Menu Icon Search

COVID-19: GP Alert (19 March 2021)

March 19, 2021

Provider Kit for general practices participating in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout

The Department of Health has provided a Provider Kit for general practices participating in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The Provider Kit includes a number of useful resources, including:

  • Pre vaccination content
  • Vaccination day resources
  • Post-vaccination content

PLEASE NOTE

  • Where relevant, providers are encouraged to begin contacting their patients who are eligible for vaccination in Phase 1b.
  • If you have an online booking system, you should publish online booking services for COVID-19 vaccination appointments through your usual channels. It is at your discretion how many, when and whether you offer online appointments.
  • The Department is currently developing a similar kit for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations. This will be provided as soon as it is finalised.

KEY MESSAGES FROM GP ONBOARDING PACK

A summary of key messages from the GP Onboarding Pack has been provided.

VACCINE INFORMATION AND LOCATION FINDER

Minister for Health and Aged Care the Hon Greg Hunt MP has also released a letter to all general practices following the launch of the Vaccine Eligibility and Vaccine Clinic Finder.

PLEASE NOTE
GP Respiratory Clinics will be listed in the service finder in the next two days. General practices can then refer patients – particularly non-regular patients – to a GP Respiratory Clinic for vaccination.

Managing enquiries about the COVID-19 vaccine in your general practice

With the Australian Government's Vaccine Eligibility Checker and Vaccine Clinic Finder for bookings section going live yesterday, many practices have received numerous phone calls about booking their vaccination.

We understand that at many practices bookings may not yet be available, as this is a staged approach. To support general practices, the PHN has developed a phone script that your practice may choose to modify for your purposes. This script is available to download from our website.

You may also consider updating your website, on-hold messaging, electronic booking and social media messaging to advise your patients to use the Vaccine Eligibility Checker, to reduce the number of phone calls you may receive.

Updated risk - low PPE requirements in a primary care setting

The risk of COVID-19 community transmission in the Queensland primary care setting was reviewed on Tuesday and revised to ‘low’.

The practical implication is that the ‘low’ PPE requirements are now again in force in all areas in Queensland in primary care settings. Please note that the additional PPE provisions in the Greater Brisbane area in hospitals, RACFs and disability settings were extended for a further 72 hours (from Tuesday) and therefore remain in place.

COVID-19 vaccines, anaphylaxis and periods of observation

Queensland Health have received several queries about the COVID-19 vaccine, anaphylaxis and periods of observation, and we aware of social media interest in this topic.

Official, written confirmation has been received today that the Queensland Health vaccination processes will continue in line with guidance provided in the product information (PI) and issued by ATAGI.

This means people with a history of severe allergies or anaphylaxis should be observed for 30 minutes following vaccination, and other people should continue to be monitored for 15 minutes following vaccination.

In other words, there has been no change to ATAGI guidance, to Queensland Health processes, and no change (at this time) to how we implement COVID-19 vaccination services in general practice from next week.

TGA reassurance about rates of Venous thromboembolism

The TGA provided an update this week on the rates of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) in those receiving the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Reassuringly, to 15 March, the TGA has not received any reports of VTE following the administration of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Other reported rates of VTE internationally following vaccination appear to be lower than that expected in the general population.

In Australia at least 17 000 patients develop VTE each year. This compares with the 30 cases reported in the 5 million people vaccinated in the European Economic Area and no additional (to baseline rates) in the more than 11 million doses administered in the UK.

As of this time there is no indication of an increased rate of blood clots happening or cause and effect with the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia

NEW - COVID-19/Influenza vaccination preparedness pack

The COVID-19/Influenza vaccination preparedness pack has been developed to assist general practitioners, practice nurses and practice managers to deliver a successful mass vaccination program.

The pack supports the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and can be used for other vaccination events, e.g. influenza. It comprises four parts and builds a complete picture of vaccine readiness in your practice. The pack also contains checklists that can be used as evidence for accreditation and QI activities.

Part one - Preparing your practice policies and protocols
Part two - Internal preparation for your team checklist
Part three - Identifying eligible patients and planning the patient vaccination journey checklist
Part four - Preparing and implementing a vaccination clinic