Supporting the COVID-19 vaccination rollout
On this page:
- ATAGI Advice
- ATAGI Guides
- Referral Information for increased risk of Anaphylaxis
- Pathways for vaccinating Greater Brisbane’s vulnerable people
- COVID-19 Vaccines – Advice for pregnancy, fertility and breastfeeding women
- Information for COVID-19 vaccination providers
- Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI)
- MBS items relevant to COVID-19 vaccination
- Cold Chain Management
- COVID-19 vaccination training
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Vaccine Consumables
- Primary Health Networks (PHNs)
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.
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 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.
23 September 2021 – on the need for additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines
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
ATAGI Advice and Guides
- ATAGI Recommendations on the use of a 3rd primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine in individuals who are severely immunocompromised
- ATAGI clinical guidance on replacement doses for invalid primary courses of COVID-19 vaccines
- ATAGI advice on seasonal influenza vaccines in 2021
- COVID-19 vaccination – shared decision making guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy
- ATAGI – COVID-19 vaccination – Shared decision making guide for people with immunocompromise
- ATAGI – COVID-19 provider guide for patients with immunocompromise
- ATAGI guidance on the use of multi-dose vials for COVID-19 vaccination
- Information for providers: COVID-19 vaccination consent and FAQs
- Information for immunisation providers on thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) following COVID-19 vaccination
- COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for frail older people, including those in residential aged care facilities
- COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for people receiving palliative or end-of-life care
- COVID-19 vaccination – Weighing up the potential benefits against risk of harm from COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
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.
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.
- QLD Health website
- COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy information webinar
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) guidelines on COVID-19 vaccines
- Joint statement from the Queensland Clinical Senate and Statewide Clinical Networks
- ATAGI advice – shared decision-making guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy
- Key information on COVID-19 in pregnancy: UKOSS study of COVID-19 in pregnancy infographic
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.
- How to speak to kids about COVID-19 vaccines
- COVID-19 vaccine information for teens and parents/guardians
- Queensland Health Website about COVID-19 vaccines and children
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.
- About the AstraZeneca (Vaxevria) COVID-19 vaccine
- Provisional approval to AstraZeneca (Vaxevria)
- Product Information
- About the Spikevax (Moderna) COVID-19 vaccine
- Provisional approval to Spikevax (Moderna)
- Product Information
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
- Instructions for installing to Medical Director
- Download the COVID 19 Adverse Event Following Immunisation Reporting template for Medical Director (RTF 43 kB)
For Best Practice users
- Instructions for installing to Best Practice
- Download the COVID 19 Adverse Event Following Immunisation Reporting template for Best Practice (RTF 149 kB)
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.
- Allergy and COVID-19 Vaccination
- Immunodeficiency, Autoimmunity and COVID-19 Vaccination
- Allergy, Immunodeficiency, Autoimmunity and COVID-19 Vaccination (FAQ)
- Adverse Events Following Immunisation – Queensland Health
- 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.
- MBS COVID-19 Vaccine Suitability Assessment Service
- Flag-Fall Arrangements for COVID-19 Vaccine Suitability Assessment Services
- In-Depth Patient Assessment for a COVID-19 Vaccine
- COVID-19 Temporary MBS Telehealth Services
- MBS Support for People in COVID-19 Hotspots
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.
- National Vaccine Storage Guidelines ‘Strive for 5’, Appendix 8 – Checklist: Mobile and emergency storage
- Information on drawing up of multi-dose vials
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.
- About the COVID-19 vaccination training program
- Access the COVID-19 vaccination training portal
- First Nations COVID-19 vaccination training
- Brisbane South PHN Education Calendar
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines. The links below are updated frequently.
- National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS)
- Department of Health’s website.
- A comprehensive list of Q&As about the COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine safety, effectiveness and more.
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 COVID-19 Vaccine website
- Subscribe to the QLD Clinical Excellence mailing list for latest up to date information
- The Queensland Government’s Asset Library for COVID-19 health care providers provides a collection of print-ready and editable resources for general practice in regard to COVID-19 and vaccination care. The collection includes:
- RACGP vaccine information for GP’s. This page will be updated with the latest information and resources for GPs about the rollout as they become available.
- National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance website
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).
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