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Approved COVID-19 treatments and important vaccine information

Dear reader,

New COVID-19 treatments

We are pleased to inform you that there are 2 new oral COVID-19 medications now available for prescription. Lagevrio and Paxlovid have recently been approved under PBS and are available for people who are eligible. They have been found to be highly effective in treating mild to moderate COVID in adults aged ≥18 years, who do not require supplemental oxygen, and who are at increased risk of progression to hospitalisation. A prescription from a GP is required to access these treatments. This can be done via a Telehealth consultation. You will need to provide a positive PCR result taken within 5 days of developing symptoms. Hence, it is advisable to obtain a COVID-19 PCR test as soon as you develop any symptoms which may be related to COVID-19. Eligible groups include:

  • People aged ≥65 years with two additional high-risk factors for developing severe disease

  • People aged ≥75 years with one additional high-risk factor for developing severe disease

  • Moderately to severely immunocompromised people irrespective of vaccination status

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged ≥50 years with two additional high-risk factors for developing severe disease.

Influenza vaccination

Secondly, a massive resurgence of influenza is currently occurring, with the Australian community potentially more vulnerable to the virus this winter. Emerging data has also shown that the flu shot protects against severe effects of COVID-19. Our doctors advise eligible patients to book their influenza vaccine as soon as possible.

Groups that are eligible to receive the free government-funded influenza vaccine under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) include:

  • People aged ≥65 years

  • Pregnant women

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged ≥six months

  • Children aged six months to less than five years

  • People aged ≥six months with medical conditions such as:

    • cardiac disease

    • chronic respiratory conditions

    • chronic neurological conditions

    • immunocompromising conditions

    • diabetes and other metabolic disorders

    • renal disease

    • haematological disorders

    • children aged six months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.

Pneumococcal immunisation

Pneumovax is another vaccine which is recommended for the Australian community to protect against pneumococcal disease, a serious disease especially for young children and older people leading to pneumonia, bloodstream infection and meningitis. Pneumococcal immunisation is recommended for:

  • routine vaccination in infants and children

  • non-Indigenous adults aged ≥70 years

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults aged ≥50 years

  • Children, adolescents and adults with risk conditions for pneumococcal disease.

Update on COVID-19 vaccination

Lastly, the Moderna and Novavax vaccines are in stock at our clinic. Novavax is available for all people aged ≥18 years for their first and second dose. It is currently not approved for use as a booster. Moderna is available for people aged ≥18 years. This can be used as a booster, as well as the first and second dose for those who are not fully vaccinated. An additional booster dose, or ‘winter dose’, is also recommended for people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 who have already had their first booster dose. Groups recommended to receive a winter dose include:

  • adults aged 65 years and older

  • residents ≥16 years of aged care or disability care facilities

  • people aged ≥16 years who are severely immunocompromised

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults aged ≥50 years

  • People aged 16-64 years who have complex, chronic or severe conditions that are considered to increase their risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Please see the following link to check your eligibility: COVID-19 booster vaccine advice If you wish to book your vaccine or speak to one of our doctors regarding COVID-19 treatments, feel free to call us on 03 9509 5922 or book online here.

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