NSW looks like they are in for a torrid time if they are to get the march of the delta strain of COVID under some form of control. One can’t help but think that they may be at the beginning of a prolonged lockdown. And the return of Victorian tourists from school holidays represents a real danger to us of it getting into Victoria and creating further havoc.
The vaccine message should be simple.
Get vaccinated when you are eligible.
The Pfizer vaccine is recommended for anyone under 60. Not everyone under 60 is eligible yet. Check on www.health.gov.au and your eligibility status. (Everyone between 40 -60 is eligible).
We have started immunising at FMC those who are eligible under 60 with Pfizer in two ways. Preferably go online and book through www.hotdoc.com.au . Pre-entering all the information helps smooth the process at the clinic. And is not onerous. Otherwise, for those unable to book online, ring the clinic for an appointment. Again, only if eligible.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is a good vaccine and a safe vaccine. We have plenty of it now also.
There is strong evidence that the second vaccine provides much greater immunity than the single shot and that the time between doses can be shortened if the situation dictates. ***Maximum immunity still favours 12 weeks but as a result of what is occurring in NSW we are now happy to give patients their second doses earlier if desired. (Under an 8 week interval immunity falls quite a bit and is not currently recommended). Do this by ringing the clinic.
Anyone over the age of 18 can now choose to have the AstraZeneca vaccine; as long as the individual understands the (small but real) risks of AZ in the younger population and gives consent, then the AZ vaccine can be given. Read up on the risks of TTS (the side effect of concern) and the risk/benefits on the Eligibility Checker and decide if this is right for you. And speak to your doctor if unsure.
We are giving lots of second-dose AstraZeneca vaccines now in the clinic and rejoice in the knowledge that a good section of our community are becoming fully vaccinated. Spread the word and help others get over the line. As the saying goes, ‘we are not safe until we are all safe’.