Optimising COVID-19 immunisation in paediatric special risk groups

Research Opportunity
PhD students
Department / Centre
Paediatrics
Location
Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Prof Nigel Crawford nigelc@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Shidan Tosif Shidan.Tosif@rch.org.au
Dr Jane Tuckerman jane.tuckerman@unimelb.edu.au

Summary This research project would examine how paediatric SRGs respond to COVID-19 vaccination, as well as monitoring and evaluating COVID-19 vaccine safety in this SRG cohort in collaboration with SAEFVIC, the Victorian vaccine safety service. Additionally, the project would involve developing and implementing strategies to optimise vaccine uptake in children. This includes those <12 years of age, as clinical trial data emerges, and countries like Australia will begin to consider including these younger children in the COVID-19 vaccination program.

Project Details

Individuals of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, with vaccination one of the most important tools in global initiatives to optimise protection. Whilst COVID-19 is generally a milder illness in the paediatric population, they can be hospitalised and also be involved in transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the community and hospital settings. Children are therefore a key population group who have begun to receive COVID-19 vaccines in Australia, with the mRNA vaccines (Corminatry [Pfizer] and Spikevax [Moderna]) initially recommended for those 12 years and older. Research into how children within special risk groups (SRG) (e.g., immunosuppressed) respond to the vaccines, is limited. As the COVID-19 vaccines are progressively administered to population groups across the lifespan and as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, their impact needs to be studied. A coordinated and strategic collection of biological samples from paediatric vaccine recipients is currently being undertaken at the Royal Children's Hospital and will enable robust and detailed studies on various aspects of COVID-19 vaccination in these groups.

This research project would examine how paediatric SRGs respond to COVID-19 vaccination, as well as monitoring and evaluating COVID-19 vaccine safety in this SRG cohort in collaboration with SAEFVIC, the Victorian vaccine safety service. Additionally, the project would involve developing and implementing strategies to optimise vaccine uptake in children. This includes those <12 years of age, as clinical trial data emerges, and countries like Australia will begin to consider including these younger children in the COVID-19 vaccination program.

We anticipate that the successful candidate will develop expertise in COVID-19 vaccinology and be supported by our 'COVID kids' research group at the Melbourne Children's campus.



Faculty Research Themes

Child Health, Infection and Immunology

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

Paediatrics

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Research Node

Royal Children’s Hospital/Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

MDHS Research library
Explore by researcher, school, project or topic.