The Australian Government will be rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine as a staged roll out, including the expansion of vaccine administration siteswith each subsequent phase:
Phase 1a will commence in mid-February at specific hospital sites,
Phase 1b will commence around March at accredited general practice sites, and
Subsequent Phases will progressively be rolled out through an expanded number of sites, including general practice clinics, existing Commonwealth GP respiratory clinics, statevaccination clinics and pharmacies.
Primary care participation in Phase 1b
The Australian Government is calling on accredited general practices to express their interest in participating in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program.
Central and Eastern Sydney PHN has been asked to assist in the Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccine roll out and distribute the Australian Government Department of Health EOIto accredited general practices in the CESPHN region for practices toregister their interest in participating.
What about general practice who are not accredited?
General practices who do not participate in this phase can still be involved in later phases of the vaccine roll-out.
In the subsequent phases of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, all general practices who meet requirements will have the opportunity to participate inthe roll out as more vaccines become available.
Need help with the COVID-19 vaccine EOI?
CESPHN is providing support to those practices intending to participate in the EOI. To assist practices navigate and complete the EOI in an efficient manner we have produced a short EOI guidance document.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has provided advice on influenza and COVID-19 vaccines. Current advice is that COVID-19 vaccination should be separated from administration of influenza vaccine by at least 14 days. This advice will be updated as new information becomes available.
Some key points to note:
advice is conservative and precautionary due to lack of data on the subject
coadministration of the vaccines could reduce the immune response to one or both vaccines
coadministration of the vaccines might also increase the risk of adverse events, ATAGI said.
separating administration of the vaccines will make it easier to track adverse events
The ATAGI advice suggeststhat exceptions to the general rule can be made if spacing out the vaccines meant it was likely the patient would miss out on vaccination entirely.
AIR mandatory reporting
It is essential that all vaccines administered are recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR), to coordinate timing of influenza and COVID-19 vaccine administration in 2021.
Further complication is that the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines each require different intervals between the two doses.
Discount code: training for general practice staff
The Benchmarque Group is offering five FREE discount codes for practice staff to access the Foundations of Immunisation Support online coursefree of charge (valued at $75) to upskill CESPHN general practice support staff for the roll out of COVID-19 vaccine.
The course involves approximately 15 hours of self-paced online learning.
The signs, posters and stickers in this toolkit provide ourselves, our colleagues and our community reminders of accepted behaviours and new standards of etiquette that will help protect everyone and stop the spread of COVID-19.
Update on Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines
The Australian Government Department of Health has a strategy to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to everyone living in Australia as soon as they are available.
A staged roll out of the vaccine is expected to commence in February 2021.
The Pfizer/BioNTechCOVID-19 vaccine is likely to be available from early mid-February this year. Doses of this vaccine will be available through 30 to 50 hubs at specific hospital sites across urban and rural Australia.
Approval of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is anticipated for the coming months.
Roll out of COVID-19 vaccines
Both vaccines will progressively be distributed through an expanded number of sites, including general practice clinics, existing Commonwealth GP respiratory clinics, state-run vaccination clinics and pharmacies.
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