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Supporting the COVID-19 vaccination rollout

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Supporting the COVID-19 vaccination rollout

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Brisbane South PHN is supporting the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout across our region. We are working closely with Commonwealth, state and local government-level planning groups, and community leaders of priority populations, to ensure a coordinated, timely, equitable and trustworthy vaccine rollout. 

ATAGI Advice  

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and the Australian Government announced on 17 June 2021, that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is now only recommended for people aged 60 years and over. This recommendation follows the higher risk and observed severity of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) related to its use in the 50-59 year old age group than reported internationally and initially estimated in Australia. 

ATAGI Guidance 

ATAGI clinical guidance on COVID-19 vaccine in Australia in 2021 

ATAGI clinical advice on use of a different COVID-19 vaccine as the second dose in special circumstances 

ATAGI recommends to use the same COVID-19 vaccine for the two doses of the primary course of vaccination, unless there are specific medical contraindications or precautions. This recommendation is based on current evidence for the vaccines available in Australia. At this stage of the pandemic, mixed vaccine schedules with different COVID-19 vaccines should be used only in special circumstances. For more information, you can use the clinical advice guide on the use of a different COVID-19 vaccine as a second dose.

ATAGI Statements

23 September 2021 – on the need for additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines

27 August 2021 – on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in all young adolescents in Australia

9 August 2021 – on considerations for establishing drive-through COVID-19 vaccination clinic sites

2 August 2021 – regarding COVID-19 vaccines in the setting of transmission of the Delta variant of concern

24 July 2021 – response to NSW COVID-19 outbreak 24th July 2021

13 July 2021 – on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in an outbreak setting 

17 June 2021 – on revised recommendations on the use of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca

ATAGI Advice and Guides 

Referral Information for increased risk of Anaphylaxis 

Metro South Health hospitals will only be accept referrals for people wo have one of the following: 

  •  A documented history of anaphylaxis to previous vaccines (non-COVID vaccinations) and/or multiple drugs (injectable and/or oral) or 
  • A known systemic mast cell activation disorder with raised mast cell tryptase that requires treatment  

People with a history of the following, should be referred to QLD Adult Specialist Immunisation Service  (QASIS) via the Metro North Referral Intake Service  

  •  Immediate (within 4 hours) and generalised symptoms of a possible allergic reaction (e.g. urticaria/hives) to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine  
  • Generalised allergic reaction (without anaphylaxis) to any component of the COVID-19 vaccine to be administered (e.g. PEG in the Pfizer vaccine or polysorbate 80 in the AstraZeneca vaccine)  

Further information is available on Metro South Refer Your Patient COVID Vaccine Program    

For assistance with these guidelines or feedback on the updated page, please contact the GP Liaison team on 1300 364 155 – Option 2 or  GPLO_Programs2@health.qld.gov.au    

Referrals for Metro South Health consideration of vaccine suitability can be done via the Central Referral Hub or Smart Referrals

Pathways for vaccinating Greater Brisbane’s vulnerable people  

Brisbane South PHN and Brisbane North PHN are working together to improve access to the COVID-19 vaccine for people who would benefit from additional support.

Housebound people

Many vulnerable people may be housebound or have other obstacles or health conditions that prevent them from attending a vaccination hub, clinic or pharmacy. Service providers who have not been able to arrange vaccination for this group of clients can complete the online referral form to request support, including in-home appointments, to ensure vulnerable people get access to the vaccine and are protected against COVID-19.

People experiencing homelessness

Vaccinations are offered via outreach for people experiencing homelessness, including those living on the streets, in emergency accommodation, boarding houses or between shelters.

Culturally and linguistically diverse communities

Vaccinations and support, including by bi-cultural and multi-lingual workers and access to interpreters for culturally and linguistically diverse communities, asylum seekers, refugee communities and non-Medicare eligible people.

Non-Medicare eligible people

We may be able to offer assistance to GPs in options for administering vaccinations to non-Medicare eligible people. Please visit our vaccination for non-Medicare card holders page for more information.

First Nations Peoples

Support is available for general practices serving large First Nation populations, including arranging for vaccination providers to provide in-reach within the practice.

For more information about each service, please contact the service provider directly.

COVID-19 vaccines – Advice for pregnancy, fertility and breastfeeding women

Pregnant women should be routinely recommended Pfizer (Cominarty) or Moderna (Spikevax) at any stage of pregnancy. There is good real-world evidence supporting the safety of vaccination throughout pregnancy and prior to conception. Vaccination reduces the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes associated with COVID-19.

Please see below advice and information for healthcare workers to support conversations with your patients.


Information regarding COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents

Adolescents aged from 12 to 15 years are now eligible to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

Information session for GPs: COVID-19 vaccination and children 12+ 

Children’s Health Queensland hosted a Q&A session to discuss COVID-19 vaccination for children aged 12 years and over. The session covered information on vaccinating children aged 12+ against COVID-19 and included a panel discussion with frequently asked questions regarding vaccinations. TA recording of the session is now available on the General Practitioners hub


Information for COVID-19 vaccination providers 

Australian Government Department of Health Website 

Queensland Health Website 

Clinical guidance and information for COVID-19 vaccination providers, including general practices, GP-led respiratory clinics, Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health Services, vaccination administration service providers and community pharmacies. 

