like virus;
  • a B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus (B/Victoria/2/87 lineage); and
  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage)

Egg based Trivalent vaccines:

  • an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • an A/Switzerland/8060/2017 (H3N2)-like virus; and
  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata/16/88 lineage)

Non-egg based vaccines:

A(H3N2) component: A/Singapore/INFMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2)-like virus
Other components the same as above indicated for egg based vaccines

References
1. WHO 2019 Southern Hemisphere recommendation

2. TGA / AIVC Recommendations

 

20 October 2017

Influenza Vaccine Composition 2018 - Southern Hemisphere/Australia

The formulation of influenza vaccines for use in Australia is determined each year by the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC) based on information and recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO). A meeting of the AIVC was held on 11th October 2017 where the expert committee reviewed and evaluated data related to epidemiology, antigenic and genetic characteristics of recent influenza isolates circulating in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere, serological responses to 2016-2017 vaccines, and the availability of candidate vaccines viruses and reagents. The committee recommended that the TGA should adopt the 28 September 2017 WHO recommendations; the influenza vaccine components for the Australian 2018 influenza season should contain the following:

The influenza vaccine for the Australian 2018 influenza season contains the following three virus strains:

A (H1N1): an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09 like virus
A (H3N2): an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 (H3N2) like virus
B: a B/Phuket/3073/2013 like virus
Quadrivalent vaccines should contain viruses listed above, plus the additional B virus:

B/Brisbane/60/2008 like virus.

16 January 2017

ISG Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

The 2017 ISG Annual Scientific Meeting took place once again at the Melbourne airport, on 5 & 6 February. One of the highlights of this year’s meeting were presentations by international speakers Dr Dan Jernigan and Dr Jacqui Katz from the USCDC. Dr Kanta Subbarao, the new Director of Melbourne’s WHO Collaboration Centre, also presented. 

 

 

22 June 2016

Dr Alan Hampson steps down as Chair of Immunisation Coalition

Alan 200

On 22nd June 2016, Dr Alan Hampson stepped down from the Chair of the Immunisation Coalition (formerly known as the Influenza Specialist Group).

The Influenza Specialist Group had its beginnings in 1990 due to an unexpected demand for influenza vaccine in Australia. At the time, use of influenza vaccine in Australia was very low - around 500,000 doses year (compared to over 7.5million doses today). The 65 and over population alone of around 1.9 million, but the general public were very much unaware of severity of influenza.

 

In fact, doctors were not recommending vaccination against influenza, because they did not see influenza as important, nor did they believe that the vaccine was effective. In addition, there was no promotion or advertising about influenza vaccination.

This is where Alan Hampson led the charge. With a small cadre of like minded individuals he began raising awareness of influenza. His efforts grew each year, with the Influenza Specialist Group being established as a not for profit organisation in 2006, and has gone from strength to strength under his guiding hand. At the ISG’s 2016 annual general meeting, it was agreed to change the name from Influenza Specialist Group to Immunisation Coalition, in recognition of the organisation’s move into a broader vaccine preventable diseases arena. The organization clearly would not be what it is today without the tireless work and the leadership of Alan Hampson.

A virologist with over 40 years experience working with influenza, Alan’s career includes responsibility for developing influenza vaccine production processes with the Australian biopharmaceutical group CSL Limited, and subsequently as Deputy Director and operational head of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza, Melbourne, from its designation in 1992 until his retirement in September 2005.

Alan has received numerous awards and recognition for his contribution to public health, including: recipient of the Asia Pacific Society for Medical Virology Excellence Award (2006); an Honorary Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Melbourne (2006); the Order of Australia Medal for his contributions to public health, particularly with respect to influenza (2007); and was made a Fellow of the Australian Society for Microbiology (FASM) in (2007).

He has now handed over the reins to Professor Paul Van Buynder, who will lead the Immunisation Coalition into a new era. Alan will remain a Director for the time being, and will continue to chair the Influenza Specialist Group, which is now a special interest group of the Immunisation Coalition. 

 

5 April 2016

Exciting change ahead!

