COVID-19 Vaccination information and resources
Advice on this page will be updated as the situation evolves and new or changed information comes to hand. New information will be highlighted. You should continue to return to this website for the latest information rather than printing/ storing local copies of fact or information sheets. Note: The information on this page is intended for clinicians only.
COVID-19 Vaccination Preparation Pack
The PHN has developed a Vaccination Preparation Pack to assist general practitioners, practice nurses and practice managers in delivering a successful mass vaccination program. It also contains checklists which can be used as evidence for accreditation and quality improvement activities.
- Part One: Preparing your practice policies and protocols [Word] [PDF]
- Part Two: Internal preparation for your team [Word] [PDF]
- Part Three: Identifying eligible patients and planning the patient vaccination journey [Word] [PDF]
- Part Four: Preparing and implementing a vaccination clinic [Word] [PDF]
- Checklist to support non-vaccinating practices: Preparing your patients for COVID-19 vaccination at an alternative location [Word] [PDF]
COVID-19 Vaccination Suitability Assessment MBS Guides
- COVID-19 Vaccination Suitability Assessment
- COVID-19 Vaccination Suitability Assessment Non-VR GP (MDRAP and PEP or 19AB Exemption)
Vaccine provider communication kit
15 July 2021
COVID-19 vaccination campaign materials
The Australian Government has begun rolling out the next phase of advertising to support COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Campaign materials can be found online here.
5 July 2021
Latest version of Onboarding Pack
Last week, the Department of Health released version four of the Onboarding Pack for general practices participating in the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out. This version replaces previous versions as it contains additional information as well as updated numbers and links.
Interchangeability of vaccines
As per the recently updated clinical guidance from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), Comirnaty (Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd) and COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca are still not considered interchangeable.
There is minimal data on the efficacy of mixed schedules and the current advice is that the two-dose course should be completed with the same vaccine.
The Clinical and Technical Advisory Group for the COVID-19 Vaccination Taskforce endorses the current ATAGI advice.
If an individual develops anaphylaxis or a severe allergic reaction after the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, an alternate brand can be considered for the second dose.
If an individual develops thrombosis with thrombocytopenia after the first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, Comirnaty can be used for the second dose.
It is recommended to receive the second dose of a different vaccine (either Comirnaty or COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca) at an interval of 4 weeks (if first dose was Comirnaty) to 12 weeks (if first dose was AstraZeneca) after the first dose.
In all circumstances, a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine does not need to be given.
In all instances, whilst best endeavours should be made to ensure the second dose is delivered within recommended intervals, if the second dose is delivered outside of recommended timeframes, no further doses are required.
24 June 2021
Engaging patients over 60
In response to recent changes around eligibility, some of your patients over 60 may be hesitant to book in for their first, or second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
These tools and resources can help engage your patients, and answer some of their FAQs:
- Recall your unvaccinated patients using this PENCAT reporting tool
- There is also a new style of report in CAT4 focusing on income generated for the practice – this report shows the COVID-19 vaccination suitability assessment MBS item numbers
- Accredited general practices can use these two new MBS items to bill for longer consults with patients who have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Practices who have social media can share these ‘question and and answer’ tiles on their page
- This patient information sheet can help answer any questions your patients may have about the AstraZeneca vaccine and the risk of TTS.
COVID-19 vaccine safety report
The latest data (13 June) from the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which closely monitors suspected side effects (adverse events) from the use of COVID-19 vaccines reveals clots are rare (especially in those under 60 years), that TTS is a very treatable condition if identified early, and reports data out of Australia is consistent with rates of reported side effects in other countries.
Other information to consider is regardless of any vaccination, the individual lifetime risk of any thrombosis (VTE) is 830 per million, and the risk of developing a clot as a result of COVID-19 is much higher than the risk of clotting as a result of the vaccine.
Updated COVID-19 vaccine advice now in 63 languages
A factsheet regarding ATAGI’s updated advice recommending the Pfizer vaccine for adults under 60 has now been published on the Department of Health website in 63 languages. Find the translated factsheet on the Department of Health website.
Updated: Shared decision making guide
Following the joint statement from ATAGI and RANZCOG, the Shared decision making guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy has been updated. It reiterates that:
- pregnant women should be routinely offered Pfizer Comirnaty at any stage of pregnancy,
- women who are planning pregnancy do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant,
- Pfizer Comirnaty is safe for breastfeeding women.
Reporting adverse events
The Queensland Chief Medical Officer, Dr Jeanette Young, has published this letter reminding clinicians and vaccination providers of their obligation to report serious, unexpected or uncommon adverse events following immunisation (AEFI).
Adverse event (AEFI) lodgement and Vaccination Record Cards
In order to complete an AEFI (adverse event following immunisation) report, the reporter requires details of the vaccine and the date it was given. While these details can be found in the patient’s medical record or on the Australian Immunisation Register, providing these details to the person vaccinated at the time of vaccination would be ideal.
