Learning Health System for identification and prevention of vaccination errors

Research Opportunity
PhD students
Department / Centre
Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Jim Buttery jim.buttery@mcri.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Hazel Clothier hazel.clothier@mcri.edu.au

Summary Learning Health System for identification and prevention of vaccination errors

Project Details

Some vaccine errors are inevitable in large, complex, national vaccine campaigns. This was illustrated in headlines last year with an error resulting in people receiving 6-times the intended dose in the first weeks of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. Key elements of a strong public health response include identifying where and how systemic vaccination errors arise, minimising the risk of errors occurring, communicating using open disclosure and developing strategies to effectively manage errors and provide appropriate support to affected patients and providers.

SAEFVIC (Surveillance of Adverse Events Following Vaccination In the Community), is the Victorian state-wide vaccine safety service. SAEFVIC conducts enhanced monitoring for vaccine errors through analyses of reported error events and interrogation of health datasets, alongside provision of clinical advice (e.g. re-vaccination) and management of any adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) that may have occurred due to incorrectly administered vaccine.

The COVID-19 response necessitated novel strategies to achieve the mass-population vaccine delivery required to contain the pandemic. This included wide use of multi-dose vials, use of diluents, varied storage conditions & thaw expirations as well as dynamic brand and dose recommendations for specific population groups. These error-inducing factors were accompanied by a necessary influx of rapidly trained inexperienced immunizers.

This PhD will seek to establish the first learning health system for vaccination error. The candidate will require skills in data analysis, stakeholder engagement and an ability to identify systematic opportunities to implement risk mitigation.

Research outputs

  • Develop an improved system for identifying, recording & reporting on vaccine error events
  • Incorporate geospatial analysis into vaccine error visualisation and signal detection
  • Collaborate with other Safer Care Victoria and other jurisdictions to establish multi-state intelligence on vaccine safety errors
  • Develop evidence-based guidelines for safe delivery of vaccination program in flexible delivery situations (e.g use of limited license immunisers)
  • Integrate vaccine error intelligence into a full Learning Health System for safe vaccination in Victoria

The PhD will be conducted at the Centre for Health Analytics at the Melbourne Children's Campus and is suitable for a clinical (adult or paediatric) or epidemiology trained candidate.

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine

Research Opportunities

PhD students
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre


Research Node

Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

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