COVID-19: GP Alert (13 April 2021)
April 13, 2021
New and updated resources
As we previously communicated in our alert on 9 April, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) issued a statement on 8 April recommending that the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer (Comirnaty) is preferred over the AstraZeneca COVID 19 Vaccine in adults aged under 50 years. This recommendation is based on the increasing risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 in older adults (and hence a higher benefit from vaccination) and a potentially increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following AstraZeneca vaccine in those under 50 years.
As a result, the Australian Government Department of Health website has new and updated resources:
- The Department’s patient consent form has been updated COVID-19 vaccine consent form 11/4/21
- NEW - Patient information about the AstraZeneca vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccination program – Information sheet
- Patient Factsheet about preparing for the COVID-19 vaccination - Information sheet – updated 10/4/21
- Patient fact sheet about the AstraZeneca vaccine - information sheet – updated 10/4/21
- Patient fact sheet about what to expect after being given the AstraZeneca vaccine – Information sheet – updated 10/4/21
- Patient fact sheet about the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine - information sheet – updated 10/4/21
- Patient fact sheet about what to expect after being given the Pfizer vaccination – information sheet
Queensland Health has also amended the relevant information and forms on the COVID-19 vaccination information for healthcare workers website to reflect the changes and assist HHS Vaccination clinics:
- COVID-19 Additional and Temporary Pre-Vaccination Screening Questions. This form is to assist clinics asking the additional question pertaining to blood clotting risks and age-based risk for consumers in light of the above ATAGI advice.
- COVID-19 Patient Information Sheet (Patient Resource). This document is designed for consumers.
- COVID-19 Vaccination Clinician Decision Support Guide: This document provides information which clinicians may wish to use in their discussion with consumers about the vaccination, including those under the age of 50 who want more information about the risks and benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
- COVID-19 Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI) Reporting Form. This form has been amended to capture any AEFI relating to thrombosis so that rapid review and referral to the Public Health Unit (PHU) and the TGA can occur. Further information about AEFI reporting is available here
Thrombosis information and papers of interest to clinicians
A New Clinician information sheet called “Information for clinicians – thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) or vaccine induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT)” has been developed to assist clinicians in managing patients who present with thrombosis following vaccination. It is based on the THANZ statement, which was updated 10 April 2021.
New MBS Items
From March 2021, 16 new MBS items became available to enable GPs and suitably qualified health professionals to assess patients for their suitability to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
A reminder that the MBS COVID-19 vaccine suitability assessment service is free to Medicare eligible patients and the MBS items must be bulk billed.
Professor Michael Kidd – next General Practitioner webinar
Thursday, 15 April | 11:30am – 12:30pm
Joining Professor Michael Kidd will be Dr Lucas de Toca, who leads the implementation of the National Primary Care pandemic response and Dr Chris Harrison a General Practitioner at the Ochre Health practice I Bruce, who is involved in rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine.