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COVID-19: GP Alert (18 June 2021)

June 18, 2021

ATAGI recommends Pfizer as preferred vaccine for those aged 16 to under 60 years

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine (Comirnaty) as the preferred vaccine for those aged 16 to under 60 years.

This updates the previous preferential recommendation for Comirnaty over COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in those aged 16 to under 50 years. The recommendation is revised due to a higher risk and observed severity of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) related to the use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine observed in Australia in the 50-59 year old age group than reported internationally and initially estimated in Australia.

For those aged 60 years and above, the individual benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine are greater than in younger people. The risks of severe outcomes with COVID-19 increase with age and are particularly high in older unvaccinated individuals. The benefit of vaccination in preventing COVID-19 with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca outweighs the risk of TTS in this age group and underpins its ongoing use in this age group.

People of any age without contraindications who have had their first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca without any serious adverse events should receive a second dose of the same vaccine. This is supported by data indicating a substantially lower rate of TTS following a second COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca dose in the United Kingdom (UK).

Read the full ATAGI statement

Limited general practices now administering Pfizer

A number of general practices and GP respiratory clinics will commence administering Pfizer from 5 July 2021 in the Darling Downs and West Moreton region. Click here to view participating practices

  • highlighted practices are delivering Pfizer as well as AstraZeneca
  • please note additional practices administering AstraZeneca have been added to the list following the second EOI process.

Patients should be directed to the Vaccine Eligibility Checker to assess their eligibility.

Joint statement on COVID-19 vaccines and pregnancy

RANZCOG and ATAGI recommend that pregnant women are routinely offered Pfizer mRNA vaccine (Cominarty) at any stage of pregnancy. This is because the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby. Global surveillance data from large numbers of pregnant women have not identified any significant safety concerns with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines given at any stage of pregnancy.

Furthermore, there is also evidence of antibody in cord blood and breastmilk, which may offer protection to infants through passive immunity. Pregnant women are encouraged to discuss the decision in relation to timing of vaccination with their health professional. Women who are trying to become pregnant do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.

Read the joint RANZCOG and ATAGI statement

Please be reminded that GP respiratory clinics are open and available to see any patients with respiratory symptoms.

View a full list of GP respiratory clinics in the Darling Downs and West Moreton region on our COVID-19 webpage.

Requests for COVID-19 vaccination certificates

MBS Flag Fall Fact Sheet

Please see below link for the Fact Sheet on the MBS Flag-Fall for Vaccine Suitability Assessment Services providing background on the amount and when the flag fall can be charged.

Download the MBS Flag-Fall Fact Sheet.

Reminder - AIR viewing and uploads

AIR viewing and Uploads : Please be that all vaccine providers are required to enter immunisation information for Flu and COVID vaccines into AIR . Please check AIR before any immunisation to ensure the 7 day interval between flu vaccines and COVID vaccines are maintained as per the new guidelines from ATAGI . You may also access AIR to report any suspected adverse events via the AEFI forms on the TGA and Queensland health Websites .

Please see your local HealthPathways for all the latest guidelines and the updated interval for flu and COVID immunisations.

Queensland has current contact tracing alerts and related public health advice for people who have been in: