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COVID-19 update – 4 August 2021

4 August 2021

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NSW COVID-19 outbreak

There are now 4,063 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. Over the past two weeks to 1 August 2021 there have been 577 locally acquired cases in the CESPHN region. The largest concentrations are in the following Local Government Areas (LGAs) Canterbury-Bankstown (319), Georges River (72), Bayside (49), Inner West (37) and Strathfield (35).

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 will be made 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

Vaccination rollout progress in our region

In the last week, an additional 56,910 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered to people living in the CESPHN region, of these additional doses, 37 per cent were AstraZeneca vaccines and 63 per cent were Pfizer vaccines. As at 1 August 2021, an estimated 19.5 per cent of total doses required have been administered to people living in the CESPHN region. 

The below graph shows the estimated proportion of vaccinations given. This graph will be updated on a weekly basis.

20210804 COVID graph

Vaccine eligibility checker

The COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker has now been translated into 15 languages to ensure Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities are able to access and book their vaccinations. Additional languages will be released in the coming weeks.

The Vaccine Eligibility Checker can also be used to book your vaccine.

Call-out for GPs, pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals to assist in vaccination

We are compiling a register of GPs, pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals who are available to work shifts in COVID vaccination clinics. Please complete this form if you are interested.

Requests for Pfizer from people over 60 years

Practices offering the Pfizer vaccine are reporting that patients over 60 years of age are presenting with a GP referral. This link confirms the only medical contraindications to the Astra Zeneca vaccine. People who do not meet this criteria should be encouraged to obtain the Astra Zeneca vaccine.

In response to the query ‘where is my local vaccine provider’, the Vaccine Eligibility Checker is the best resource. Patients will have to answer a number of questions before being able to filter through their local practices by selecting the red make a booking button.

The Vaccine Eligibility Checker has also been translated into some community languages: Chinese – simplified and traditional, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Punjabi, Korean, Turkish, Bengali, Serbian, Khmer, Spanish, Hindi, Assyrian.

Pfizer vaccine and children aged 12-15

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released a statement recommending that the following groups aged 12-15 be prioritised for vaccination with Pfizer:

  • children aged 12-15 with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk of severe COVID-19;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 12-15; and
  • all children aged 12-15 in remote communities, as part of broader community out-reach vaccination programs.

The Eligibility Checker will be updated from next week to allow this cohort to view vaccination clinics near them.

You can commence vaccinating patients in this cohort now if you have capacity and stock.

ATAGI will provide further advice on the broader 12-15 year age group in coming months.

You can find further information in the ATAGI statement regarding vaccination of adolescents aged 12-15 years.

A script to assist you in discussions with patients (and parents) has also been developed and can be found here.

NSWISS helpline for COVID-19 vaccine clinical advice

Immunisation providers are encouraged to check the NCIRS COVID-19 vaccines FAQ which provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines. The FAQs have been updated comprehensively and include new questions and answers on topics such as:

  • use of AstraZeneca vaccine in people under 60 years of age
  • COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy
  • capillary leak syndrome
  • myocarditis and pericarditis
  • whether booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be required

For other clinical advice on immunisations including COVID-19, immunisation providers can contact the NSW Immunisation Specialist Service NSWISS helpline.

Urgent call out: GP to visit Inner West aged care facility

We are seeking GPs to provide consultations at Wyoming Nursing Home in Summer Hill. Wyoming Nursing Home in Summer Hill has been affected by COVID-19. Residents who have tested positive to COVID-19 have been transferred to hospital. The usual GPs supporting this facility are providing telehealth consults but are not now able to offer physical examinations. 

We are seeking GPs willing to provide physical consultations (if required) to the remaining approximately 28 residents in this facility. This is a unique opportunity to provide essential healthcare to the elderly community in a vulnerable setting.

It is expected that your services would be required for the next two weeks. You would have the support of the local health district nursing and geriatric medical staff and the residents’ regular GP. Full PPE and enhanced training in its use will be provided. GPs will still be able to see patients in their own practice but would not be able to visit other RACFs during this time-period of two weeks.

You must be fully vaccinated to take on this temporary role.

If you are interested, please email Brendan Goodger.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) currently provides Australians with two options for providing evidence of their COVID-19 vaccinations:

  • COVID-19 Digital Certificate – for individuals who have received all required doses of a vaccine as approved for use in Australia. See how to download COVID-19 digital certificate to a digital wallet.
  • Immunisation History Statement – for individuals who have had one COVID-19 vaccination, different COVID vaccines, or at intervals not recommended by ATAGI.

Vaccination providers must report all COVID-19 vaccination information to the AIR.

Pharmacists to administer AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Pharmacies in the Local Government Areas of Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool have commenced offering the Astra Zeneca vaccine. More pharmacies across the region are expected to commence vaccinations from mid-August.

COVID-19 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. Get involved by submitting questions and comments!

Details: Thursday 5 August, 11:30am (AEDT) | Click link to join

Catch up on previous webinars 

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