COVID vaccination – latest updates

COVID 19 Vaccination at Erskineville Doctors UPDATE 4 August 2022

Eligibility and recommendations for booster doses:

Booster doses should be given 3 months after last vaccination OR COVID infection. Please check the dates before you book. See this poster for more details

  1. Anyone 16+ who has only had 2 doses of COVID vaccine
  2. Anyone 50+ who has had 3 doses of vaccine – recommended
  3. Anyone 30-49 who has had 3 doses of vaccine can consider it
  4. 16-29 year old with immunocompromise or with medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID illness
  5. Anyone who had 3 doses of vaccine for their primary course and a booster earlier this year (these people would have been on the list of “severely immunocompromised” due to medications they were taking or cancer treatments – we offered a 3rd vaccine in November 2021)

NOTE that the ATAGI advice for 16-40 is to consider discuss the likely benefit of a 4th dose vs the risk of pericarditis/myocarditis (based on age/sex).

Due to staff illness, reduced nursing staff and ongoing demand for other services we currently have very little capacity to provide appointments for COVID vaccines. We aim to have some vaccine drawn up each day so that we can offer vaccination opportunistically if you are at the practice for another appointment. We recommend you check the COVID Vaccine Checker will give you links to pharmacies in your area.

CategoryExamples
Immunocompromising conditions 
CancerNon-haematological cancer including those diagnosed within the past 5 years or on chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted anti-cancer therapy (active treatment or recently completed) or with advanced disease regardless of treatment. Survivors of childhood cancer.
Chronic inflammatory conditions requiring medical treatment with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or immune-suppressive or immunomodulatory therapies.Systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and similar who are being treated.
Chronic lung diseaseChronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease and severe asthma (defined as requiring frequent hospital visits or the use of multiple medications).
Chronic liver diseaseCirrhosis, autoimmune hepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease.
Severe chronic kidney disease (stage 4 or 5) 
Chronic neurological diseaseStroke, neurodegenerative disease (e.g dementia, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease), myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, myopathies, paralytic syndromes, epilepsy. 
Diabetes mellitus requiring medication 
Chronic cardiac diseaseIschaemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, congestive cardiac failure, cardiomyopathies, poorly controlled hypertension, pulmonary hypertension, complex congenital heart disease.
People with disability with significant or complex health needs or multiple comorbidities which increase risk of poor outcome from COVID-19Particularly those with trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) or complex multi-system disorders.
Severe obesity with BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2 
Severe underweight with BMI < 16.5 kg/m2

Which vaccine?

Comirnaty (Pfizer, from age 16 years) or Spikevax (Moderna, from age 18 years) are the preferred vaccines for a COVID-19 booster dose. Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) can be used in people aged 18 or older when an mRNA vaccine is contraindicated, or where a person declines vaccination with an mRNA vaccine. Nuvaxovid (Novavax) can be used in people aged 18 or older if no other COVID-19 vaccine is considered suitable for that person. PLEASE NOTE – we only have Pfizer vaccine at the moment.

5-11 year olds

Pfizer COVID vaccines are available for 5-11 year olds. We are running limited clinics once a week as demand has dropped off significantly. The vaccine is supplied in 10 dose vials so we need to plan for a group to be vaccinated on the same day. If you have a child who is turning 5, please call and let our nurse know so that we can arrange an appropriate time.

If you child has recently had COVID infection they can still have a vaccine at any time once they are well, though we ask that they don’t attend the practice in the 14 days from their first day of COVID.

The kid’s vaccine is a 10mcg dose of the Cominarty Pfizer vaccine (around a third of the adult dose), with a second dose  8 weeks later. Your child should receive the appropriate vaccine for their age at the time of vaccination. This might mean that they have the paediatric dose for their dose 1 and the the adult dose for dose 2.

For more detailed information please read: ATAGI recommendations on Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine use in children aged 5 to 11 years | Australian Government Department of Health

For more information, you can also listen to this podcast and read information from the NCIRS

Primary course of vaccine

Novavax is now available at other locations as the primary course (not yet as a booster) for anyone who hasn’t yet been vaccinated. You will need to look at the Vaccine Checker to find an appointment.

We still have Pfizer vaccine available for anyone who chooses this as a primary course. Moderna is also available at pharmacies.

Moderna will soon be available for 6 months to 4 year olds who have significant medical conditions. Erskineville Doctors will not have this vaccine. You will need to check the COVID vaccine checker.

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How to get ready for vaccination at Erskineville Doctors

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, or indicate this to our staff. The vaccine clinics are run by our Practice Nurses.

Read about the Pfizer vaccine here. More information about vaccines in children here

Don’t plan anything important the next day – about 1 in 5 people are finding they are unwell enough to need a day off (fatigue, fever, etc) – after Pfizer dose 2 or 3. The AusVaxSafety site is displaying data collected in Australia regarding common side effects of the vaccines.

Wear a top that allows you to easily expose the top of your arm.

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AVAILABLE VACCINES

The Agency for Clinical Innovation has a good summary here, comparing the available vaccines in Australia as well as vacccine being used elsewere or still being trialled.

PLEASE NOTE – COVID 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.

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Patient resources:

COVID-19 vaccination – Information on COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine | Australian Government Department of Health

Astra-Zeneca COVID vaccine

Pfizer COVID vaccine

Vaccine eligibility

Preparing for COVID vaccine

After your vaccine and an explainer about your level of protection

Proof of vaccination and how to add it to your Service NSW app

If you are interested in more detail about potential vaccines, the NCIRS has a dedicated page here,

General information about vaccination:

Immunisation Coalition.

Australian Academy of Science

NCIRS

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