In order to assist timely and accurate AEFI reporting, vaccination providers are encouraged to provide patients with the following information:
- Vaccine brand
- Dose (e.g. 1 or 2)
- Batch number
- Date given
- Time given
We acknowledge the ongoing supply and logistics issues with the delivery of Vaccination Record Cards, and until these issues are resolved, practices should provide this information to patients in an alternative manner.
As the Queensland COVID-19 vaccine program is extended, patients may present in primary care because of (potential) adverse events following immunisation (AEFI).
Identifying an adverse event following immunisation (AEFI), or potential AEFI, is at the discretion of each individual clinician exercising clinical judgement.
The latest advice from SHECC is that there is no definition that can provide perfect clarity but every AEFI should be reported, irrespective of its severity.
Two new forms have been added to the Queensland Health Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI) page:
- Queensland Health Vaccine Control Centre post COVID-19 vaccination suspected anaphylaxis follow-up form, developed to capture details that are aligned to the Brighton Collaboration’s Anaphylaxis case definition. It should be used in addition to a Queensland Health COVID-19 vaccine Adverse Event Following Immunisation form.
- Therapeutic Goods Administration Adverse Events of Special Interest. TheTGA closely monitors for specific adverse events known as ‘adverse events of special interest’ listed in this document.
Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS)
Joint statement from ATAGI and THANZ
ATAGI and THANZ have published a joint statement on Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) and the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The statement provides greater clarity on the nature of TTS and narrows the conditions determined to be contraindications for use of the vaccine
Advertising guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine brands
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recently published a reminder of the regulations around advertising prescription medicines, including the tradename and/or active ingredient of the COVID-19 vaccines or other information that might enable consumers to identify the particular vaccine or the manufacturer.
Queensland Health has confirmed vaccination processes will continue in line with guidance provided in the product information (PI) and issued by ATAGI.
This means people with a history of severe allergies or anaphylaxis should be observed for 30 minutes following vaccination, and other people should continue to be monitored for 15 minutes following vaccination.
There has been no change to ATAGI guidance, to Queensland Health processes, and no change (at this time) to how COVID-19 vaccination services are implemented in general practice from next week.
Say up to date with the latest clinical advice on HealthPathways.
Cold chain breach reporting
Cold chain breaches of COVID-19 vaccines should be reported immediately to the Vaccination Operations Centre (VOC) on 1800 318 208.
COVID-19 vaccinations and allergies
The Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) has released a set of FAQs to answer questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccination in relation to allergy, immunodeficiency and autoimmunity
The Department of Health recently published this useful document answering general questions for vaccine providers.
Health Contact Centre
The Health Contact Centre (HCC) is consumer facing and provides confidential health assessment and information services to Queenslanders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The HCC will also assist consumers (who are phase 1a or 1b eligible) gain an appointment with a HHS vaccine hub for the following scenarios:
- Overseas and interstate consumers needing their 2nd dose (not all consumers will align with the national phase roll out)
- Consumers with a medical condition which requires Pfizer vaccine and have documentation from GP or specialist.
- Consumers under 18 years of age to receive Pfizer vaccine.
- Consumers who have a history of anaphylaxis and have documentation from GP or specialist to be vaccinated at hospital
- Consumers with an allergy to ingredient(s) of the Astra Zeneca vaccine and have documentation from GP or specialist
Phone: 3608 5960
The PHN is aware of feedback from across the region that general practices are experiencing increased workload with queries about booking systems, patient eligibility and availability of vaccines.
We have been working hard to share messages via our community newsletter, along with local TV, radio and print publications urging patients to be patient. We will continue to promote the Department’s Eligibility Checker as the first source of information, and discouraging media outlets from directing community members to call general practice with queries.
Please contact the PHN if you would like support with media queries.
Script for general practice
The Australian Government has put together this script for general practice to help answer questions from your patients about the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
How to answer questions from your patients
We’ve received requests from some GPs for answers to Frequently Asked Questions that they receive from patients coming in for their COVID-19 vaccination.
This Queensland Health resource offers a list of common questions about COVID-19 vaccination such as:
- How do I know the vaccine is safe?
- What if I suffer from allergies or anaphylaxis – can I still get vaccinated?
- What if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
Bookmark this page , go to the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ dropdown near the bottom of the page and use it as a quick reference for when you are seeing patients for their COVID-19 vaccine.
Addressing vaccine hesitancy
The Australian Government has put together a list of talking points to help GPs address vaccine hesitancy around the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
From March 2021, 16 new MBS items became available to enable GPs and suitably qualified health professionals to assess patients for their suitability to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
The assessment and delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine is free to patients and the MBS items must be bulk billed.
Patients presenting with multiple clinical matters requiring attention should be encouraged to book a separate consultation, and preferably with their usual practice.
Co-claiming is only permitted where another GP service is provided that is unrelated to the vaccine assessment item.
Patients must also be informed if any other service that they receive on the same occasion will be bulk-billed or will attract a co-payment.
The Australian Digital Health Agency has upgraded the My Health Record system with the following enhancements:
- A new immunisation view in the National Provider Portal that supports the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccination program;
- Improved user settings for consumers;
- A reminder to update emergency contact details for consumers.
Further information and screenshots can be viewed online.
