Presenting critical immunisation information – COVID-19 and beyond

Information on the safest and most effective use of vaccines is critical for both health professionals and the general public. This was never more apparent than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biotext staff are health content experts, and work extensively in the area of vaccine and immunisation information and communications.

Partnerships and projects include:

COVID-19 pandemic

Building on our extensive experience in public health and immunisation content, Biotext worked with the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and the COVID-19 Vaccine Taskforce throughout the pandemic to help transform technical advice about vaccination into plain-language web pages and resources for various audiences. Our work included clinical guidance for health professionals, resources for consumers, and a graphical representation of data on the risks and benefits of vaccination.

ATAGI minutes and information products

Biotext also provides a range of communication services to support ATAGI’s work. Biotext has produced the minutes for ATAGI meetings since 2011. We have an excellent track record of delivering the draft and final documents to the department on time and to a very high standard. We consistently receive excellent feedback from ATAGI members on the high quality of the minutes. Members have been particularly impressed by our ability to synthesise the highly technical, complex and often fast-paced discussions into a concise record that captures the key issues. We also help health professionals and consumers understand immunisation issues through products such as the ATAGI annual statement on immunisation and annual influenza statements.

When vaccination recommendations need to change (for example, in response to new vaccines becoming available), the proposed updates need to go through a period of public consultation. We write a public consultation document that explains the proposed changes in plain language, so that consumers can understand how the new recommendations may affect them and their families. The document also details the rationale and scientific evidence behind the new recommendations, so that health professionals and immunisation providers can be assured of the rigorous evidence-based process. Once the changes are finalised, we edit the chapter before publication, as well as any related infographics.

Australian Immunisation Handbook

Immunisation providers rely on the Australian immunisation handbook for the latest clinical advice. In 2018, Biotext was engaged to rewrite the Australian Immunisation Handbook for digital delivery. Working closely with user experience specialists and subject matter experts, we transformed the 600-page printed book into an intuitive and interactive online experience. This included ensuring that updates to guidelines were prominent on each page of content so practitioners could quickly access the latest information. Our work included content analysis, information architecture, content creation, editing and proofreading, advising on prototypes, and validating the content in the staging site. We transformed the content from dense academic-style text to a plain-language format that meets best practice for web writing. Importantly, the new language retained the accuracy of the evidence-based recommendations, while making it faster and easier for busy health professionals to access the information they need. We also developed a series of infographics to give health professionals a quick visual guide to complex topics.

We continue to work with the department to keep the website up to date and accurate, with recent updates to chapters including herpes zoster, rabies and tuberculosis.

Vaccine safety in Australia: AusVaxSafety summary report, Department of Health and Aged Care and the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance

AusVaxSafety is a national system for monitoring vaccine safety in Australia. The summary report gives a plain-language summary of the data generated by the AusVaxSafety system. Biotext worked with the Department of Health and Aged Care and the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance to produce the annual AusVaxSafety summary report. Our team provided writing, copyediting and proofreading services to update the data and text, collaborating with the department on content, interpretation and presentation. We also provided design services; in 2019 the Biotext-designed AusVaxSafety infographics won Best Infographic in the Australian Clear Communications awards. We have continued to update the infographics to visualise the key messages from the new data and highlight the success of the program.

Questions about vaccination

Although most Australian parents will vaccinate their children, many still have questions about vaccination, and misinformation is common. The Department of Health and Aged Care and the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance developed a set of questions and answers targeting the most common queries from parents and immunisation providers. Biotext worked with department experts to rework the drafted dense material into clear and approachable web content that still had the detail that parents required. We designed a clear structure to facilitate easy navigation, and included links to further information wherever available.

Our role:

  • Client partnerships to ensure business, stakeholder and user needs are met
  • Author partnerships to ensure subject matter expertise is accurately presented
  • Content analysis to understand conmplex content
  • Content design for robust frameworks to support updates
  • Information architecture to support user navigation and understanding
  • Content development to provide clear guidance
  • Information design to improve user understanding
  • Infographics to improve user engagement
  • Editing and proofreading for highly technical content
  • Validation of content on webpages