VACCINATION INFORMATION

VACCINATION INFORMATION

ASTRAZENECA COVID-19 Vaccine Information

The Australian government has committed to providing the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for free to all Australian citizens, permanent residents, refugees, asylum seekers, and temporary visa-holders. Taylors' Pharmacy prides itself on providing safe and convenient immunization services and is fully committed to supporting the Australian Government and public in the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine rollout

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are now available at Taylors' Pharmacy. Please call us or book from here.

It is important to note that Australia has some of the toughest safety standards in the world. All vaccines approved for use in Australia undergo robust scientific testing and analysis by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to ensure they are effective and safe. For more up-to-date information and answers to your AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine questions please visit the Australian Government Department of Health resources

Currently, the administration of an AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine on the same day is not recommended. You need to wait at least 7 days between a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine.

Covid-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker

 

Influenza Information

The flu is the most common vaccine-preventable illness in Australia. Although the incidence of flu was low last year, it is believed, that as we move around more freely, flu infections will circulate again.

The flu is a highly contagious viral infection. It may be mild in some, but it can cause very serious illness, hospitalization, and even death in otherwise healthy people. It is especially serious for babies, people aged over 65 years, people with underlying medical conditions, and pregnant women.

Immunization is a safe and effective way to help protect you from the flu. By getting immunized, you also help protect those that are too ill or too young to be immunized and help slow the spread of the disease.

It is important to get the flu vaccine every year. The virus strains that cause the flu change each year and the vaccine changes each year to match these strains. At Taylors' Pharmacy, we will be using the 2021 quadrivalent vaccine for the flu immunization service. To book for your fu vaccination, click here.

Who should get a flu shot?

Annual immunization against the flu is recommended for everyone over 6 months of age.

Can I get a flu vaccine at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine?

Current recommendations are that you will need to wait for a minimum of 7 days between your flu and COVID-19 vaccines. Having your flu shot when it is released will prevent any delay in receiving your COVID-19 vaccination when it becomes available. Information regarding the COVID-19 National Rollout Strategy and phases is available here.

Who is eligible for a free flu shot?

The Australian Government's National Immunisation Program provides a free flu vaccine to eligible people, including:

  • People aged 65 and older
  • Pregnant women
  • All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months or over
  • People aged 6 months and older with medical conditions that put them at risk of complications from the flu
  • Children 6mo to less than 5 years old.

Vaccines covered by the National Immunisation Program (NIP) and specific State/Territory immunization programs are free for eligible people, however, not all pharmacies or pharmacist immunizers have access to these free vaccines. If you believe you may eligible for a free vaccine, it is recommended that you speak with your pharmacist or doctor prior to making your appointment to confirm the availability of the free vaccine. Eligible people get the vaccine at no cost, but your health care provider (for example, your doctor) may charge a consultation fee for the visit.

 

Whooping Cough Information

Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It is spread by respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

The infection begins with symptoms similar to a cold and develops into a cough with a distinctive 'whooping' sound when breathing in. This cough can last up to three months, even after antibiotic treatment is completed and the person is no longer infectious.

Whooping cough is particularly dangerous for babies aged under 6 months as they are more seriously affected and can develop fatal complications associated with the illness. One in every 200 babies aged under 6 months who gets whooping cough will die.

Immunization is the best protection against whooping cough and a booster is recommended for any adult who wishes to reduce the likelihood of getting and spreading the infection. Immunization is particularly important for people in close contact with infants. In NSW, pharmacists can administer whooping cough vaccination to people over 16 years of age without obtaining a prescription.

You can call us or book here to schedule a time for whooping cough vaccination.

Please note: The Australian Government’s National Immunisation Program provides a free whooping cough vaccine to eligible people, including:

  • Infants and children (5-dose schedule)
  • Adolescents aged 11 to 13 years
  • Pregnant women

If you fall into any of the categories above, it is recommended that you speak with your pharmacist or doctor about whooping cough immunization and the National Immunisation Program prior to booking your appointment.

Eligible people get the vaccine at no cost, but your health care provider (for example, your doctor) may charge a consultation fee for the visit.

 

Measles, Mumps & Rubella Information

Measles, mumps, and rubella are all highly contagious viral infections that can cause serious and sometimes fatal complications. These include:

  • Measles - Pneumonia, inflammation of the brain
  • Mumps - Inflammation of the brain or heart muscle
  • Rubella - Severe and permanent birth defects or death for the unborn baby of pregnant women

All are spread by respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. People are contagious for up to 1 week before and up to 1 week after symptoms appear, noting the exact period is different for each infection.

Immunization is the best protection against measles, mumps, and rubella and is available in a single combined vaccine.

Please note: The Australian Government’s National Immunisation Program provides the free measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine to eligible people, including:

  • Infants (aged 12 and 18 months)
  • Children and adolescents aged up to 19 years.

If you fall into any of the categories above, it is recommended that you speak with your pharmacist or doctor about measles, mumps, and rubella immunization and the National Immunisation Program prior to booking your appointment.

