Rotavirus hospitalisations are more prevalent in the Northern Territory (NT) than anywhere else in Australia.

Menzies have a major focus on immunisation and vaccine-preventable diseases and are investigating ways to improve management of common diseases that affect Indigenous children, such as the rotavirus vaccine. This vaccination became routine for NT infants in October 2006.

Our research focus:
  • To investigate the effectiveness of the rotavirus and other vaccines in the NT.
Our research impact:
  • A Menzies study called ‘PneuMum’ established that vaccination of mothers has led to increased antibody transfer to their babies. This is a step towards establishing whether mothers can transfer antibody protection to their babies through breast milk - ultimately preventing ear disease.
  1. Skull, S., Licciardi, P., Balloch, A., Leach, A., Moberley, S., Carapetis, J., et al. (2010). Immune hyporesponsiveness following repeat pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (23vPPV) in Indigenous Australian adults and adolescents. 12th National Immunisation Conference. Adelaide, 2010 (conference abstract).
  2. Licciardi, P.V., Balloch, A., Moberley, S., McKinnon, M., Mulholland, E.K., Andrews, R., et al. (2010). Indigenous Australians have impaired immune responses following repeated immunization with the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (23vPPV). 7th International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD 7).  Tel Aviv, Israel (oral abstract).
  3. Johnston, V., Thomas, D.P., McDonnell, J., & Andrews, R.M. (2011). Maternal smoking in the household during pregnancy and postpartum: findings from an Indigenous cohort in the Northern Territory. The Medical Journal of Australia, 194(10), 556-559.
  4. Dunbar, M., Moberley, S., Nelson, S., Leach, A.J., & Andrews, R. (2007). Clear not simple: an approach to community consultation for a maternal pneumococcal vaccine trial among Indigenous women in the Northern Territory of Australia. Vaccine, 25(13), 2385-8.
  5. Snelling, T.L., Markey, P., Carapetis, J.R, & Andrews, R.M. (2012). Rotavirus in the Northern Territory before and after vaccination. Microbiology Australia, 33(2), 61-63.
  6. Snelling, T.L., Andrews, R.M., Kirkwood, C.D., Culvenor, S., & Carapetis, J.R. (2011). Case-control evaluation of the effectiveness of the G1P[8] human rotavirus vaccine during an outbreak of rotavirus G2P[4] infection in central Australia. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 52(2), 191-9.
  7. Snelling, T.L., Schultz, R., Graham, J., Roseby, R., Barnes, G.L., Andrews, R.M., & Carapetis, J.R. (2009). Rotavirus and the Indigenous children of the Australian outback: monovalent vaccine effective in a high-burden setting. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 49(3), 428-31.
Click here to view more vaccination publications in PubMed.


  1. MEDIA RELEASE | Flu vaccine elicits robust immune responses in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations


    For the first time, researchers have found the influenza vaccine to be just as effective in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as it is non-Indigenous people.

  2. Pregnant women snub flu jab


    AUSTRALIAN women are advised to get the flu jab during pregnancy to protect themselves and their baby, yet only one-third are opting to have the shot.

  3. Positive Birth Outcomes For FLU Vaccine During Pregnacy


    Almost 2500 women had the vaccination, while more than 4600 opted not to. Menzies School of Health Research PhD student and lead author Lisa McHugh said they found no clinically significant differences in infants’ birthweight or gestational age at birth between the two groups of women.

  4. Study shows the safety of flu vaccine during pregnancy


    An Australia-wide study published in the international journal Vaccine has provided reassuring evidence on the safety of influenza vaccination during pregnancy.