PCIG Update from Meeting of 14 April 2021

PCIG Update from Meeting of 14 April 2021 – Meeting Notes from Dr Maria Boulton, AGPA Representative

The Primary Care Implementation Group (PCIG) is an online meeting that includes most primary healthcare peak bodies. It is convened weekly by the Department of Health as part of the COVID-19 response. Dr Maria Boulton attends on behalf of the AGPA.
Dr Nathan Pinskier, and AGPA member also attends

These notes were taken during the meeting and may not represent a complete record of the discussion.

Issues Raised by AGPA
General Practices are experiencing increased numbers of phone calls from concerned patients.
GPs experiencing increase in complexity of consultations when it comes to questions and consent around COVID vaccines.

Issues Raised by Dr Nathan Pinskier
What are the legalities of mentioning what vaccine we are giving in General Practice?
Michael Kidd stated it is ok to tell patients what vaccine you are giving.
It is out in the public domain which vaccine is rolling out in General Practice.

Should we be offering AZ to all people over the age of 50.
Response: This is under consideration, along with issue of supply

Other Issues Discussed

  • There have been two confirmed cases of thrombosis associated with thrombocytopaenia in Australia that are related to the AZ vaccine.
  • Vaccine hesitancy has increased among those in their 50s and 60s with AZ vaccine.
  • Challenges for under 50s accessing the Pfizer vaccine due to the limited number of State and Territory hubs open thus far.
  • Sadly another death from COVID 19 in Australia this week.
    • First Australian National who has passed away this year.
    • There was a PNG National who sadly passed away recently too.
  • Most current information on AZ vaccine on front page of health.gov.au.
  • Patient information resource on DoH website on AZ vaccine, feedback was that it needs to be simpler and released in more languages.
  • Rural and remote communities – How are people who live in those communities who are under 50 going to access Pfizer vaccine?
    • Currently under consideration.
  • The DoH wants to know which state/territory hubs are turning eligible people away.
    •  This applies to HCWs. Eg there are some quarantine workers that have been turned away who shouldn’t have been.
  • Some RACFs are still yet to be vaccinated.
    • Some confusion as the GPs are ready to do the flu vaccine.
    • Clearer communications needed so that both vaccines can be scheduled.
    • RACFs are being advised 2 weeks in advance of COVID vaccines so they know not to do flu vaccines if they have been advised of a day for the COVID vaccines.
  • Are there any updates on what increases risk of thrombosis associated with thrombocytopaenia with AZ vaccine?
    • Should people be screened prior to the vaccine?
    • No known predisposing factors, nothing that can be screened for, not related to past thrombotic events or any clotting disorders. However research is ongoing. So advice may change.
  • The current plan is for General Practice to continue to rollout 1b with AZ.
    • With a focus in age groups over 50 year olds who fit in 1b.
    • That may change. Need to wait on National Cabinet Meeting next Monday.
    • Attendees asked for as much notice as possible if there is a change.
  • What is the status with Novavax?
    • One of the 4 contracts that the Australian Govt signed. The others are AZ, Pfizer, Uni of Qld.
    • Novavax due to arrive in the second half of the year.
    • There are some reports in media of delays in production due to constraints of supply of ingredients.
    • There may be the capacity to produce it in Australia at a later date.
    • It is planned to be an additional vaccine to the AZ and Pfizer vaccine and not instead of.

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