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COVID-19: GP Alert (23 February 2021)

February 23, 2021

Maintaining COVID-19 vigilance and testing

With recent cases of community transmission of COVID-19 in some states, GPs across the country are reminded to remain vigilant for symptoms of COVID-19 in yourselves and your patients. Anyone with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 – no matter how mild – should immediately self-isolate and get tested. Please remind all patients they must remain at home until they receive their negative result.

A Sullivan Nicolaides report has also confirmed an increase in the incidence of RSV and rhinovirus - it remains important to continue to test for COVID-19.

REMINDER - Adverse events after COVID-19 immunization

  • As the Queensland COVID-19 vaccine program is extended, it is increasingly likely that consumers will present in primary care because of (potential) adverse events following immunisation (AEFI).
  • It is mandatory to report all AEFI
  • The process for reporting AEFI are described on the Queensland Health webpage
  • The AEFI report template is attached and available here
  • Providers who submit this form does not need to complete a TGA AEFI form, as Queensland Health will notify them.
  • Feasibility of creating an electronic template for Medical Director and Best Practice is being investigated.

Older Australians and the Astra-Zeneca vaccine

The TGA assessed the Astra-Zeneca vaccine as safe and effective for all people aged 18 and over. The caveat about administering the vaccine in the elderly relates to patients who are very frail, in which case an individual assessment of risk/benefit should be made – which is no different to any other immunisation or therapeutic intervention. There is not requirement for everyone older than 65 to routinely discuss the vaccine with their GP.

Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine

TRAINING MODULE NOW AVAILABLE
The Astra-Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine training module is now available - click here to access.

ASTRA-ZENECA COVID-19 VACCINE INGREDIENTS
A number of inquiries have been received about the vaccine ingredients. For clarification, None of the vaccine ingredients are of human or animal origin and there are no food, latex or gelatin in the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available. If individuals have had an allergic reaction to other vaccines in the past, it does not mean that they will also be allergic to the COVID-19 vaccines (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy [ASCIA], 2021).

Non-active ingredients of the vaccine (no preservatives are used):

  • L-Histidine (an amino acid).
  • L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate (an amino acid).
  • Magnesium chloride hexahydrate (supports many activities inside cells).
  • Polysorbate 80 (a stabiliser).
  • Ethanol.
  • Sucrose.
  • Sodium chloride.
  • Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA, a binding agent)
  • Water for injection

2nd COVID-19 vaccine information sessions

The Queensland Clinical Senate and Clinical Networks held a second COVID-19 vaccine information sessions for clinicians yesterday. The webinar is now available to view. It addressed, among other things:

  • phase 1a vaccinations – how will I know if I’m included?
  • the role of the recently established Vaccination Coordination Centre (VCC)
  • advice for phase 1a clinicians who might be pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • timing your COVID-19 vaccinations around other potential vaccinations.

COVID-19 vaccine resources

Below is a running list of resources - some are new and some have previously been shared. We will continue to update this list.

QUEENSLAND HEALTH

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

TGA

ATAGI

RACGP

ACRRM

RESOURCES FOR RACFS

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affecting Health Care practitioners in the Darling Downs and West Moreton Regions: