Covid Vaccination information and resources for GPs 20 January

Australian Medical Association

A range of information resources are provided here to support GPs as they vaccinate patients and care for COVID-19 patients in the community.

Department of Health resources:

Medicare Support in Response to Omicron – GP and Other Medical Officer (OMP) Longer Telephone Consultation Factsheet– Information for the use of item numbers 92746 (for GPs) and 92747 (for OMPs).

MBS COVID-19 Management Support Service Factsheet

Managing COVID-19 at Home – Resources for patients and healthcare professionals

With a highly vaccinated population, most COVID-positive people are unlikely to get severely unwell or require hospitalisation and will be able to manage their symptoms at home – where clinically safe and appropriate to do so. These tools can help people living with COVID to know what actions they may need to take and when they may need to seek further medical help. The Department of Health has also provided links to a range of clinical guidelines published by the RACGP and the National COVID-19 Evidence Taskforce to support GPs to manage and monitor their COVID-positive patients in the community.

Booster Interval

On 24 December 2021, the ATAGI released a statement around boosters being shortened from six months to four months.

As part of this advice, ATAGI also advised that when practical, this should be shortened to three months.

The Australian Government announced boosters set 31 January as the expected date from which that would occur, allowing time for those in the four month category to be prioritsed.

It has been an option for primary care to implement this earlier if practical, in line with the ATAGI advice.

This week, a number of state governments announced booster doses would be available after three months at state run clinics as they have capacity and available bookings.

All primary care vaccination sites may also provide boosters at 3 months if there are appointments available.

Please continue to prioritise high risk populations, older people, aged care residents,

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, aged care, disability & health care workers, people with disability and those with underlying medical conditions.

Please continue with Pfizer 5-11 vaccinations as per normal, the changes to booster intervals do not change this cohort of the Program Roll-out.

Administering doses to paediatric cohorts

Health practitioners are reminded to complete the relevant training (Pfizer (COMIRNATY) Paediatric (5 to before vaccinating paediatric groups as doses are different from adolescents/adults.

A standalone resource has been developed for parents/guardians of children aged 5 to 11 years which includes information about COVID-19 vaccination and a consent form for this cohort, available here: COVID-19 vaccine information and consent form for parents and guardians of children aged 5 to 11 years | Australian Government Department of Health

Multi-dose vial guidance has also been updated to reflect the Comirnaty (Pfizer) paediatric formulation and is available here: COVID-19 vaccination – ATAGI guidance on the use of multi-dose vials for COVID-19 vaccination | Australian Government Department of Health

For everyone:

National Coronavirus Hotline

1800 020 080

For information about COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccines – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Vaccine Clinic Finder

Book a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic near you that suits your needs.

COVID Symptom Checker

Find out if you need to get tested or seek medical help.

Restriction Checker

Find out what you can and can’t do in your state or territory.

Managing Mild COVID-19 at Home with Assistance from your GP

For patients who have tested positive to COVID-19 and are being cared for at home with assistance from their GP.

Healthdirect Australia

Guidance for people that have tested positive to COVID-19, including links to specific information for states and territories.

Vaccine Side Effect Checker

Check any side effects after your vaccination.

For healthcare professionals:

Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)

Information for GPs and their patients to manage their ongoing health and social issues amid the pandemic, including home-based care guidelines. These guidelines include:

Guidelines for assessment and risk stratification of COVID-positive people – National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce

Evidence-based clinical guidelines for Australia’s healthcare professionals, including clinical flowcharts.

Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA)

National advice and guidance for public health units responding to a notifiable disease event, including links to specific information for states and territories.

Guidance on Ordering and PPE Distribution via PHNs

For information on what PPE is available and how to order please contact your local PHN.

Guidance on the use of PPE for Health Care Workers

Guidance on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers in the context of COVID-19.

Videos on PPE Usage:

Guidance on Community Care Pathways and Patient Escalation

/AMA/AusMed News. View in full here.