Eligible people get the vaccine at no cost, but your health care provider (for example, your doctor) may charge a consultation fee for the visit.

In NSW, pharmacists can administer whooping cough vaccination to people over 16 years of age without obtaining a prescription.

You can call us or book here to schedule a time for MEASLES, MUMPS & RUBELLA vaccination.

A few frequently asked questions (FAQ) have been summarised below:

The various vaccines have been developed too quickly – How can we be sure it is safe?

  • The TGA has approved this vaccine after an in-depth and independent full assessment was undertaken (NCIRS, 2020; TGA, 2020; Healthdirect, 2020).
  • An unprecedented amount of resources and a number of international researchers have been working towards the same clinical goal and have achieved this due to the devastating impact COVID-19 has had (NCIRS, 2020; Healthdirect, 2020).
  • The same number of trials and tests has been undertaken with COVID-19 vaccines as expected with any other new medicines. The vast number of trial participants in target groups has allowed this to happen more quickly than usual (NCIRS, 2020).
  • Pharmaceutical companies invested in manufacturing early on, so there was no delay between the completion of trials and safety testing and the roll-out (NCIRS, 2020).
  • Technology has evolved to be able to manufacture vaccines faster including sequencing the genetic code of the virus (Healthdirect 2020; NCIRS, 2020; Lewandowsky, et. al., 2021).

    NEW

  • Vaccine safety is monitored in a number of ways in Australia. One way is passive safety surveillance where adverse events are reported by health professionals, the general public and pharmaceutical companies. The other is active safety surveillance through a system called AusVaxSafety which gathers deidentified data from surveys sent out through a text message (ATAGI, 2021f).

What are the possible side effects of the vaccines?

  • All vaccines can cause side-effects. Usually, only mild effects may be experienced which disappear quickly (Lewandowsky, et. al., 2021; NCIRS, 2020).
  • Common side effects are reported to be very similar to those that you may experience with other vaccines. These are normal as your immune system is being activated within the first 48 hours. Examples include:
    • Muscle soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site.
    • Fever and chills.
    • General tiredness for a few days.
    • Headache.

(ATAGI, 2021b; Healthdirect, 2020; ATAGI, 2021f).

 NEW 

The side effects are most common after dose 1 of AstraZeneca and dose 2 of the Pfizer vaccine.

  • Very rarely anaphylaxis has been reported between 1 to 5 cases per 1 million vaccine doses administered.
  • There is a likely link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and very rare cases of clots and reduced platelet (clotting element) levels referred to as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome.

 NEW & UPDATED 

Is it still safe to get the AstraZeneca vaccine?

  •  NEW  The COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca is highly effective in protecting people against the serious health effects of COVID-19 – including death.
  • The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer (COMIRNATY) as the preferred vaccine for those aged 16 to under 60 years. The recommendation was revised due to higher risk and observed severity of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) related to the use of the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca observed in Australia in the 50-59-year-old age group than reported internationally and initially estimated in Australia (ATAGI, 2021n).
  • COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca can be used in adults aged 18 to 59 years if the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks for that individual and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits (ATAGI, 2021e; ATAGI, 2021n).

 NEW  More information about the benefits and risks regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca can be found here.

  •  NEW  For those aged 60 years and above, the individual benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine are greater than in younger people. The risks of severe outcomes with COVID-19 increase with age and are particularly high in older unvaccinated individuals. The benefit of vaccination in preventing COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca outweighs the risk of TTS in this age group. 
  •  UPDATED  People of any age without contraindications who have received their first dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca without any serious adverse events should receive a second dose of the same vaccine. This is supported by data indicating a substantially lower rate of TTS following a second COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca dose in the United Kingdom (ATAGI, 2021n).

 NEW  Current data suggest that the risk of TTS following a second dose is considerably lower than with a first dose (ATAGI, 2021l; ATAGI & the Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society of Australia and New Zealand [THANZ], 2021).

  •  NEW  Blood clots occur commonly in the population, and not all blood clots that occur after AstraZeneca COVID-19 will be caused by the vaccine. (ATAGI, 2021l).

Can you get COVID-19 from the different vaccines and can the vaccines change your genetic code?

  • No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines contains live coronaviruses. Therefore, the virus is unable to replicate and grow to cause an infection (DoH, 2021f; ATAGI, 2021f).
  • The mRNA genetic material in the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is cleared and the mRNA does not enter the human cell nucleus which is where our DNA is located and cannot alter your DNA or genetic make-up (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2021).
  •  NEW 
    The AstraZeneca recombinant, genetically modified vaccine cannot spread or multiply throughout the body and cannot alter your DNA or genetic make-up.
  • Receiving a vaccine will not result in a positive COVID-19 swab test. However, it is possible for a person to catch COVID-19 just before or after vaccination and therefore return a positive test due to an active infection acquired before the vaccine was effective (CDC, 2021).
  •   NEW 
    Following the AstraZeneca vaccine, an antibody test for the spike protein of COVID-19 may be affected.
  • Some side effects from the COVID-19 vaccination might be similar to symptoms of COVID-19. It is important to still get a COVID-19 test performed at your local testing center if you have any of the respiratory COVID-19 symptoms including a runny nose, cough, sore throat, loss of smell or taste, even after you have been vaccinated (DoH, 2021f).
  • You may not need to get tested or isolated if you develop general symptoms only such as fever, headache, or tiredness in the first two days of vaccination You should check the current guidelines in your jurisdiction for the most up-to-date information, if in doubt, seek medical assessment (DoH, 2021f).

