COVID 19 Vaccination at Erskineville Doctors in brief (more detail below) (This is a long post, please read through before you call us)
Pfizer vaccine bookings will be available ONLINE ONLY once we have the available stock. Please DO NOT call the practice to make these bookings.
COVID Astra-Zeneca vaccine is currently available – you can book online any day Monday – Thursday. Please call if you cannot find an appointment, as we can probably fit you in somewhere.
PLEASE NOTE – both vaccines are supplied in multi-dose vials and there are restrictions around how long we we have to use up a vial once opened or diluted. This means that in general we have to book you into to a specific times set aside for vaccination, to avoid wasting any doses. Please be considerate of this when we offer you appointment times.
Pfizer COMINARTY vaccine – we have been allocated a small supply of Pfizer vaccine (only 60/week initially, increasing to 150/week). Note that we are currently vaccinating our patients in the Government’s priority groups – aged 40-59, or 16-39 who meet eligibility criteria. We cannot offer the Pfizer vaccine to patients 60 and over, other than the rare exceptions outlined by ATAGI (eg. anaphylaxis to a first dose of Astra-Zeneca vaccine). We are required by the Government to follow these specifications.
We will open online bookings for Pfizer vaccines once our stock levels increase. We are not taking phone bookings – please respect this as our receptionists are very busy responding to the current changes. You can go to the eligibility checker to find bookings at other clinics, as many other GP practices in the inner west will also have supply. (If you add Sydney Olympic Park you will get the options there, see also www.sydwestvac.com.au – book directly through their website for Astra Zeneca or Pfizer vaccines). As at 23 July, pregnant women have been added to the eligibility list, and NSW Health has recommended that we extend the second dose gap to anywhere up to 6 weeks to facilitate first doses for more people.
Astra Zeneca COVID Vaccine – We have ample stock of the Astra Zeneca COVID 19 Vaccine which is currently recommended by ATAGI for people aged 60 and over. Note that people aged 18-59 can choose to have the Astra Zeneca vaccine after discussion with their doctor, noting that ATAGI still lists the Pfizer vaccine as the preferred option for people aged under 60. Both vaccines have good effectiveness against hospitalisation and severe disease. The risk/benefit analysis for individuals will be affected by the number of cases spreading in the community at any time. You would need to have a conversation with your doctor, preferably prior to booking. We understand that individuals might have a specific reason for requesting the vaccine and are happy to counsel you accordingly. See also the UK advice.
If you have already had a first dose of AZ COVID vaccine, regardless of your age, the current advice is to proceed with your second dose of AZ COVID vaccine. The effectiveness of this vaccine against the Delta strain is comparable with the Pfizer vaccine (after the complete course of both vaccines). The initial guidelines are based on data that vaccine effectiveness improves as you approach 12 weeks, though ATAGI has suggested this could be done earlier during an outbreak.
If you are not a regular patient and want a COVID vaccine with us please select “Astra Zeneca COVID vaccine dose 1”in the online booking system as your appointment type, do not select “New Patient”. As we review your medical history prior to the vaccine its very important you add your medical history on the new patient form and complete the COVID vaccine consent form. Please also send a health summary from your usual GP the week before your appointment.
Please fill in the electronic COVID Vaccination consent form that is sent to you via SMS. If you have further questions or concerns you can book an earlier appointment with one of our doctors to discuss.
At the end of your first appointment, we will book you in for your second dose.
COVID Vaccination information in more detail – this is a long post, read carefully!
If you are interested in getting a COVID vaccination, please go to the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibiity Checker . At the end of this process you will get advice about your current eligibility and options for booking or registering your interest. If you add “Sydney Olympic Park” as the location it will give you some of the Homebush options. Please note that the indication on the eligibility checker for next dose availability appears to be talking about for ANY vaccine.
Astra-Zeneca vaccine – are recommended for anyone aged 60 and over. We currently have appointments available online via Automed. Please choose the Astra Zeneca COVID vaccine dose 1 appointment. If you cannot find an appointment for AZ vaccine please call us. You will be sent a link to information and a consent form. If you have more questions about your particular situation, please book a separate time to discuss this with your doctor. Patients under 60 can receive the Astra-Zeneca vaccine but should discuss this with their doctor. You can also phone us for an appointment.
