This post is not the latest immunisation update and therefore may contain information or advice that is out of date. Please see our most recent update here.

Immunisation weekly update – 7 July 2021

7 July 2021

20190319 Immunisation needle icons 31

Pfizer vaccination now available at select general practice

On Monday 5 July, 56 participating COVID-19 vaccination providers commenced administering the Pfizer vaccine. More practices will come on board in subsequent weeks. Practices will progressively transition to be able to administer the Pfizer vaccine as more vaccines become available, and it is anticipated that all participating general practices will have the opportunity to administer the Pfizer vaccine later this year, based on vaccine supply. This is in addition to the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Community transmission of COVID-19 continues, and it is important to continue to encourage your patients to book an appointment for their vaccine. This includes people who have not yet received their first dose and reminding people due for their second dose.

Use the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker to book an appointment.

COVID-19 vaccination to become mandatory for residential aged care workers

On Monday, National Cabinet agreed that the COVID-19 vaccination of residential aged care workers will become mandatory by mid-September 2021.

Residential aged care workers must have received at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by this time.

RACF workers are now eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine regardless of age, and will continue to have access to AstraZeneca if they wish through primary care providers.

Protocol for the supply or administration of COVID-19 vaccine

The Statewide Protocol for the Supply or Administration of COVID-19 Vaccine has been amended, such that in the event of insufficient workforce of Authorised Nurse (or Midwife) Immunisers available to administer COVID-19 vaccines within a NSW Health COVID-19 vaccination clinic, this Protocol can be enacted. The associated authority has also been updated.

Key changes include:Expanding the protocol to allow additional authorised health practitioners to administer the vaccine under the conditions of the protocol. This includes dentists, paramedics, Aboriginal Health Practitioners, specified allied health professionals and students studying in approved medicine, nursing and specified allied health courses.Specifying additional training requirements and competency assessment to enable these workforce groups to safely administer COVID-19 vaccines.

Age restrictions removed on the in-depth MBS vaccination consult item

Effective 29 June 2021, age restrictions on the use of new MBS items (10660 and 10661) have been removed.

Previously, these MBS items to provide in-depth clinical assessments of patients regarding patients’ individual health risks and benefits associated with receiving a COVID-19 vaccine was limited to people aged 50 years and over.

See MBS Online and Factsheet for in-depth consultation.

PIP COVID-19 vaccine incentive

The Practice Incentives Program (PIP) COVID-19 Vaccine General Practice Incentive encourages continuity of care and appropriate follow-up by providing a payment to PIP eligible general practices on the basis that a patient has received both a first-dose and second-dose assessment service for a COVID-19 vaccine at the same practice in a clinically appropriate timeframe.Practices will be eligible for payment on successful processing by Services Australia of the second-dose assessment service for a patient.PIP eligible practices will receive $10 for each patient who has received both a first-dose and second-dose assessment service at the same practice. A maximum of one incentive payment is payable per patient.The COVID-19 Vaccine General Practice Incentive is paid quarterly – practices do not have to apply for this incentive if the practice is already participating in the PIP.Payments are based on the services provided from March 2021 and will be made with the PIP quarterly payment.

Extension of COVID-19 temporary MBS telehealth services

COVID-19 Temporary MBS telehealth services items have been extended until 31 December 2021 to help reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 and provide protection for patients and health care providers.

The broad range of temporary GP and OMP telephone attendances were replaced with a smaller number of telephone items as of 1 July 2021.

Longer telephone items for mental health treatment will continue to be available until 31 December 2021.

For more information, visit Providing health care remotely during COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccine claim scheme

The Australian Government is establishing a COVID-19 Vaccine Claim Scheme to provide further assurance and confidence to patients and health professionals in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The Scheme will be backdated to the start of the national vaccine rollout, 22 February 2021, and will support increased vaccination uptake by assuring Australians that health professionals, including GPs, nurses and pharmacists administering COVID vaccines as part of the Commonwealth vaccination program have appropriate indemnity coverage.

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. 

Details: Thursday 8 July, 11:30am (AEDT) | Click link to join

Get involved by submitting questions and comments!

Catch up on previous webinars 

New resources 

COVID-19 vaccination – ATAGI clinical guidance on COVID-19 vaccine in Australia in 2021 v5.1 ( 6 July)

Clinical guidance for COVID-19 immunisation providers and program staff.

COVID-19 vaccination – International students and COVID-19 vaccines (6 July)

This poster explains that international students studying in Australia are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccines.

COVID-19 vaccination – New resident entrance protocol flow chart (5 July)

This flow chart outlines the process for residential aged care providers to check whether new residents have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

COVID-19 vaccination – Disability provider alert 5 July 2021 (5 July)

This alert contains updates for disability service providers about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

Information for Immunisation Providers on Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) following COVID-19 vaccination (updated 2 July)

This fact sheet contains advice for vaccine providers of COVID-19 vaccines, regarding the link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare new adverse event called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).

Patient information sheet on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) (updated 2 July)

Patient information about the AstraZeneca vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccination program.

COVID-19 Vaccine resource webpage

Collection of the latest COVID-19 vaccine resources for immunisation providers and patients