So, we have guidance now, and this is an important update for you...
Covid19 jabs are becoming available from now for many of my patients, available from some other Practices- BUT supplies are still limited, so it would likely take some time to get an appointment. However, in other news...
Flu jabs are arriving with us at Sycamore Health in the last few days of march, so by 2 weeks, and...
You are NOT ALLOWED a flu jab and a covid19 jab within 2 weeks of one another.
Also, given the large number of coughs, colds, runny noses, diarrhoea and gastro bug tummy upsets, red eye conjunctivitis, and sinus infections going round, we are likely now entering flu season... remember that these are all COVID19 symptoms too, and that Practice rules continue (no entry, ask for a phone call, cancel any appts in the Practice if you have these symptoms, until COVID19 excluded by a swab).
I therefore suggest that most patients will probably want to get their flu jab first (as more of a priority) in 2-4 weeks, and once they have had their flu jab with us (or at a local Pharmacy if preferred), they can then book for their COVID19 jab, if eligible currently (Phase 1b), to get that jab 2-3 weeks afterwards. the 2nd COVID19 jab will be well after the 1st jab and flu jab, usually 12 weeks after the 1st covid19 jab.
If you do get your COVID19 jab in the next few weeks before the flu jab, PLEASE don't book a flu jab with us or at your Pharmacy for at least 2 weeks afterwards, of course.
How will you know when we have flu jabs?
I will send another WIX blog alert, put up posters, etc., and of course the Nurses can let you know (for DVA CVC patients) when speaking with Veterans on the phone.
How will Sycamore Health be giving flu jabs?
We will be arranging clinics for flu jabs shortly. As usual, the local authority is very sparing with initial supplies, so we can't just give them out to patients who happen to already have nurse/GP appts when they arrive, otherwise we will run out for patients who book. More details to follow... (this is the same as in previous years- we are a small Practice, relatively, so we always only get a few vaccines for the first couple of weeks).
How do you book your COVID19 jab?
You go to the below COVID19 VACCINE ELIGIBILITY checker online, and confirm that you are in the current phase of the roll-out by answering the series of questions including your age. You then enter your postcode, and can see a list of local Practices providing the jabs. For most, you will need to call them and book in.
People currently eligible (phase 1b vaccine roll-out):
*anyone aged 70 years old or older;
*Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander persons aged over 55 years old;
*healthcare workers (you will need proof);
*anyone with a disability / underlying medical condition (you will need proof) from the following list:
solid organ transplant recipients who are on immune suppressive therapy
adult survivors of childhood cancers
bone marrow transplant recipients, people on chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy
immune suppressive therapy for graft versus host disease
haematological diseases or cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma, diagnosed within the last 5 years or on recently completed active treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted anti-cancer therapy or with advanced disease regardless of treatment
non-haematological cancers, diagnosed within the past 5 years or on recently completed active treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted anti-cancer therapy or with advanced disease regardless of treatment
chronic inflammatory conditions on medical treatments, including people with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and similar who are being treated with Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or immune-suppressive or immunomodulatory therapies. This generally does not include people living with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome or similar non-immunocompromising inflammatory conditions.
primary or acquired immunodeficiency, including congenital causes of immunodeficiency and HIV/AIDS
severe mental health conditions, including schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder
chronic renal (kidney) failure, but not including mild to moderate chronic kidney disease
heart disease including ischaemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathies and pulmonary hypertension
chronic lung disease including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, cystic fibrosis and interstitial lung disease. This doesn’t include mild or moderate asthma
severe obesity, with a body mass index of 40 or over
chronic liver disease
some neurological conditions, including stroke, dementia, Multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy. This doesn’t include migraine or cluster headaches
poorly controlled blood pressure (people taking two or more medicines for blood pressure control)
people with Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, or traumatic brain and spinal cord injury
Evidence of an underlying condition can include:
Your regular GP clinic’s records (such as a health summary, or copy of your history in a referral letter, or the contents of a specialist letter, given to you by Dr Steve)
A My Health Record (Dr Steve updates these regularly, if you have one, as you know)
Other medical records including medical history print-outs, a chronic disease (GP) care plan, a hospital discharge summary or a valid script for medication prescribed for one of the relevant conditions.
Patients not fitting the above criteria will be vaccinated later (unknown date, currently):
Adults aged 60-69 years
Adults aged 50-59 years
Continue vaccinating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults
Other critical and high risk workers
Balance of adult population
Catch up any unvaccinated Australians from previous phases
Phase 3 under 16 year olds, if recommended
I hope that this has been helpful. Best wishes, Dr Steve