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NCIRS associate director awarded NHMRC and MRFF grants

Research fellowship to optimise adult vaccination programs 

Professor Bette Liu – Associate Director, Population Health at NCIRS and an affiliate of UNSW and the University of Sydney – has been awarded a $2.79 million grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Grant scheme

The research fellowship was awarded to enable the development and linking of large-scale, population-based data collections to: 

  • determine the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases in adults
  • identify high-risk groups 
  • examine the safety and effectiveness of current and potential future vaccination programs and schedules in Australia. 

This research will be used to inform strategies to optimise future adult vaccination programs, support the high-quality use of vaccines, and reduce the incidence and longer-term health impacts of vaccine-preventable diseases.

‘Australian science is thriving,’ said NHMRC CEO Professor Steve Wesselingh, ‘and our researchers, working in leading-edge health and medical research with a record of achieving impact, are setting the standard for others to follow.’ 

Research grant to determine impacts of long COVID  

Professor Liu and a range of collaborators have also been awarded $1.99 million from the Australian Government Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to investigate the effects of long COVID in Australia.

This research will be undertaken in partnership with researchers from NCIRS, UNSW, the University of Sydney, the University of Adelaide, Monash University, the Australian National University, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the George Institute for Global Health. 

The collaboration will generate novel population-level data on the impacts of post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC) – commonly known as long COVID – on health service use, health care costs, and workforce participation and disability across the country. 

These data will be used to model the impacts and cost-effectiveness of different COVID-19 vaccination strategies – including vaccination programs – and help to inform the development of future public health policy and program responses in Australia.   

‘Long COVID is an emerging health issue, both in Australia and internationally,’ said the Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care, who noted that the Australian Government is investing $50 million for research into this emerging public health issue.