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COVID-19 update – 12 January 2022


COVID-19 vaccine stock management and delivery delays

Has your COVID-19 vaccine delivery been delayed? Call CESPHN on 1300 986 991 option 7 for COVID-19 or email to access emergency Pfizer 12 years+ (Purple) vaccine supplies or notify us of excess vaccines available for redistribution.

VOC has advised due to the high demand for vaccines over the holiday period, all Pfizer 12 years+ (Purple) primary care sites with orders arriving in the week ending 7 January 2022 or 14 January 2022 will include a one-off top-up of additional doses. All primary care sites that have placed orders scheduled to arrive in the week ending 14 January 2022 will be provided an extra 240 doses of Pfizer (12 years+).

COVID-19 cases in the region

Over the past four weeks to 11 January 2022 there have been 123,658 cases of COVID in the region. Please note that the actual number of cases is likely to be much more.

People with a positive rapid antigen test are no longer required to obtain a PCR test to confirm this result. The NSW Premier announced that from today people aged 16 years or over must report their positive rapid antigen test result via the Service NSW app or their MyService NSW Account within 24 hours.

People can also register results for another adult or a child. This feature can be found in the COVID resources section of the app. People have the option of registering positive RAT test results from 1 January 2022. People who register their results will be asked some questions about their health. Those who are pregnant, unvaccinated or have a serious medical condition will be asked to complete a follow up survey from NSW Health.

There are now nationally consistent testing and isolation protocols. See link here. The following NSW Health risk matrix classifies the level of risk for health care workers exposed to a positive COVID case.

Vaccination update

With the rapid increase in COVID cases it is critical that booster doses be provided especially to those who are vulnerable and have reduced immunity to COVID.

A COVID-19 booster vaccination is now recommended for anyone aged 18 and older who completed their primary course 4 or more months ago. Spikevax (Moderna) can be used as a booster vaccine.

General practices and pharmacists are encouraged to review their patients and identify those who are unvaccinated or need a booster dose and arrange COVID-19 vaccination for them.

Vaccinations for children aged 5 to 11 years commenced this week and CESPHN is working with the Commonwealth to address any local distribution issues.

COVID-19 care in the community

With the increasing numbers of COVID cases, low risk immunised patients (the majority of people) are being asked to self-manage at home. People who test positive to COVID (via PCR test or who report their positive RAT test) are receiving an SMS from NSW Health and asked to complete a brief survey that identifies those patients considered high risk.

High risk patients will be managed by the local health district virtual care units.

See the flow chart (released 12 January 2022) from NSW Health on Caring for adults and children in the community with COVID-19 for a high level summary of the process.

Please refer to HealthPathways for the current definitions of low, medium and high risk. These definitions will be frequently updated and will differ between the two LHDs: see links below.

Check the pathways regularly as they will inevitably change.

Our PHN will be hosting two one hour webinars where HealthPathways Clinical Leads will take you through the COVID care pathways in more detail. To register for these sessions please see below:

Resources for COVID + community members

The following resources are designed for people managing COVID at home:

NSW Health also has a COVID-19 care at home support line – phone 1800 960 933, 8.30 am to 8.30 pm, 7 days per week. 

Accessing pulse oximeters

Distribution of pulse oximeters to patients identified as high risk is occurring via local health districts. CESPHN have access to a small supply. GPs with patients they believe require a pulse oximeter urgently are asked to email with their name and address and we will arrange delivery of an oximeter. Practices actively seeing moderate risk COVID positive patients can also be sent up to five pulse oximeters if you request these.

Additional PPE available

Vaccinating pharmacists

Pharmacists who are undertaking vaccinations may also receive a bundle of Personal Protective Equipment from our PHN that will support them for the next 4 weeks. Within this bundle each pharmacist is able to receive 90 N95 respirators and one set of goggles or a face shield. Following this initial bundle each pharmacist will be able to order N95 respirators until 31 March 2022. To order this PPE for your pharmacist  click here.

General practice and community pharmacies

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) packages including surgical and N95/P2 masks, are available for community pharmacies and those GPs who continue to see their patients within their practices. PPE guidelines can be found here. CESPHN will continue to distribute these supplies. To order PPE for your practice or pharmacy click here.