This webinar was held as part of the 2021 NCIRS COVID-19 vaccine webinar series.

View the video of this webinar to:

  • learn about the 2021 influenza vaccination program, including suggested relative timing for administration of influenza vaccine with COVID-19 vaccines
  • hear an update on the roll out of COVID-19 vaccinations in Australia.

Our expert panel members also answered several vaccine questions asked by the attendees.



Alison McMillanProfessor (Practice) Alison J McMillan
Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Australian Government Department of Health

Alison McMillan is Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Australian Government Department of Health. Alison is a registered nurse with a Critical Care Nursing Certificate, a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Business Administration. She was awarded the National Emergency Medal in recognition of service following the 2009 Victorian bushfires.
Alison is an experienced executive manager with more than 30 years’ experience across the public health system. Alison has held senior executive roles in government and health services in Victoria, including the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer and Director of Quality, Safety and Patient Experience.

Alison is a member of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, contributing to key advice provided to the National Cabinet during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, as Co-Chair of the Infection Control Expert Group, provides advice and information on best practice on infection prevention and control in the community, hospitals, aged care, schools and community sport. 

Sheena SullivanAssociate Professor Sheena Sullivan
Head of Epidemiology, World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza

Sheena Sullivan is head of epidemiology at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza. She works with sentinel surveillance programs in Australia and abroad to estimate influenza vaccine effectiveness, quantify bias in vaccine studies, and burden of influenza and other respiratory viruses. 

She leads or collaborates on several sero-epidemiological cohort studies to characterise responses to influenza infection and vaccination.

Allen ChengProfessor Allen Cheng
Director of Infection Prevention and Healthcare Epidemiology, Alfred Health, Professor in Infectious Diseases Epidemiology, Chair of the Advisory Committee for Vaccines

Allen Cheng is an infectious diseases physician. He is Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology and Director of the Infection Prevention and Healthcare Epidemiology unit at Alfred Health. He has a PhD (Flinders University), a Master of Public Health (Monash University) and a Master of Biostatistics (University of Queensland).

Allen has previously worked as an infectious diseases and general physician in Darwin and Geelong, and has worked in remote communities in the Top End of Australia, and globally in Papua New Guinea, Thailand, the United States and Finland.

He is the current Chair of the Advisory Committee for Vaccines and a previous member of the Advisory Committee on Prescription Medicines (advising the Therapeutic Goods Administration on vaccine and drug regulation issues), and Co-Chair of the Australian Technical Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). He is also a member of the National Influenza Surveillance Committee.

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Last updated April 2023