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COVID-19: GP Alert (29 January 2021)

January 29, 2021

COVID-19 vaccine update

The Australian Government has released further information this past week about the national rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program.

On Monday, 25 January the Government announced provisional approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in Australia for people 16 years of age and over.
This registration means Pfizer’s vaccine has met the TGA’s rigorous standards for safety, quality and efficacy, and will be provided for free to all Australian residents.

All accredited general practices are invited to submit an expression of interest (EOI) to participate from Phase 1b of the national rollout strategy, planned to commence in March 2021. EOI portal opened on 23 January 2021 and will close on 1 February 2021.

The Australian Government has appointed Aspen Medical, Healthcare Australia, International SOS, and Sonic Clinical Services to supplement the existing immunisation workforce for Phase 1a rollout as required. This surge workforce will help provide immunisations for priority groups including residential aged care, residential disability care and carers.

The Australian College of Nursing has been appointed to lead the development of the mandatory training materials for COVID-19 immunisation providers. Healthcare professionals will not be able to administer any COVID-19 vaccines without having first completed the training modules.

Training for immunisation providers will include:

  • handling and storage
  • multi-dose vial (MDV) training
  • delivery mechanisms of the vaccine
  • administrative reporting including eligibility checking
  • safety and surveillance monitoring and reporting for adverse events following immunisation
  • communication

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination. But at this time AHPPC does not recommend mandating COVID-19 vaccination for the aged care workforce at this stage. For more information on the AHPPC decision visit the Department of Health website.

Learn more at the Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccines website and subscribe to the COVID-19 Vaccines Update.

Click here to view the COVID-19 Vaccine Information Sheet for Health Professionals

Queensland Health is asking anyone who has arrived in Queensland from New Zealand since 14 January 2021 to get tested and quarantine at home or in their accommodation until they receive a negative test result.

This comes after New Zealand recorded a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in a returned traveller who tested positive after completing 14 days of hotel quarantine. The woman has since visited a number of locations in New Zealand.

The woman is confirmed to have the South African variant of COVID-19, which is more contagious than previous variants. Contact tracing is currently underway by New Zealand Health authorities.
For anyone with concerns or is unsure if they need to get tested or isolate, please call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84). To find your nearest testing clinic, visit

West Moreton Health Grand Rounds - Public Health Update: COVID-19

DATE: Friday, 5 February 2021

TIME: 12:30pm - 1:30pm

Click here to join the meeting via Microsoft Teams

West Moreton Health invites you to join the Public Health Unit (PHU) for a Grand Rounds discussion about the COVID vaccine rollout.

The purpose of the Grand Rounds discussion is to:

  1. Understand the planned COVID vaccine rollout and priority groups
  2. Understand current protocols for testing
  3. Understand triggers for early notification to WM PHU

For more information email GP Liaison Officer Tanusha Rama
For Microsoft Teams technical support please call 3447 2960 or email

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