Astra-Zeneca vaccine is given in two doses, between 4-12 weeks apart. Vaccine effectiveness improves with a longer spacing between doses, though it appears that two doses are important to optimise effectiveness against the delta strain. We are able to bring forward appointments if patients decide to, taking into account their personal circumstances and the lockdown.
Pfizer vaccine We have 150/week. We are currently vaccinating our patients in the Government’s priority groups (aged 16-39, who are an NDIS participant, Indigenous or with specified chronic medical conditions, pregnant women ), and anyone aged 40-59 . We cannot offer this vaccine to patients 60 and over, other than the rare exceptions outlined by ATAGI (eg. anaphylaxis to a first dose of Astra-Zeneca vaccine). All bookings will be done online
Pfizer vaccine is given in two doses 3-6 weeks apart, where possible. 21 days is the minimum. We are booking second doses to balance out this recommendation against the impetus to get as many first doses into people. We will book your second appointment on the day you first attend.
For Pfizer vaccine, eligible people can follow this link https://vaccination.slhd.nsw.gov.au/vc/SydneyOlympicPark/2 to book online NSW Vaccination Centre at Sydney Olympic Park, or at Sydney West Vaccine Clinic (also at SOP). The Vaccine Eligibility Checker will offer you some other options.
If you need proof of your eligibility due to chronic medical conditions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org : Name, Date of birth, which practice you will be attending, and your permission for a health summary to be uploaded to My Health Record (if you have one) or to email to you (noting that email is not considered to be a secure mode of transmission.)
How to get ready for vaccination at Erskineville Doctors
Read about the Pfizer vaccine here.
Complete the consent form that is sent to your phone. This can also be done with your doctor at another consult, and we recommend you book a separate appointment if you have more questions. If the consent form hasn’t been done in advance you’ll need to turn up about 5-10 minutes early to read and complete this.
Don’t plan anything important the next day – about 1 in 4-5 people are finding they are unwell enough to need a day off (fatigue, fever, etc) – after AZ dose 1 and after Pfizer dose 2. The AusVaxSafety site is displaying data collected in Australia regarding common side effects of the vaccines.
Plan to wear a top that allows you to easily expose the top of your arm.
Plan your work schedule accordingly – 1/5 people need a day off after 1st dose AZ vaccine and 2nd dose Pfizer vaccine.
Astra Zeneca vaccine
Patients 60 and over are eligible for the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. Younger patients can also choose this vaccine, noting the information below. Updated information about the Astra-Zeneca COVID vaccine is available at health.gov.au. Vaccine safety data is being collected daily in Australia – patients being contacted via SMS after their vaccine to check on side effects. The reports are updated here. Some information from the UK might also assist your decision.
As of 16 June. Commonwealth Government has advised that the Pfizer vaccine is the preferred vaccine for people under 60. This recommendation is based on:
- the increasing risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 in older adults (and hence a higher benefit from vaccination), and
- the increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following AstraZeneca vaccine in those under 60 years.
Eligible patients include anyone aged 40-59, and those aged 16-39 who have been deemed higher priority. It’s a long list, so please read and consider your eligibility and the proof you will require. (Most of the detail is at the end of this post)
Currently, in addition to age under 60, ATAGI has approved , Comirnaty (Pfizer) for anyone with:
- A past history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST)
- A past history of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT)
- A past history of idiopathic splanchnic (mesenteric, portal and splenic) venous thrombosis
- Anti-phospholipid syndrome with thrombosis
- People with contraindications to COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, i.e.
- Anaphylaxis to a previous dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, or to an ingredient of the vaccine
- Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia occurring after the first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
- Other serious adverse events attributed to the first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
We are unable to administer Pfizer vaccine in any other circumstances and in some cases will need to seek advice from the NSW Specialist Immunisation Service to approve these exemptions.
We understand that some people over 60 have concerns about the AZ vaccine due to their specific medical conditions . You should make a separate consultation to discuss any concerns with your doctor prior to the vaccination appointment. . If you have had a first dose of AZ vaccine you should still have this for your second dose, regardless of your age, unless you had a severe/unusual reaction. These will be considered on a case by case basis and we take advice from the NSW Specialist Immunisation Service.
