COVID-19 Vaccination information and resources for GPs

21 Oct 2021

Department of Health resources

The Department of Health has published several collections of resources about COVID-19 vaccination, vaccine rollout, and clinical guidance from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). These resources are updated when new information is available, so GPs should ensure they have access to the latest versions.

Resources for third doses

On 8 October 2021, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) released advice recommending a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine as part of the primary course in individuals who are severely immunocompromised.  These resources will assist GPs with patients requiring a third dose:

·        Consent form

·        Provider guide to immunocompromise

·        Immunocompromise shared decision making guide

·        Clinical guidance

·        Eligibility declaration form

Requirements for workers in health care settings who are exposed to COVID-19

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), with advice from the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) and the Infection Control Expert Group (ICEG), has endorsed a Worker Permissions and Restrictions Framework for Workers in Health Care Settings.

The framework outlines nationally agreed recommendations that will support safe decision making when determining appropriate workplace restrictions and permissions for a worker exposed to COVID-19. The framework provides guidance on how GPs and practice staff can avoid having to isolate after a patient who attended the practice later tests positive to COVID-19.

The Worker Permissions and Restrictions Framework is available here.

Vaccine product information

·        ATAGI and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) have released joint guidance on the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis following Pfizer vaccination following an observed risk observed in overseas studies, especially in males under 30 years of age after the second doses. The Pfizer Product Information has been updated to reflect this.

·        The Product Information (PI) for the AstraZeneca vaccine has been updated to include Capillary Leak Syndrome (CLS) as a contraindication for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Providers should be aware of the information contained in the PI and individuals with a known history of CLS should not be vaccinated with AstraZeneca.

Consent forms

1.      Consent form: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-consent-form-for-covid-19-vaccination

Patient information sheets

2.      Information on AstraZeneca: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-information-on-covid-19-astrazeneca-vaccine

3.      Information on Pfizer: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-information-on-covid-19-pfizer-comirnaty-vaccine

4.      After your AstraZeneca: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-after-your-astrazeneca-vaccine

5.      After your Pfizer: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-after-your-pfizer-comirnaty-vaccine

6.      Provider information on consent: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-consent-information-for-providers-covid-19-vaccination-consent-and-faqs

7.      Frequently asked questions on the Taskforce Ivermectin recommendation: https://covid19evidence.net.au/wp-content/uploads/NC19CET-Ivermectin-FAQs-20210826.pdf

Clinical guidance and decision guides

8.      ATAGI Clinical guidance: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-atagi-clinical-guidance-on-covid-19-vaccine-in-australia-in-2021

9.      COVID-19 vaccine – Clinical considerations: https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/information-for-covid-19-vaccination-providers/covid-19-vaccine-clinical-considerations

10.   Selection of second dose in specific circumstances: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-clinical-advice-on-the-use-of-a-different-covid-19-vaccine-as-the-second-dose

11.   Shared decision making guide – pregnancy: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-shared-decision-making-guide-for-women-who-are-pregnant-breastfeeding-or-planning-pregnancy

12.   Shared decision making guide – frail older people: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-shared-decision-making-guide-for-frail-older-people-including-those-in-residential-aged-care-facilities 

13.   Shared decision making guide – palliative care: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-shared-decision-making-guide-for-people-receiving-palliative-care-or-end-of-life-care 

14.   Shared decision making guide – immunocompromise: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/atagi-covid-19-vaccination-shared-decision-making-guide-for-people-with-immunocompromise

15.   Provider guide on immunocompromise: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/atagi-provider-guide-to-covid-19-vaccination-of-people-with-immunocompromise

16.   Primary care guide on TTS: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-primary-care-approach-to-thrombosis-with-thrombocytopenia-syndrome-after-covid-19-astrazeneca-vaccine

17.   Provider information – TTS: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-information-for-immunisation-providers-on-thrombosis-with-thrombocytopenia-syndrome-tts-following-covid-19-vaccination  

18.   Patient information – TTS: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/patient-information-sheet-on-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-and-thrombosis-with-thrombocytopenia-syndrome-tts

19.   COVID-19 vaccination – Guide to engage and support aged care workers to get a COVID-19 vaccine: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-guide-to-engage-and-support-aged-care-workers-to-get-a-covid-19-vaccine

Resources for doctors working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients

·        Updated guidance on TGA advertising restrictions, explaining how you can inform your patients about different vaccine brands availability in your clinic. This includes social, posters and web content.

·        A video animation in plain English that could be sent to your patients’ emails or used in your clinic waiting room explaining what to expect on your vaccination day, side effects and the need for two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

·        A suite of talking points designed for healthcare workers, to assist them with having conversations with patients about COVID-19 vaccines.

·        Updated social resources with suggested captions to use across your social media networks

Resources for doctors about pregnancy

·        COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women: https://ranzcog.edu.au/statements-guidelines/covid-19-statement/covid-19-vaccination-information

·        Joint statement between RANZCOG and ATAGI about COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women: https://www.health.gov.au/news/joint-statement-between-ranzcog-and-atagi-about-covid-19-vaccination-for-pregnant-women

Existing resources

·        COVID-19 vaccination – Consent – Information for providers: COVID-19 vaccination consent and FAQs: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-atagi-immunisation-provider-guide-to-obtaining-informed-consent-for-covid-19-vaccine

·        COVID-19 vaccination – Guidance on Myocarditis and Pericarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccines: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-guidance-on-myocarditis-and-pericarditis-after-mrna-covid-19-vaccines

·        Information for people with disability about COVID-19 vaccines: https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/information-for-service-providers-workers-and-people-with-disability-about-covid-19-vaccines/information-for-people-with-disability-about-covid-19-vaccines

·        Talking to patients about AstraZeneca vaccine: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/talking-to-patients-about-astrazeneca-vaccine

·        ATAGI statement on use of COVID-19 vaccines in an outbreak setting: https://www.health.gov.au/news/atagi-statement-on-use-of-covid-19-vaccines-in-an-outbreak-setting

·        COVID-19 vaccination – updated provider kit for general practices: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-updated-provider-kit-for-general-practices

·        COVID-19 vaccination – Practice Incentives Program COVID-19 vaccine general practice incentive guidelines: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-pip-general-practice-incentive-guidelines

·        Updated ATAGI advice on administering seasonal influenza vaccines in 2021: https://www.health.gov.au/news/updated-atagi-advice-on-administering-seasonal-influenza-vaccines-in-2021

·        Weighing up the potential benefits against risk of harm from COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-weighing-up-the-potential-benefits-against-risk-of-harm-from-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca

·        COVID-19 vaccination – AstraZeneca vaccine risk-benefit printable: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-astrazeneca-vaccine-risk-benefit-printable

·        COVID-19 vaccination – ATAGI guidance on the use of multi-dose vials for COVID-19 vaccination: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-atagi-guidance-on-the-use-of-multi-dose-vials-for-covid-19-vaccination

·        Updated fact sheet to help manage risk of COVID-19 transmission: COVID-19: infection prevention and control risk management.

Members are also reminded that if you are part of the vaccine roll out and have any problems, the key point of contact in the Commonwealth to raise these is the Vaccine Operations Centre (VOC) that can be contacted on:

Phone: 1800 318 308

Email: COVID19VaccineOperationsCentre@health.gov.au

Note: The VOC hours of operation are between 7am to 10pm (AEDT).