COVID-19 vaccine (AstraZeneca and Pfizer), 5000+ shots in arms!
In light of Sydney’s latest COVID-19 outbreak, it feels like it is all negative news. Today the staff at Hunters Hill Medical Practice celebrated a positive contribution to the national effort to defeat COVID-19 by delivering the 5000th COVID-19 vaccine at HHMP to an eligible patient.
The vaccine roll out started slow with limited supplies forcing us to initially only deliver 50 doses per week. This has been increasing week on week and we have been breaking our own records each week, with 576 doses delivered last week marking a new record and spurring us towards 600!
The work of our nursing and reception staff has been exemplary. They have been dealing with increased call volumes and increased patient anxiety. They have all handled this with grace, patience and a positive attitude. Recently, the doctors have also been spending some time in the vaccine clinic to further super-charge the rollout. We are now delivering both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines but on separate days to maximise patient safety and flow.
It seems that the lockdowns have struggled to hold the delta-variant of the COVID-19 virus and vaccination is the most likely to give us an opportunity at normality. There has been a large amount of fear about vaccination and we urge you, if you are unvaccinated to make an appointment to speak to your doctor and have your questions answered.
The latest ATAGI advice indicates that vaccination, with any COVID-19 vaccine recommended unless contraindications exist. This means that those who are as yet unvaccinated, are recommended to get vaccinated with the vaccine available to them (usually AstraZeneca) rather than waiting for another vaccine (eg: Pfizer or Moderna).
Who is eligible:
Astra Zeneca: Anyone above 18 years of age without any contraindications to vaccination.
Pfizer: multiple eligibility criteria apply. At this stage, it is mostly for those between the age of 40-59, essential workers, those with serious medical conditions and a ew other criteria. More detailed information can be found here.
What is the vaccine timing between doses:
Astra Zeneca: Initially the 2 doses were recommended to be 12 weeks apart. In light of the recent Sydney outbreak, patients are being urged to being their 2nd dose forward to as early as 4 weeks. An earlier 2nd shot ensures earlier protection but reduced efficacy. Basically the efficacy increases from 4 weeks all the way to 12 weeks. The more at risk a patient is, the more benefit they have from an earlier 2nd dose eg: a young person such as a tradesman who is out and about in the community. A good compromise between speech and efficacy seems to be about the 7-8 week mark.
Pfizer: Initially the doses were recommended to be 3 weeks apart. Recent studies have shown that a longer inetrval may lead to even better protection. So at this stage, the 2 Pfizer doses need to be no loss than 3 week apart and ideally within 6 weeks of each other.
HHMP COVID-19 vaccine Clinic
The HHMP COVID-19 vaccine clinic is the mainstay of the HHMP COVID-19 vaccine program. The clinic operates 5 days per week, Monday to Friday and will soon be running some Saturday sessions for at risk patients such as children 12-16 with serious medical conditions. Usually AstraZeneca vaccines are delivered 3 days per week and Pfizer vaccines 2 days per week. This is based on vaccine availability.
AstraZeneca vaccines can be booked online via the Book-Now button on our webpage. Pfizer vaccines need to be delivered to those who meet the eligibility criteria and can be booked on 9817 2080. If you do not meet the current Pfizer eligibility criteria we can add your name to our waiting list and inform you when you become eligible.
Please be patient with our staff as we are experiencing very high call volumes and are simply trying to follow government set eligibility criteria.