Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in immunocompromised children

Long term follow up of persistence of immunity following quadrivalent Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in immunocompromised children. 

Research from Kirby Institute shows three dose schedule of HPV vaccine protects vulnerable children with weakened immunity at least five years after vaccination. READ MORE


Parents support “No Jab, No Pay” policy in Australia, but new research raises questions about equity

Four in five parents support the Australian Government’s controversial ‘No Jab, No Pay’ vaccination policy, but the policy may be disproportionately impacting low-income families, new research from the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney suggests.

The ‘No Jab, No Pay’ legislation, introduced in 2016, removed the option of non-medical exemptions from the vaccination requirements to receive certain family and childcare tax benefits, with the intention of boosting vaccination coverage.

Kirby Institute researchers conducted an online survey of 400 parents with children under five to understand knowledge, attitudes and opinions in relation to the ‘No Jab, No Pay’ policy. READ MORE

Flucast: A Real-Time Tool to Predict Severity of an Influenza Season

Check out new publication, Flucast: A Real-Time Tool to Predict Severity of an Influenza Season.

Influenza causes serious illness requiring annual health system surge capacity, yet annual seasonal variation makes it difficult to forecast and plan for the severity of an upcoming season. Research shows that hospital and health system stakeholders indicate a preference for forecasting tools that are easy to use and understand to assist with surge capacity planning for influenza. READ MORE  #influenzaseason #flucast #epidemiology #pandemic

ISER lunch time seminar at GHS 2019 conference, 'Epidemic Insights: smallpox and monkeypox'

Global Health Security 2019 at International Convention Centre, Sydney (18th – 20th June) - In June 2019, over 800 members of the global health security community gathered in Sydney, Australia, to participate in the first International Scientific Conference on Global Health Security. Participants came from over 65 countries, representing academia, local, national and international governmental and non-governmental organizations, public and animal health and security professionals, and the private sector, all committed to advancing global health security. On 20 June 2019, NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence, Integrated Systems for Epidemic Response (ISER) hosted lunchtime seminar titled, “Epidemic Insights: smallpox and monkeypox”

The session was attended by over 90 biosecurity stakeholders from across the globe. Participants heard presentations on topics of; Re-emergence of smallpox – prevention, treatment and response, Monkeypox risk factors and disease control efforts and Smallpox vaccine stockpiling and bio-preparedness.

Is Civilization on the Verge of Collapse?

The question of whether civilization is on the verge of collapse may be as old as civilization itself.

This enduring query brought together a group of panelists that moderator Edan Lepucki called “the most interesting dinner party I’ve ever been invited to” for a Zócalo/Getty event before an overflow crowd at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.

Lepucki, author of the post-apocalyptic novel California, stressed that addressing the event’s title question—”Is Civilization on the Verge of Collapse?”—starts with defining what type of civilization we are talking about. One panelist, University of New South Wales global biosecurity scholar Raina MacIntyre, said it’s clear that our concerns about collapse are centered on technological civilization, which she described as “a fragile ecosystem under threat for a lot of reasons.”




New research examines preparedness for smallpox attack

The study was conducted by the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia and is the first globally to monitor health-system requirements for a smallpox deliberate release.

“While infectious disease outbreaks are inherently unpredictable, there are many factors we can control and mitigate, to ensure epidemics are stopped rapidly,” said Raina MacIntyre, head of the Biosecurity Program at the Kirby Institute at UNSW. “It is essential to plan for health system surge capacity, both human resources and physical space requirements, in order to minimize the impact of potential bioterrorism attacks.” READ MORE

