The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) present - A course in vaccinology and immunisation science.

This course was held in 2022 and has since concluded. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on further courses. 

Course information

  • Who is this course for?

    This practical online course is for people relatively new to the area and for those wanting to broaden and update their understanding of vaccines, vaccine development and the principles underpinning the introduction and running of immunisation programs. This includes, but is not limited to, practitioners, academics and researchers, such as primary healthcare and specialist doctors, community and immunisation nurses, those working in public health, government (all levels) and health policy, pharmaceutical industry, regulators, aged care workers, journalists and ethics committee members. 

  • How much does this course cost?

    The first ‘Primer’ module, held on 17 November 2021, was free. Registration fee for the remaining 10 modules is A$200 (standard), A$100 (full-time students) or A$100 for 6 or fewer modules. Full fee remission scholarships are available for those from selected regional countries.

  • How is the course run?

    Sessions are run via video conference, facilitated by Australian and international experts in their field. Sessions include principles and case studies with opportunities for learner questions and contributions.  

    Download a flyer on the course

    Access to course materials is only provided to registrants. Course completion certificate for each module attended is also provided.

  • Course schedule
    Topic Date and time
    A primer in vaccines and immunisation: History, key epidemiologic and immunologic principles, introduction to vaccine programs and safety. Lessons from COVID-19 for future vaccines. November 2021 – Video available here
    Vaccine immunology: The immune response, innate and adaptive features, including immune memory, modern vaccine technologies and platforms. Wednesday February 9th 2022
    7pm – 9.30pm AEDT (Recording available for registrants)
    Vaccine design: More on advances in vaccine and immunisation technologies, intended and non-intended effects of vaccines, adjuvant mechanisms and safety. Wednesday February 23rd 2022
    7pm – 9.30pm AEDT (Recording available for registrants)
    Clinical trials: Clinical trial design – Phase I-IV, evolution of clinical trial processes, adaptive and cluster designs, volunteer recruitment, how results are analysed, vaccine immunogenicity, efficacy and safety for licensure. Wednesday March 2nd 2022
    7pm – 9.30pm AEDT
    The value of vaccines: Health economics for vaccine policy, disease burden and the public health impact of vaccines, vaccine funding frameworks, measuring vaccine cost effectiveness, equity and value. Wednesday 16 March 2022
    7pm – 9.30pm AEDT
    Vaccine manufacture and regulation: Licensure process, emergency use authorisation and good manufacturing practice, post-marketing commitments, IP sharing, technology transfer and global equity, interactions between pharmaceutical industry and governments. Wednesday 6 April 2022
    7 pm start
    Vaccination programs: Introducing vaccines into immunisation programs, importance and role of expert advisory bodies, vaccine delivery approaches, maternal immunisation, program communications and vaccine promotion, role of GAVI (the Vaccine Alliance), UNICEF and WHO. Wednesday 20 April 2022
    7 pm start
    Surveillance and evaluation of vaccination programs: Immunisation program surveillance infrastructure, measuring vaccine coverage, measuring effectiveness and public health impact on disease control, implementation. Wednesday 27 April 2022
    7 pm start
    Vaccine safety: Pharmacovigilance and models for monitoring vaccine safety and adverse events, assessing, preventing and mitigating adverse events, causality assessments, risk benefit framing and managing uncertainty. TBC
    Social and behavioural dimensions of vaccination: Social and behavioural drivers of vaccine uptake, influences on vaccine confidence, evidence-based interventions for increasing vaccine uptake, vaccine access, addressing vaccine hesitancy in the clinic and community. TBC
    Current and future vaccine preventable disease challenges: Planning for emerging infections and pandemic responses, accelerated pathways for new vaccines, the role of CEPI, technology transfer and increasing independence of LMIC, innovations in vaccine delivery and future vaccination programs. TBC


  • Free introductory module: A primer in vaccines and immunisation - recording

    Moderated by: Professor Terry Nolan and Professor Peter McIntyre

    Course welcome from: Professor Sharon Lewin (Director, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity) and Professor Kristine Macartney (Director, NCIRS) 

    Module 1 reading list

    Click here to view the reading list for Module 1

This course was supported by an untied educational grant from Sanofi-Aventis Australia to the University of Melbourne. NCIRS provided in-kind support towards the development and delivery of this course.

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