22 Apr 2021
2a brought forward
National Cabinet has agreed to bring the timetable forward for 2a. The 50-69 age bracket (approximately 6 million people) will not be able to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine earlier than expected
The new advice on the preferred use of the Pfizer vaccine for people under 50, will negatively impact the speed and efficacy of the vaccine roll-out as well as public confidence. Anecdotally, GPs have reported a 30 per cent cancelation rate when the change in Astra Zeneca advice was released. However, the silver lining is that our members are also reporting that once the risks and benefits of Astra Zeneca are explained to patients, they predominantly proceed with the vaccination. Understandably, this takes more time. We are continuing to advocate for the MBS item to be adjusted to recognise the extra time spent assuring patient consent. Read more on our advocacy with the Prime Minister.
The Queensland Government has consistently stated that 1a is complete but our members are not seeing this on the ground. Health workers missed in 1a are now forced into 1b and are seeking vaccinations with GPs. These vaccinations are an absolute priority and our GP members are certainly ensuring health workers receive the protection they need but this gap places pressure on the community needs for 1b and is covering a shortfall that should have been met by the State Government.
Role of GPs
We continue to lobby the Federal Government to ensure GPs remain the central method for vaccine distribution. To date, the GP program has significantly sped up the roll-out in Australia, with a large service footprint and easy access for patients. Our preference is that all interested GPs should be allocated doses but recognise this is dependent on adequate and consistent supply, which continues to be the most significant barrier to the program’s success. We will continue to advocate for GPs and pressure the Federal Government to modify the program as needed to ensure GPs are adequately utilised and supported in the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Webinar
Our members are telling us that obtaining patient consent is the most time-consuming process in each clinic. Join our webinar to find out how to create efficiencies, reduce costs and useful communication techniques to better handle patient anxiety.
Register now the COVID-19 vaccine clinic special webinar, Thursday 13 May from 6 - 7pm.
This webinar is complimentary for AMA Queensland members.
If you have any questions, please send them through to firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: 22 Apr 2021