The ISG started a process of metamorphosis more than two years ago with an objective to build on its reputation and experience as a not-for-profit advocacy group to fight vaccine hesitancy on a broader scale. Based on an in-depth consultation process for strategic change that included members and stakeholders, the ISG Board of Directors put a proposal to its members at the 2016 AGM to change the organisation’s name from the Influenza Specialist Group to the Immunisation Coalition. ASIC formally approved the change of name on 29th February 2016.

Over the years the ISG has become a very strong brand name in relation to advocacy for influenza prevention and treatment. The ISG will continue as a brand in the form of a special interest group within the Immunisation Coalition. The influenza meeting that takes place at the beginning of each year will still be known as the ISG’s annual scientific meeting.

The Immunisation Coalition will become a broader based organisation that encompasses a range of vaccine preventable diseases with an aim to reduce/change vaccine hesitancy amongst Australians.

Vision

  • The Immunisation Coalition will improve the protection of all Australians against infectious diseases by advocacy for immunisation.

Mission

  • To create public awareness regarding the importance of immunisation by providing educational materials and communication programs. 
  • To co-operate with key Australian professional bodies, consumer advocacy groups and the Australian, State and Territory Governments in their educational activities focused on immunisation to bring information to Australian healthcare professionals and the public.
  • To work with consumers, health professionals and organisations with an interest in immunisation, ensuring that the information provided to consumers through our website and other communication channels is current, easily understood and scientifically informed.

In addition to influenza, the Immunisation Coalition will encompass pneumococcal disease, pertussis and zoster in its initial advocacy portfolio, and will continue to work with key Australian professional and consumer groups, and the Australian Federal, State and Territory Departments of Health.

The Immunisation Coalition will be launched officially in Brisbane on June 10th 2016 at its inaugural adult vaccination forum, following the PHAA communicable diseases meeting.

Immunisation Coalition Logo vF RGB Small Horizontal

 

29 February 2016

Northern Hemisphere Influenza Vaccine Composition 2016-2017

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has just announced its recommended formulation for influenza vaccines to be used in the Northern Hemisphere winter 2016-17. The periodic replacement of virus strains contained in influenza vaccine is necessary because of the constant evolution of influenza viruses, which can change their antigenic and genetic characteristics.

The WHO recommendation on the composition of influenza virus vaccines for use in the northern hemisphere 2016-2017 was announced in a WHO Information Meeting and Round-table Discussion with manufacturers and regulatory agencies; following a 3-day WHO Consultation with Advisers from WHO CCs and WHO ERLs based on year-round surveillance by the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS).

It is recommended that trivalent vaccines for use in the 2016-2017 northern hemisphere influenza season contain the following:

  • A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus;
  • a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

It is recommended that quadrivalent vaccines for use in the 2016-2017 northern hemisphere influenza season containing two influenza B viruses contain the above three viruses and:

  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus.

Available candidate vaccine viruses following the above recommendation and the full technical reports can be found at:
http://www.who.int/influenza/vaccines/virus/recommendations/2016_17_north/en/

In addition, the review on vaccine viruses for zoonotic influenza vaccine development is updated through the WHO Consultation:
http://www.who.int/influenza/vaccines/virus/characteristics_virus_vaccines/en/

The availability of candidate vaccine viruses of seasonal influenza vaccines, and of other subtypes of influenza for pandemic preparedness purposes can be found at: http://www.who.int/influenza/vaccines/virus/en/

 

1 December 2015

Southern Hemisphere Influenza Vaccine Composition 2016

The formulation of influenza vaccines for use in Australia is determined each year by the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC) based on information and recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO).  (Find out about the process here).
The influenza vaccine for the Australian 2016 influenza season contains the following three virus strains:


  • A (H1N1): an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) - like virus
  • A (H3N2): an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2) like virus*
  • B: a B/Brisbane/60/2008 like virus

Quadrivalent vaccines should contain viruses listed above, plus the additional B virus:

  • B/Phuket/3073/2013 like virus.

For more information 

  

 Reviewed: 26 June 2019