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COVID-19: GP Alert (30 June 2021)

June 30, 2021

NEW - Parts of Queensland to enter lockdown

From 6:00pm yesterday (Tuesday 29 June) until 6:00pm on Friday 2 July, South East Queensland, Townsville City, Palm Island and Magnetic Island are in lockdown.

“South East Queensland” includes the following 11 Local Government Areas: Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redlands, Sunshine Coast, Noosa, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim and Gold Coast.

REMINDER - Vaccine eligibility

All health care staff are reminded that phase 1b includes all non-clinical and support staff (including interpreters). You do not need to be a clinician to be eligible for vaccination. All of these staff are eligible for Pfizer regardless of age.

Visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker to check your eligibility.

NEW - AstraZeneca not precluded for people aged under 60 years

Overnight Prime Minister Morrison encouraged Australians to talk with their GP about vaccination with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.

Current ATAGI advice preferences AstraZeneca for those over 60 years receiving their first COVID-19 vaccine dose, but the advice does not preclude persons under 60 years from getting the AstraZeneca vaccine. There will now be indeminity cover and GPs will also be funded to counsel patients under 60 years wishing to be vaccinated. The Australian Eligibility Checker will be updated soon to reflect this.

Anyone (regardless of age) who has had their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine without any serious side effects should have their second dose as soon as they are able (10-12 weeks after the first dose).

COVID-19 telehealth MBS items extended until 31 December 2021

As part of the 2021-22 Federal Budget, the Health Minister announced the extension of the COVID-19 telehealth items until 31 December 2021.

The extension is for temporary telehealth services provided by general practitioners, medical practitioners, non-GP specialists, consultant physicians, nurse practitioners, participating midwives, allied health providers and dental practitioners.

Click here for more information

Distribution of personal protective equipment available for general practice

The PPE guidance is currently based on the Queensland Health assessment of ‘moderate risk for the City of Brisbane, City of Ipswich, Logan City, Moreton Bay Region, Redland City, Gold Coast City and Scenic Rim Region.

As part of the continued response to the COVID-19 response, the Australian Government Department of Health has provided Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN with a limited supply of surgical masks, P2/N95 masks and eye protection (goggles) for general practices.

Please review your stock and place an order if required via practicesupport@ddwmphn.com.au

NEW - Mandate for aged care workers

Overnight the Australian Government announced a decision to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all residential aged care workers. Workers must have had at least one dose by mid-September 2021 (no firm date provided) as a condition of working in a residential aged care facility.

A risk-benefit assessment will be conducted to ensure there are no unintended consequences of this decision, including a negative impact on the available workforce. An $11 million grant program will be implemented to encourage residential aged care facilities to provide staff with leave to get vaccinated.

The Australian Government will work with the states and territories to ensure compliance.