If you have had one dose of Astra-Zeneca vaccine, the advice is to proceed to the second dose . The risk of thrombocytopenia thrombotic syndrome(rare blood clots) following a second dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is much lower than the risk following a first dose. The UK has reported an estimated rate of 1.5 per million second doses (compared to a reported risk of 14.2 per million first doses in the UK).
If you had a severe or unexpected adverse event to a first dose, please discuss this with your usual doctor before your 2nd vaccine appointment to make sure it is advisable to proceed to dose 2.
Where else is the vaccine available?
Check the COVID VACCINE ELIGIBILITY CHECKER. You need to enter your relevant information and at the end it will give you some options for your local area. If you add Sydney Olympic Park as your location it will give you options there.
Note that there are two separate facilities at Sydney Olympic Park. Both of these are running efficiently and take less than an hour:
- Sydney West Vaccine Centre https://www.sydwestvac.com.au/. This is run by the GP Respiratory Clinic, and was set up in February. It is set up in a medium sized medical centre and the process will take about 30-40 minutes. Call them if you need to organised a disability parking spot. They are currently only giving Astra-Zeneca vaccine, but expect to be able to offer Pfizer vaccine to eligible patients from mid-July
- NSW Health Vaccination Centre https://vaccination.slhd.nsw.gov.au/vc/SydneyOlympicPark/1. You will need to choose to book for Pfizer or AZ based on your eligibility. Please note that if you have booked for the wrong vaccine they will be reviewing this at the time of your attendance and will offer you the vaccine according to current guidelines, regardless of any documentation your doctor has provided. See the list above for exceptions.
If you do get an appointment at another place and need proof of your eligibility due to chronic medical conditions, please email email@example.com : Name, Date of birth, which practice you will be attending, and your permission for a health summary to be uploaded to My Health Record (if you have one). You should also read this advice about preparing for your vaccine and this fact sheet. .
Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine
The following people are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine:
- All adults aged 40 and over
- All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 16 and upwards
- NDIS participants aged years 16 and over, and carers of NDIS participants of any age
- Temporary visa holders aged under 50 years who are currently in Australia and have been approved for return travel to Australia through the travel exemption process.
Quarantine and border workers
Health care workers
Aged care and disability care residents and staff
People aged 16 and over with an underlying medical condition or significant disability*
Critical and high risk workers aged 16 and over including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing.
Individuals with an Australian Border Force outwards travel exemption in an eligible category
Some states and territories will amend their eligibility based on their COVID-19 situation and vaccine supply and uptake. Please stay up to date with information from your local state department of health.
Phase 1b –
- *The list of medical conditions includes (as per the eligibility checker)
- solid organ transplant recipients who are on immune suppressive therapy
- adult survivors of childhood cancers
- bone marrow transplant recipients, people on chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy
- immune suppressive therapy for graft versus host disease
- haematological diseases or cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma, diagnosed within the last 5 years or on recently completed active treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted anti-cancer therapy or with advanced disease regardless of treatment
- non-haematological cancers, diagnosed within the past 5 years or on recently completed active treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted anti-cancer therapy or with advanced disease regardless of treatment
- chronic inflammatory conditions on medical treatments, including people with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and similar who are being treated with Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or immune-suppressive or immunomodulatory therapies. This generally does not include people living with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome or similar non-immunocompromising inflammatory conditions.
- primary or acquired immunodeficiency, including congenital causes of immunodeficiency and HIV/AIDS
- severe mental health conditions, including schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder
- chronic renal (kidney) failure, but not including mild to moderate chronic kidney disease
- heart disease including ischaemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathies and pulmonary hypertension
- chronic lung disease including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, cystic fibrosis and interstitial lung disease. This doesn’t include mild or moderate asthma
- severe obesity, with a body mass index of 40 or over
- chronic liver disease
- some neurological conditions, including stroke, dementia, Multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy. This doesn’t include migraine or cluster headaches
- poorly controlled blood pressure (people taking two or more medicines for blood pressure control)
- people with Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, or traumatic brain and spinal cord injury