Chief Engells

Chief Thomas Engells Memorial Scholarship in Biothreat Response 2019

Thomas Engells, Adjunct Associate Professor and the Chief of Police at the University of Texas Medical Branch since 2010, passed away suddenly in 2018 at age 59. Chief Engells was Adjunct Associate Professor at SPHCM, UNSW, and worked on both teaching and research with UNSW academics. He taught in the UNSW course on Bioterrorism and Health Intelligence, where he delivered lectures on Insider Threat in laboratories and on his experience with the disaster response during Hurricane Harvey in his home town of Houston in 2017. He was an affiliate of an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence, ISER. Chief Engells was a law enforcement officer for the University of Texas System for more than 34 years and had twice been named the system’s police chief of the year, in 2011 and 2014. He was responsible for biosecurity at The National Laboratory in Galveston, Texas, a Biosafety Level 4 laboratory that conducts research on highly infectious diseases, such as Ebola. His experience with the Galveston National Laboratory together with his law enforcement and military background gave him a unique insight into biosecurity. He published several scholarly papers on biosecurity in the medical literature, highlighting the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration in protecting global biosecurity. His expertise was sought widely on expert committees within the US and overseas, and he was a leader in biosecurity with true vision and fortitude.

We have been privileged at UNSW to benefit in both teaching and research from his expertise, and to get to know him as a colleague and friend.

Chief Engells was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. For 20 years he served as assessor and team leader for the national Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies. Chief Engells grew up in Austin, Texas and graduated from the University of Texas in 1979. He received a master’s degree in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University and a master’s in homeland security and defense from the U.S. Naval postgraduate school in 2005.

In a testament to his unique, insightful and scholarly approach to the multidisciplinary field of biosecurity, we have established a scholarship to ensure his legacy continues in the next generation of national security professionals. This scholarship aims to find talented individuals in law enforcement or defense in the United States to build on his unique legacy in biosecurity.


What does the scholarship provide:

The scholarship, funded by the Biosecurity Program at the Kirby Institute, UNSW, will provide the winner with their airfare and accommodation to attend an exclusive, invitation-only event, Pacific Eclipse, on December 9-10 2019 at one of the three sites below. This closed event is for high level government and non-government stakeholders in biosecurity and is hosted by The PLuS Alliance and Stratium Global It is an immersive biothreat simulation at three sites across the USA (Washington DC, Phoenix and Honolulu), with cooperation from US Indo-Pacific Command.

An interactive tabletop exercise (TTX), using a hypothetical unknown epidemic arising in the Pacific, will be conducted. The TTX focus is to assess inter-agency and international response to a pandemic disaster. Tensions between global, national and local priorities will be tested using interactive polling and live decision making.

Immediate feedback will be provided on the impact of decisions about resources and operations using mathematical modelling of the epidemic.

The event will run over two half-days to allow different time zones to participate conveniently. Debriefing on identified gaps will be integrated into the TTX. A range of high-profile international experts from health, defence, law enforcement and emergency management, from government and non-government organisations, will provide expert input and real-world examples relevant to the TTX.

This event focuses on cross-disciplinary response at global, national and local levels in several countries, and aspects of preparedness which are often taken for granted. It will challenge you to think outside your own discipline, remit and jurisdiction.

Participants will come to the event ‘cold’, with no prior briefing or preparation. No individual or sector will be singled out or tested – instead, group decision making will be reviewed in a safe and collaborative environment.



Professional in law enforcement or defence forces in a Five Eyes country (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) who either

  1. Is in a leadership role which requires awareness of biothreats


  1. Is pursuing higher education in the study of counter-terrorism, defense, homeland security or biosecurity.


Deadline for submission: August 23rd 2019


Requirements for submission:

Curriculum vitae and 1 page candidate statement outlining why you wish to apply and how it will benefit your career. Submit applications to: with the subject header “Application for The Engells Scholarship 2019”.

Death toll of children due to acute encephalitis

According to ‘Acute encephalitis in India: An unfolding tragedy’ by Jai Prakash Narain, AC Dhariwal, and C Raina MacIntyre published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR), between 2008 and 2014, more than 44,000 encephalitis cases were recorded in India with over 6,000 deaths in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar alone. In 2016, over 125 children died in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College. READ MORE

What is encephalitis, how did 53 children die in India?

A look at the causes, symptoms and treatment of encephalitis READ MORE

#encephalitis #Epidemiology

Flu vaccination for 2019 flu season - Weekend breakfast session on ABC news

Flu vaccination for 2019 flu season - Watch Weekend Breakfast on ABC news