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08 May

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Vaccine News

All Australians over five years of age will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are not ‘live’ which means they do not carry any active part of the virus. We believe it will be an important vaccine for our patients to have. Below we have provided links to resources from the Australian Government, Department of Health, and Medicine/Vaccine advisory boards. We will endeavour to update our website regularly to reflect the most up to date information. Your GP will be helpful in providing advice regarding the vaccine.

COVID-19 2024 dose recommendations

ATAGI has updated its recommendations for a the COVID-19 vaccine, vaccination remains the most important measure to protect those at risk of severe disease from COVID-19.  The updated recommendations are:

ATAGI recommends a dose of COVID-19 vaccine for adults aged ≥75 years every 6 months.

ATAGI recommends the following groups receive a dose of COVID-19 vaccine every 12 months, and can consider a dose every 6 months, based on a risk-benefit assessment:

• Adults aged 65—74 years

• Adults aged 18—64 years with severe immunocompromise

The following groups can consider a COVID-19 vaccine every 12 months, based on a risk-benefit assessment:

• All other adults aged 18—64 years

• Children and adolescents aged 5—<18 years with severe immunocompromise

Although there is minimal benefit from having a COVID-19 vaccine dose soon after infection, it is challenging for many individuals to know if they have had a recent infection. In these circumstances it is appropriate to proceed with a further dose where recommended.

• XBB.1.5-containing vaccines are preferred over other COVID-19 vaccines.

• An XBB.1.5-containing vaccine is not currently available for children aged 6 months—<5 years, however a formulation has been approved for use and supply is anticipated in 2024.

• COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered (given on the same day) with any other vaccine for people aged ≥5 years.

• COVID-19 vaccines remain funded for eligible individuals

To assess your eligibility please discuss with your GP or specialist. Click on this link for further information

Information resources

Australian Government Department of Health

The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) have created a video explaining how the COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly and safely.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provides information on the risk of clotting conditions in relation to COVID-19 vaccines.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group for Immunisations (ATAGI) provides information on the risk of clotting conditions in people with a history of clots, in relation to the COVID-19 vaccines.

Watch a video of Professor Michelle Giles, an Infectious Diseases physician and immunisation expert, discussing COVID-19 vaccinations and fertility.


Am I at greater risk of getting the coronavirus infection?
There is now some information from the UK and elsewhere saying that people without a functioning spleen may have a slightly increased risk of getting COVID-19. The reason why you had your spleen removed and any ongoing medical treatments would add to this risk. Additionally, if you get a viral infection you may get a secondary bacterial infection (e.g. pneumonia).

All patients registered with Spleen Australia are recommended to have COVID vaccines (any type), as per ATAGI guidelines, to provide effective protection from the virus.

Who should I contact if I have symptoms and/or have COVID?
If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, immediately get tested (PCR or RAT) and isolate until you get your result. If your symptoms are of concern, contact your GP. If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical help.  

When should I take my emergency supply of antibiotics?
Do not take your emergency antibiotics if you have symptoms of a viral infection. Get your symptoms assessed ASAP by your GP (eg. telehealth appointment) to determine if your symptoms are COVID related or a bacterial infection (or both). If the doctor feels your symptoms are due to a bacterial infection you will probably be prescribed a course of antibiotics. If you cannot get to see a doctor promptly (within a few hours) and feel very unwell, take your emergency supply of antibiotics. When you do get to see a doctor tell them what you have taken.

Last updated 27/11/2023

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