Hello and welcome to your latest Covid Vaccination Hub Bulletin.
As always there has been a hive of activity since the last update with plenty more staff getting their #jabdone with both our Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.
Our Footscray Hospital pop up hub was very popular this week, with another 135 staff attending for their Pfizer vaccine. We will host another pop up hub in 3 weeks to provide these staff with their second dose.
We are working to prepare for anticipated announcements regarding high volume vaccination sites across the state as well as efforts to increase access to both walk in and booked appointments for all 1b eligible members of our community. Watch this space!
Our West Metro Planning Group has identified key sites for expected high volume Hubs across the Wyndham, Melton and Hume regions whilst extensive preparation continues at our Melbourne Showgrounds Hub with an anticipated opening date scheduled for Monday 10th May.
Household contacts of Hotel Quarantine can now attend the Austin, Monash and Sunshine Hospital Hubs to receive their Pfizer vaccinations if aged under 50, and in other news the Royal Children’s Hospital Hub will commence Pfizer vaccinations in addition to provision of AstraZeneca vaccinations from early next week.
And finally, some exciting news for all Victorians this week with the Acting Premier announcing The Victorian Government is to invest in new critical manufacturing technology and research to provide certainty of supply of new vaccines and lifesaving treatments in Australia. You can read more here.
Again, my thanks to all those working tirelessly to deliever exceptional service across all our Hubs. And thanks to all of you for turning up to get the #jabdone. By doing so you are helping to protect yourself, your colleagues and your community.
Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery
Access to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends that Pfizer is the preferred COVID-19 vaccine for people aged under 50 years. There are a sizable number of people who are aged under 50 years who are currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine under Phase 1a and Phase 1b.
The updated priority access to Pfizer vaccine for people under 50 years is based on public health advice. Several factors were considered as part of this advice including the risk of exposure from overseas or interstate, risk of serious health consequences if someone catches COVID-19, settings where there is a higher risk of transmission and outbreaks and current supply.
Due to the limited number of Pfizer doses currently provided by the Australian Government, people aged under 50 years who are part of the following groups will currently receive priority access to Pfizer across state vaccination centres:
- Phase 1a – Hotel quarantine, border workers, frontline healthcare and testing staff.
- Phase 1b (Priority 1) – Household members of hotel quarantine staff, other healthcare workers
The following people will be the next priority groups to receive Pfizer. Department of Health will advise when these people can access Pfizer:
- Phase 1b (Priority 2) – Critical and high-risk workers (for example meat processing, emergency services, CFA/SES volunteers, and those involved in AstraZeneca manufacturing), and adults with underlying medical conditions or disability
- Phase 1b (Priority 3) – Transport workers
Priority populations requiring bespoke engagement and delivery models, including those living in high-risk accommodation and corrections staff and clients will be able to access Pfizer as part Phase 1b.
The following people are also able to continue to receive Pfizer vaccine (irrespective of age):
- Those who have received a first dose of Pfizer vaccine
- Those with a history of Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) or Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and other situations where it is medically indicated
- Those who have anaphylaxis after a previous dose of AstraZeneca vaccine
- Those who have anaphylaxis to polysorbate 80 (a component of AstraZeneca vaccine)
There may be minor exceptions for operational reasons only.
As at 21 April 2021, eligible Phase 1b aged care and disability care staff and residents will be able to book an appointment at an AstraZeneca vaccine clinic at a high-volume vaccination centre only.
The priority access to Pfizer will continue to be reviewed in light of the latest information and supply of Pfizer vaccine from the Australian Government.
Flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine reminder
The COVID-19 vaccine does not protect against the flu, so people are encouraged to still have a flu shot. When people book an appointment to have a COVID-19 vaccine or flu vaccine they should be advised of the recommended spacing between these vaccines:
- The flu vaccine should not be administered at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended that you wait at least 14 days after you receive the COVID-19 vaccine to get the flu vaccine.
- The same applies if you have a flu vaccine first, you should wait at least 14 days before being vaccinated against COVID-19.