Vaccine news: Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID 19 vaccines available at HHMP

 In COVID-19, vaccination

Vaccine update – HHMP can now vaccinate patients eligible for either Pfizer or AstraZeneca

As of this week, Hunters Hill Medical Practice will be administering both COVID-19 vaccines. That means we will be vaccinating with both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines depending on eligibility. Both vaccines are highly effective in real world studies against serious illness from COVID-19. In fact recent data from around the world shows that the vast majority of hospitalisations and deaths are amongst the unvaccinated.

 

The latest advice

With the recent outbreak of the delta variant in Sydney recently, the ATAGI have changed their advice regarding vaccination. Basically they are encouraging everyone over 18 to get vaccinated with whichever vaccine they can get as soon as possible. Their full advice is available here, but the summary is quoted below (ATAGI, 24 July 2021).

“All individuals aged 18 years and above in greater Sydney, including adults under 60 years of age, should strongly consider getting vaccinated with any available vaccine including COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. This is on the basis of the increasing risk of COVID-19 and ongoing constraints of Pfizer supplies. In addition, people in areas where outbreaks are occurring can receive the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine 4 to 8 weeks after the first dose, rather than the usual 12 weeks, to bring forward optimal protection.”

The TGA has approved the Pfizer vaccine from the age of 12, but this has not been rolled out yet, and is likely to be initially for those with serious chronic conditions only.

What about side effects:

Side effects have become a major point of discussion for both vaccines. Suffice to say, any medication, no mater how benign comes with side effects, even Paracetamol. Now the side effects usually do not make the news cycle every time they happen and thus people are comfortable with medications. In the case of the COVID-19 vaccines, when vaccinating a whole population of over 20 million, even rare side effects will occur on a semi-regular basis and thus make the news cycle. When considering risk, it is important to actually understand risk and not be biased by the latest thing we heard on the news or from a friend.

 

The main concern in the community with the AstraZeneca vaccine has been the increased risk of blood clots. The latest information is available here.

The full government handout is available here, but the most common side effects after COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca include:

• pain, swelling, tenderness, redness or itching at the injection site

• tiredness

• headache

• muscle pain

• nausea

• fever and chills

• feeling unwell

• joint pain.

 

Less common side effects after COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca include:

• enlarged lymph nodes

• pain in limb

• dizziness

• decreased appetite

• stomach pain.

 

Blood clots can also occur with the Pfizer vaccine, but the risk of inflammation around the heart has created the biggest fear. The latest information is available here.

The full government handout is available here, but the most common side effects after COVID-19 Phizer Vaccine  include:

• pain or swelling at the injection site

• tiredness

• headache

• muscle pain

• fever and chills

• joint pain.

Less common side include:

• redness at the injection site

• nausea

• enlarged lymph nodes

• feeling unwell

• pain in limb

• insomnia

• itching at the injection site.

 

What about the flu vaccine?

yes you should still get the flu vaccine. This is ideally separated from your COVID-19 vaccine (not matter what brand) by 1-2 weeks.

 

Who is Eligible and for What?

  • Eligibility is different for Pfizer and AstraZeneca. While the supply for Pfizer remains limited, we will be sticking by the strict eligibility criteria, a summary of the main points are listed below.
  • If you are over 60 you are eligible for AstraZeneca.
  • If you are under 40 without any serious medical conditions you are eligible for AstraZeneca.
  • If you are under 40 with serious medical conditions (need to check with staff to see if your conditions qualifies) you are eligible for Pfizer.
  • If you are 40-60 you are eligible for Pfizer.
  • If you are a health care or disability worker (with proof) or you care for someone with a serious medical condition you are eligible for Pfizer.
  • A few other exemptions for people may make theme eligible for Pfizer eg: a history of TSS not just any blood clot.

How will this work at HHMP

  • Bookings are by using the BOOK NOW link on this page which take you to the HealthEngine booking system or by calling 9817 2080.
  • AtsraZeneca bookings are available online or over the phone.
  • Pfizer bookings are currently being done by our staff calling the 600+ people on our waiting list. If you are on the waiting list, we will call or sms you soon. If you are not on the waiting list and are eligible for Pfizer eg: age between 40-60 we may be able to offer you an appointment from the 2nd week of September onwards. If you are not currently eligible for Pfizer eg: healthy under 30 and would like to go on a wait list, please let our staff know.
  • Please have some patience with the process. We are being asked to be gatekeepers for a government program. These are not our choices, we would prefer to just be able to vaccinate anyone who wants to without restriction, but this is not possible at present. Please be considerate with our staff and wait times.
  • More information is available on our vaccination clinic page.
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