Should I take paracetamol or ibuprofen before and after the COVID-19 vaccination?

  • Paracetamol or ibuprofen are not recommended routinely before or after vaccination. There is currently no evidence on the benefit of painkillers for the prophylactic prevention of immunization injection pain or systemic reactions following COVID-19 vaccination. Paracetamol and ibuprofen can, however, be considered for the management of adverse events (e.g. pain or fever, respectively) if they occur after vaccination for a short time (e.g. 1 to 2 days) (ATAGI, 2021b; ATAGI, 2021f).

 UPDATED 

Can I get my influenza vaccine at the same time as my COVID-19 vaccine?

  • It is not routinely recommended that any other vaccines be given on the same day as a COVID-19 vaccine. The preferred minimum interval between receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and influenza or any other vaccine is 7 days but can be shortened (including same-day administration) in special circumstances (ATAGI, 2021b)

Will the vaccines prevent COVID-19 infection or just severe symptoms?

  • Vaccine developers are releasing announcements on the efficacy or effectiveness of vaccines in preventing COVID-19 symptoms and disease as soon as they are available. The results are very promising and indicate that the existing vaccines are statistically significantly effective (more than a coincidence) in preventing COVID-19 (NCIRS, 2020).
  • Data on the real-world effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 disease and symptoms and the duration of this protection will be gathered over the coming months and years (ATAGI, 2021b). It is difficult to give exact rates of efficacy as this depends on the population group receiving the vaccine such as their age and health status.
  • At this stage, vaccines have been shown to prevent severe COVID-19 disease, but it may still be possible to be infected with and transmit (spread) COVID-19 to other people.  For this reason, it is important to be tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, even after you have been vaccinated.
NEW

What happens if I don’t get the second dose?

  • A single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will provide only partial protection against COVID-19 and this protection is likely to be of shorter duration unless the second dose is given. For optimal protection against COVID-19, two doses are required (ATAGI, 2021f).

ELECTRONIC PRESCRIPTIONS

What is Electronic Prescriptions?

Electronic  prescriptions are a digitally enabled option for medication management in Australia. This will allow people to manage prescriptions electronically which will increase convenience and improve medication safety.

The current COVID-19 restrictions on community movements have highlighted the great need Australia has for electronic prescriptions. As a result this has accelerated the delivery, and electronic prescriptions will be progressively available from the end of May 2020 with the aim to be fully integrated by late 2020

 

Tokens

The solution for the delivery of electronic prescriptions has been accelerated and will be progressively available from the end of May 2020 and will see a unique QR barcode known as a ‘token’ sent via an app (if you have one), SMS or email.

The token will be scanned by our pharmacist as a key to unlock the electronic prescription from an encrypted and secure electronic prescription delivery service.

If you have any repeats of a prescription, a new token will be sent to you when the prescription is dispensed. You will need to keep the token to send to our pharmacy when you need to get the repeat filled.

Active Script List

By the end of September 2020, more functionality will be available and in addition to the token, there will also be an option for you to give us a list of your active prescriptions in our software, so you don't have to forward it on.

To get your medicines you will need to prove your identity to the pharmacist and provide consent for the pharmacist to view your prescriptions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TELEHEALTH

What is Telehealth?

On March 13 the Australian Government began allowing access under the Medicare Benefits Schedule to telehealth for many consultations between patients and their general practitioners, where patients of GP’s were required to self-isolate, or patients were considered vulnerable.

Amendments to Medicare are being implemented in a staged way, so eligibility criteria listed here may change. Info valid @ 23rd March 2020.

 

Telehealth provides you with the ability to book a phone appointment with an InstantScripts GP in the comfort of your own home. At the moment InstantScripts GPs are providing medical consults via the phone.

The prescription is then emailed to Taylors' pharmacy and the original is sent to us in the post.

Request Consultation

 

How much does a telehealth appointment cost?

Some patients are eligible for fully funded, bulk-billed consults.

To receive a telehealth appointment at no cost you will require your Medicare details to book.

 

Who is eligible for a Medicare rebate?

Anyone with a valid Medicare card is now eligible for a fully bulk billed consultation with a GP.

 

What if I’m not eligible for a medicare rebate?

If you are not eligible for a medicare rebate, but still want a telehealth appointment, you can still book an appointment at a cost of $55.

 

Read more

Visit https://www.instantscripts.com.au/telehealth/