A new COVID-19 vaccine Novavax Module is now available. The Novavax training module must be completed by health professionals prior to administering the Novavax (NUVAXOVID) COVID-19 vaccine. ATAGI recommends that Novavax COVID-19 (Nuvaxovid) can be used for the primary course of COVID-19 vaccination in people aged 18 or older, it is not currently registered by the TGA as a booster. Subject to successful TGA batch testing, the Novavax vaccine will be available to be administered from the week of 21 February 2022.
Vaccine deferral timing reduced
ATAGI advises people who have had COVID-19 infection can defer vaccination for up to 4 months post recovery, a recent change from the 6-month timeline. This is due to the increased risk of re-infection with the Omicron variant. ATAGI continues to advise that previous infection is not a contraindication to vaccination and that vaccination can occur following recovery of acute illness from COVID-19. See ATAGI Expanded Guidance on temporary medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines.
Booster doses for 16-17 year olds
On 28 January 2022, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provisionally approved the Pfizer COVID-19 booster dose for people aged 16–17 years old in Australia. Advice from ATAGI is expected to be provided to government shortly. Continue to prioritise boosters for people 18 years and over, until the Department of Health announces the eligibility change to the Commonwealth COVID-19 Vaccination Program. See Product Information.
Resources and vaccination clinic for Aboriginal children aged 5-11 years
The Department of Health has released a factsheet for Aboriginal communities around vaccines for children aged 5-11 years. Click here to view it and distribute to your patients.
This week and next there is a COVID-19 vaccination clinic for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 5-11 years at the Menai Community Health Centre.
The NSW Health Testing positive to COVID-19 and managing COVID-19 safely at home fact sheet is available in the following languages: Arabic (العربية), Chinese-Simplified (简体中文), Chinese-Traditional (繁體中文), Filipino (Wikang Tagalog), Greek (Ελληνικά), Hindi (हिन्दी), Italian (Italiano), Korean (한국어), Spanish (Español) and Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt Nam).
The Australian Government has translations of information for people testing positive for COVID and their close contacts in 60 languages that you can access here.
In-language videos of doctors sharing important information about managing COVID-19 at home are also available:
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
CESPHN Vax at Home Service
Some people in our community may not be able to access a GP or vaccination hub to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
The CESPHN Vax at Home Service is ONLY for those people who are housebound and not able to leave their house to receive a COVID-19 vaccination or booster (their carers will also be able to be vaccinated).
Patient self-referrals will NOT be accepted. Patients should speak with their GP for a referral to this program if appropriate. Referrals will be accepted from general practitioners and from Local Health Districts.
Referrals MUST be sent through this Vax at Home Service Online Form – for people who are housebound and reside in the Sydney Local Health District and South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.
Referrals must include:
Name of patient
Patient’s residential address and contact details
Name of usual GP
Contact details of any carers
Vaccine status e.g. Ist dose, 2nd dose, booster
Which vaccine is required
patient is housebound and not able to access a COVID vaccine elsewhere
you have obtained the patients consent to send this information to CESPHN.
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.
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