Pfizer (Comirnaty): 

AstraZeneca (Vaxevria): 

Spikevax (Moderna):

Media Toolkits and TGA Advertising Guidelines 


Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) and mandatory reporting: 

 It is mandatory for all COVID-19 vaccine administered in Australia to be reported to the AIR. Influenza vaccinations must be reported to the AIR and all other National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccinations must be reported from 1 July 2021. 

  • Your practice should take reasonable steps to confirm that a person is eligible to receive the vaccine. This includes checking the AIR for any previous COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Your practice should report each patient’s COVID-19 vaccination to the AIR within 24 hours if possible. Real-time or end-of-day reporting is appropriate, as determined by your practice procedures.
  • Medical contraindications can be reported to the AIR for COVID-19 vaccines. Medical contraindications can be assessed and reported to the AIR by eligible health professionals, including GPs. To report a medical contraindication for COVID-19 vaccines, providers need to select all COVID-19 vaccines listed and approved for use in Australia. Permanent and temporary contraindications should only be reported for individuals where there is no suitable alternative COVID-19 vaccine available.
  • Recognised vaccination providers in Australia can record overseas vaccinations on the AIR, if the vaccines are approved.

*The way you access the AIR has changed. You must access the AIR through HPOS using a PRODA account. Read more about how to set up your access to the AIR. 

Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) 

Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) need to be reported for the COVID-19 Vaccination Program. General Practitioners, other healthcare workers and consumers can report an AEFI using the PDF form. Email the completed AEFI form to  COVID_AEFI@health.qld.gov.au 

Vaccine details (batch number, serial number, dose, date of vaccine) can be found in the patient’s medical record, Australian Immunisation Register or on the vaccination card provided to the person vaccinated when they received their vaccination. 

Practices using the following practice software can complete an Adverse Event Following Immunisation directly though their practice software and submit it to Queensland Health (via Medical Objects).

Please click the links below for instructions on how to install the relevant templates.

For Medical Director users

For Best Practice users

Post COVID-19 Vaccination Suspected Anaphylaxis Reporting Form 

The Queensland Vaccine Command Centre (VCC) has developed this form to assist Public Health Units (PHU) to capture details on anaphylaxis following COVID-19 vaccine administration. This form is in addition to the AEFI form and should be completed by a health professional and submitted to the local PHU. 

  • Letter from QLD Chief Medical Officer on reporting of AEFI (18 June 2021) 

MBS items relevant to COVID-19 vaccination 

From March 2021, 16 new MBS items will be available to enable GPs and suitably qualified health professionals to assess patients for their suitability to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Cold Chain Management 

COVID vaccines are stored in a purpose built vaccine fridge between +2°C to +8°C and follow the National Vaccine Storage Guidelines (Strive for 5). AstraZeneca (Vaxevria)

 can be stored for up to 6 months and the Pfizer vaccine prior to administration can be stored for up to 31 days. 

Transfer of COVID-19 vaccines between participating primary care vaccination sites If you have experienced a Cold Chain Breach contact the Vaccine Operations Centre on 1800 318 208

Information they may require: 

  • Batch numbers and expiry dates 
  • Time and date power went out and timeframe 
  • How many vials were impacted 
  • Ensure impacted vials are isolated ensuring no one can use them 
  • Temperature log of fridge or if moved to esky manual temp log 

COVID-19 vaccination training 

COVID-19 vaccination training is mandatory for all authorised vaccination providers. The non-clinical modules of the training such as handling, storage and administration are available to non-clinical and administrative staff. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) 

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines. The links below are updated frequently. 

Resources 

Vaccination cards and flyers available

COVID-19 vaccine providers can now order vaccination appointment cards and flyers with step-by-step instructions for patients on how to access proof of their vaccination status, through their mygov account. To order these resources direct from the distributor, click the button to email your practice name, address, and quantity required. Please note, the resource description and number will automatically appear in the email subject line when you click the link below.

Australian Government Department of Health 

  • Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine website 
  • Australian Government COVID response weekly webinar updates 
  • Advice for COVID-19 vaccine providers. A collection of resources for health professionals containing advice and guidance on delivering COVID-19 vaccinations. 
  • As with all other vaccines, informed consent is required before administering each COVID-19 vaccine dose. In most cases, consent can be verbal. Written consent is not mandatory but may be required in some circumstances. This applies to Dose 1 and Dose 2. 

Queensland Health 

Other sources 


Vaccine Consumables


Brisbane South PHN is able to provide primary care providers (i.e. General Practitioners or nurses) with a one-off special order of vaccine consumables to support COVID-19 vaccine efforts until supplies have been exhausted.  This includes 3ml Luer-slip sterile syringes, 25 gauge sterile needles 25mm in length and Sharp Collector kits (1.4 litre, 3 litre, 8 litre and 17 litre).

To request access to a one-off special order of vaccine consumables, please complete this form.


Primary Health Networks (PHNs) 

Queensland PHNs have developed a Vaccination Preparation Pack to assist general practitioners, practice nurses and practice managers to deliver a successful mass vaccination program. A checklist is provided for non-vaccinating practices to help prepare patients for COVID-19 vaccination at an alternate location. Download the checklist here.

Part 1- Preparing your practice policies and protocols

Part 2 - Internal preparation for your team

Part 3 - Identifying eligible patients and planning the patient vaccination journey

Part 4 - Preparing and implementing a vaccination clinic


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