If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phase 1B COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-out through Primary Care Providers
Phase 1b FAQs – your questions answered
The PHN has produced this fact sheet with answers to the most commonly asked questions from general practice regarding Phase 1b of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program.
The FAQ was developed with thanks to Brisbane North PHN.
Phase 1b bulletin
Phase 1b patients under 50
The process for Phase 1b-eligible patients under 50 who request the Pfizer vaccine is still yet to be determined. Patients are still able to provide informed consent to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine where the clinical benefit outweighs the potential risks.
Aged care staff eligibility fact sheet
The Department has provided a factsheet outlining the aged care staff who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in phase 1a of the roll-out.
These include all people working at a residential aged care facility who are responsible for resident care, support and services for residents, maintenance and administration, and includes:
- nursing and personal care staff,
- allied health professionals,
- kitchen, cleaning, laundry, garden and office staff.
COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in RACFS
The Department of Health has provided information to assist residential aged care providers plan for the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in this COVID-19 Vaccine aged care readiness toolkit.
GPs with patients in RACFs
General practitioners and residential aged care facilities are encouraged to start a conversation around patient needs as the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out begins. Some residents will require assistance in obtaining guardian’s consent, some patients may need a medical review prior to vaccination, and you may be called upon in case of adverse effects.
Update for FPs visiting RACFs
The Department of Health has published this fact sheet to update residential aged care staff, including GPs who visit RACFs, on how to access a COVID-19 vaccination.
Vaccine dose policy guidance
The Department of Health has published Vaccine Dose Policy Guidance, containing advice on the administration of COVID-19 vaccines in RACFs and management of excess doses, make up doses and alternative access to vaccination.
Record of vaccination
People can access evidence of their COVID-19 vaccines in their immunisation history record through Medicare Online, myGov or the Express Plus Medicare app. Vaccination providers can also print an Immunisation History Statement (IHS) on behalf of their patient.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People
Information about COVID-19 vaccines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
This resource, jointly developed by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and NCIRS, provides information about COVID-19 vaccines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. View the resource here.
Cancer Australia has released information on the COVID-19 vaccines for people affected by cancer.
This includes a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the COVID-19 vaccines and cancer, and links to health professional guidance and research articles.
Clinical Excellence Queensland
Clinical Excellence Queensland has released a new range of COVID-19 vaccine digital resources and explanatory notes containing valuable clinical information, which are also suitable for sharing with your patients. Access and download them here.
Department of Health documents
- After your AstraZeneca vaccination
- Patient information on thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome
- ATAGI provider guide to COVID-19 vaccination of people with immunocompromise
- Clinical guidance on use of COVID-19 vaccine in Australia in 2021
- Consent form (including print friendly version)
- Preparing for COVID-19 vaccination
- Information for immunisation providers on thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) following COVID-19 vaccination
- Consent – information for providers: COVID-19 vaccination consent and FAQs
- Information on COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine
- Fact sheet: Information for health care providers to help consumers make an informed decision
Flowchart: where to go for help
Our friends at Brisbane North PHN developed this flowchart to help guide general practice to the service, resource or site best fitting to your queries regarding Phase 1b of the the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, which we have adapted to include our contact information, and local HealthPathways.
Pfizer syringe label template
Queensland Government COVID-19 vaccine resources
With the administration of COVID-19 vaccines now imminent, the following Queensland Government resources and information have been updated:
- The COVID-19 vaccine web page has been significantly updated with content and FAQs.
- The asset library has also been updated with resources for healthcare providers, including patient fact sheets, clinical questionnaire, a roadmap, signage and social media tiles.
Queensland Health COVID-19 information for Queensland clinicians
Dr Jillann Farmer, Deputy Director-General, Clinical Excellence Queensland, published a letter inviting clinicians to stay connected with Queensland Health’s response to COVID-19 on their dedicated webpage COVID-19 information for Queensland clinicians.
This page hosts the latest available information to assist Queensland clinicians to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation in Queensland and is updated as new or changed information comes to hand.
RACGP vaccination resources
The RACGP has created a COVID-19 vaccine information page for GPs that will be regularly updated.
Social media posts
The Department of Health has released new social media posts (copy and artwork) as part of their communication materials for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The COVID-19 vaccination training modules, mandatory for all authorised COVID-19 vaccination providers, are online at covid19vaccinationtraining.org.au.
The training is also available to non-clinical and administration staff who can access the non-clinical modules of the training such as handling, storage and administration.
There have been some queries about the vaccine ingredients. None of the vaccine ingredients are of human or animal origin and there is no food, latex or gelatin in the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available.
Non-active ingredients of the vaccine (no preservatives are used): L-histidine (an amino acid), L-histidine hydrochloride monohydrate (an amino acid), magnesium chloride hexahydrate (supports many activities inside cells), polysorbate 80 (a stabiliser), ethanol, sucrose, sodium chloride, disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA, a binding agent), water for injection.
If individuals have had an allergic reaction to other vaccines in the past, it does not mean that they will also be allergic to the COVID-19 vaccines (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy [ASCIA], 2021).