Severe heatwave conditions are forecast in NSW in the coming days. Read more


COVID-19 update – 14 July 2021

14 July 2021


NSW COVID-19 outbreak

There are now 864 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in NSW reported since 16 June 2021. Click here for all the latest information relating to the NSW outbreak including case locations and alerts. 

See here or check our website for information on the latest testing locations within the region. Numerous new pop-up clinics have been established and anyone with symptoms or who has been to identified case locations should get tested.

Additional PPE available

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) packages including surgical and N95/P2 masks, gloves, gowns and goggles willbe made available for those GPs who continue to see their patients within their practices. PPE guidelines can be found here

CESPHN will continue to distribute these supplies and to order PPE for your practice click here.

Mandatory COVID-19 surveillance testing 

Given the high number of COVID-19 cases and exposure venues in the Fairfield Local Government Area (LGA), Fairfield residents who work in other LGAs must now be tested for COVID-19 every three days, even if they do not have symptoms.

Please click here for further information.

Vaccination rollout progress in our region

Each week we provide an update on vaccination rollout progress in our region. In the last week:

  • an additional 46,100 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered to people living in the CESPHN region (27 per cent were AstraZeneca vaccines and 73 per cent were Pfizer vaccines); and
  • the total doses of vaccines administered to people living in the CESPHN region is 413,267 doses as at11 July 2021.

CESPHN estimates that to be fully vaccinated, the total number of doses required to completely vaccinate those aged over 15 years is 2,826,464 doses. As at11 July 2021, an estimated 14.3 per cent of total doses required have been administered to people living in the region (1.5% increase from last week). 

Access to the Pfizer vaccine within the region continues to improve. A further 46 general practices have received approval to commence administering the Pfizer vaccine in July bringing the total approved to date to 126. Those practices already administering the Pfizer vaccine with an allocation of 150 doses per week have been offered an increase in allocation to 300 doses per week.

We anticipate all practices who have registered their interest in administering the Pfizer vaccine and meet site requirements will be approved to do so once supply increases. 

NSW Health vaccination clinics and centresare now offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged over 40, and pharmacies are expected to be given approval to do the same in the next month. 

  • A new vaccination clinic in the Sydney CBD will open on Monday, 19 July, and will have capacity to administer up to 7,000 vaccinations each week.
  • A mass vaccination centre at Macquarie Fields in Sydney’s south-west will open by the end of the July and will have capacity to administer up to 20,000 vaccinations each week.
  • A mass vaccination centre in Wollongong will open in August and will have capacity to administer up to 15,000 vaccinations each week.

Interval between AZ vaccine doses

On 13 July, ATAGI released a statementwhich recommends that in outbreak situations, a shorter interval of 4 to 8 weeks is preferred between the first and second doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. Shortening the gap between first and second doses will bring forward short term protection, which is expected to be beneficial in outbreak situations.

Given the heightened risk of people becoming infected, ATAGI’s advice in responding to such an outbreak of the COVID-19 delta strain is that anyone who has received an AstraZeneca vaccine more than 4 weeks ago should contact their vaccine provider to arrange their second dose as soon as possible.

ATAGI has also reinforced its earlier advice that the benefits to people aged 60 or over of being vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine strongly outweigh the risks – and that vaccination is essential for this group in the context of an outbreak. Noting the current constrained supply of the Pfizer vaccine, ATAGI also recommends adults under the age of 60 who do not have immediate access to the Pfizer vaccine should consider the benefits and risks of earlier protection through the AstraZeneca vaccine. This recommendation is in the context of an outbreak increasing the risk of people contracting COVID-19 – and hence the increased benefit vaccination provides. Click here for more information.

In non-outbreak settings, the preferred interval between doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca remains at12 weeks.

Eligibility criteria for Pfizer

  • All adults aged 40-59  
  • People aged 16-39 years who are:
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 
    • NDIS participants and carers of NDIS participants  
    • People diagnosed with a disability attending centre-based services such as day programs or supported employment
    • Carers of a person with a disability or an elderly person
    • Living with an underlying medical condition that increases their risk of severe COVID-19 (see ATAGI clinical guidance)
    • Residents and staff of disability group homes
    • Critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing
    • Health, aged or disability care workers including administrative staff in health care settings
    • Quarantine and border workers and their household contacts
  • Pregnant women although they are not yet picked up by  the eligibility checker, current ATAGI advice  is that pregnant women are an at risk group and should be vaccinated  is that pregnant women are an at risk group and should be vaccinated 
  • People aged 16 and above (with no upper age limit) who are: ​
    • resident or staff of an aged care home
  • People aged 60 and above with a contraindication to the AZ vaccine including a past history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), idiopathic splanchnic (mesenteric, portal, splenic) vein thrombosis or antiphospholipid syndrome with thrombosis.

Prioritisation of residential aged care workers

General practices should prioritise COVID vaccination of residential aged care workers preferably within two weeks of a vaccination enquiry being made by an aged care worker. Vaccination becomes mandatory for this group on 17 September.

Access could be could be facilitated through prioritising aged care workers on waitlists for any unused or excess doses. 

Home visits for vaccinations

Both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are in multi-dose vials. This may make it challenging to administer vaccines off-site such as for home visits, or at residential aged care or disability accommodation facilities. The following advice has been provided for vaccine providers for administering COVID-19 vaccines off-site:

  • transport the vial and draw up the dose at the site of administration. For the Pfizer vaccine, you can either dilute the vaccine in your practice or at the site of administration
  • transport pre-drawn doses if you can appropriately store the vaccine and deliver it promptly. This means protecting the vaccine from light and maintaining appropriate cold chain. This also means delivering the vaccine within one hour if kept at room temperature, or six hours if stored at 2-8°C. If you cannot ensure these conditions, you should transport the vial and draw up the dose on site.

You must ensure that each vial or dose is stored at the recommended temperature and does not exceed the total maximum storage period specified in the Product Information. See AstraZeneca product information and Pfizer product information. ATAGI recommends that, when possible, pre-drawn doses kept at room temperature be used within an hour to minimise any remote potential risk of infection. See Transporting, storing and handling vaccines p20.

MBS item numbers that can be claimed for COVID-19 vaccination home visits: 

  • 90005 Flag fall service Fee: $67.35 Benefit: 85% = $57.25
  • 10660 In-Depth Patient Assessment Fee: $45.95 Benefit: 85% = $39.10
  • 93624 Suitability assessment (first dose) Fee: $36.50 Benefit: 85% = $31.05
  • 93644 Suitability assessment (second dose) Fee: $28.75 Benefit: 85% = $24.45

COVID-19 vaccine live stream update for GPs

Join the latest COVID-19 vaccine live stream update for GPs. The panel will provide latest key updates and answer participants’ questions live about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.   

Details: Thursday 15 July, 11:30am (AEDT) | Click link to join 

Get involved by submitting questions and comments!

Catch up on previous webinars 

Multicultural resources

The Commonwealth Department of Health has released the July edition of the COVID-19 vaccines multicultural audiences stakeholder pack.

This pack contains in-language communication resources explaining what to expect at your appointment, reasons to get the COVID-19 vaccine, how to find out when you can have your COVID-19 vaccination and how to book, and information on updates to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Click on the links in the stakeholder pack to access translated COVID-19 vaccines information. Resources include posters, fact sheets, audio files, videos and social media content. 

QR check-in

NSW Health has resources and guidance available on how to complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan for general practices and other primary health service providers.Click here for further information.

Step 1: Complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan

Step 2: Register as a COVID Safe business

For those registered:Access your QR code and business resources online