Australia’s trusted independent immunisation experts


COSSI members share and disseminate knowledge about social science and immunisation using a range of forums, including the COSSI mailing list, bimonthly Knowledge Exchange Meetings, occasional seminars/webinars, and annual workshops.


  • COSSI mailing list

    The COSSI mailing list is a way for COSSI members to communicate with each other. Members use the mailing list to share information about news items, publications, meetings, conferences, and other items of interest. It also acts as a forum for questions and feedback, as well as an avenue for rapid information about media controversies. All messages to the mailing list are moderated.

    Join COSSI

  • Knowledge Exchange Meetings

    COSSI Knowledge Exchange Meetings take place bimonthly. The objectives of these meetings are to share and discuss information about recent research and program issues, find solutions and develop partnerships. We look forward to your participation in the meetings.

    To stay informed about the upcoming meetings, join COSSI.

    Knowledge Exchange Meeting - Tailoring Immunization Programmes (TIP) in NSW communities

    At this knowledge exchange meeting, two COSSI members, Dr Susan Thomas from the University of Newcastle and Dr Kasia Bolsewicz from the University of Newcastle/NCIRS, presented on using the Tailoring Immunization Programmes (TIP) guide of the World Health Organization (WHO) in communities in NSW: similarities, local differences and implications for health services. 

    Susan and Kasia presented combined results from five TIP studies in NSW (Maitland, Umina, Tamworth, Kempsey and Lismore). Three TIP projects were based in Aboriginal communities with significant involvement from Aboriginal researchers. A cultural lens was applied in those projects. 

    About TIP - TIP is a guide developed by WHO to help health services identify pockets of low childhood immunisation coverage, gain a deeper understanding of the reasons behind that and what strategies would be effective in improving coverage in that unique context. TIP uses mixed-methods, social sciences, behavior change theory and collaboration with all partners, including parents.

    Watch the recording of this meeting below


    Examples of other COSSI Knowledge Exchange Meetings include:

    • Understanding public responses to information and misinformation about COVID-19 in Australia (Professor Kirsten McCaffery, University of Sydney)
    • A study of mandatory vaccination in Australia, Italy, France and California (Dr Katie Attwell, University of Western Australia)
    • Barriers and facilitators of immunisation in refugee and migrant communities in Australia (Ikram Abdi, University of NSW)
    • Current research about influenza vaccine uptake, including gaps in our knowledge and potential solutions (Dr Holly Seale, University of NSW)
    • Examining the broader factors underpinning vaccine refusal in Australia (Tom Rozbroj, Monash University, Alfred Hospital)
  • Seminars and webinars

    COSSI seminars and webinars take place several times a year. The objective of these events is to share knowledge about social science and immunisation and encourage dialogue, especially with an audience who may not belong to COSSI.

    To stay informed about upcoming seminars and webinars, join COSSI.

    Recent webinars:

    26 July 2021 - Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination

    Vaccination against COVID-19 is the main tool for bringing the world out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mandatory vaccination has been debated as a strategy to get high vaccination coverage and protect individuals in certain settings.

    This webinar considered the policy, behavioural, ethical and epidemiological aspects of mandating COVID-19 vaccination.

    View the video of this webinar to:

    • find out what vaccination mandates are, who they may be used for and how they could be delivered
    • hear about the governance and political aspects of vaccination mandates
    • hear about epidemiological, behavioural and social considerations of mandates, including effectiveness
    • hear about ethical considerations of vaccine mandates for adults.


    • Webinar chair - Associate Professor Margie Danchin
    • Dr Katie Atwell
    • Associate Professor James Wood
    • Professor Julie Leask
    • Dr Jane Williams



    22 June 2020 - Risk communication – How can we best integrate social science into health emergency work to ensure effective risk communication?

    Risk communication is an integral part of any public health emergency response and it is vital to ensure that people at risk can understand the threat and adopt protective behaviours, without causing panic. In light of recent global measles outbreaks, COVID-19 and other infectious disease threats, COSSI hosted a webinar to discuss and understand what underpins effective risk communication and community engagement and how we can do this better in our own work and in our communities.

    The webinar featured the following speakers who reflected on their own experiences in risk communication and engagement and shared how these strategies can be adopted in the future.


    Professor Julie Leask, Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery, Sydney Nursing School, University of Sydney.

    Julie discussed the foundations of risk communication and how to communicate well in a crisis, with a focus on measles and COVID-19.

    Kristy Crooks, PhD Candidate and Aboriginal Program Manager at Hunter New England Local Health District.

    Kristy spoke about engaging with First Nations peoples in making decisions around public health emergencies, with a focus on H1N1 and COVID-19.

    Diane Summers, Senior Adviser in the Immunisation Team at UNICEF.

    Diane focussed on the role of risk communication and engagement during COVID-19 globally, including the impact of COVID on immunisation services and demand.


    View the webinar recording below

  • Workshops

    COSSI workshops take place annually. Every second year, these workshops take place in conjunction with the PHAA National lmmunisation Conference.

    To stay informed about upcoming COSSI workshops, join COSSI.

    A recent workshop:

    Improving vaccine confidence demand & uptake (COSSI workshop 2019)

    This two-part workshop, organised in conjunction with the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS), helped participants develop their vaccine communication skills and apply behavioural insights to strengthen immunisation programs and improve vaccine uptake.

    Experts from the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe, along with Australian experts gave a variety of presentations, and facilitated case-based practice working sessions.

    Responding to vaccine critics (Part 1) focused on improving immunisation providers' and researchers’ skills and confidence in using evidenced-based vaccine communications techniques when responding to vocal vaccine critics, particularly in the public arena.

    Using the WHO Tailoring Immunisation Program (TIP) approach (Part 2) showed participants how immunisation programs can use behavioral insights to identify contextual barriers and tailor strategies to improve vaccine programs and coverage.