View our Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccination Consent Form here

Please note: This form is for your reference only. Please only complete if we have asked you to do so, as it may change.

COVID-19 Vaccine

SPMC is offering Pfizer vaccinations to current patients of our practice, including booster and third doses.

The practice operates designated Pfizer vaccine clinics at specific times throughout the week.
Please phone to check dates, times and availability.

We are not offering AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines.

 

How do I book to get my COVID-19 vaccine?

If you are 12 years of age or over, you are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

If you are an existing patient of our practice and would like to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, please phone reception to discuss booking an appointment.
Please be patient! We may be receiving a high volume of calls regarding vaccines, while continuing to provide our usual general and urgent medical services.

 

Booster/Third Doses

A booster dose refers to an extra vaccine dose given after the primary vaccine course.
In Australia, the primary vaccine course consists of two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. However, for people with severe immunocompromise a primary course is defined as three doses.

If you are 18 years of age or over, you are eligible for a booster dose 6 months after your second dose of vaccine.
Pfizer if the preferred vaccine for booster doses, unless you had a significant adverse event following previous vaccination with Pfizer or Moderna. If you are unsure which vaccine you should have for your booster, please book a consult with a GP to discuss.

If you are 12 years of age or over, and have severe immunocompromise, you may be eligible for a third dose of vaccine 2-6 months after your second dose. Please book a consult with your usual GP to confirm your eligibility before booking a vaccination appointment.

Alternative options for booking a COVID-19 vaccine are:

If you have questions, please contact our friendly reception staff on 07 3279 0444.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I have the COVID-19 vaccine?

The following are benefits of COVID vaccination and vaccinations in general:

  • Vaccines have been proven to save lives (e.g. smallpox killed more than 300 million people during the 20th century before eradication due to vaccine development)
  • COVID vaccination may save your life, particularly if you fall into a high risk category
  • Rapidly developing evidence suggests that COVID vaccines will significantly reduce your risk of severe COVID infection, complications, hospitalisation and death
  • COVID vaccination may protect you from long term complications of COVID-19 infection
  • COVID vaccination will protect and support our health services, freeing up resources by reducing case numbers and preventing further backlogs for other important treatments and procedures
  • If enough people in the community are vaccinated, “herd immunity” will protect the vulnerable by reducing the spread of the virus

Will the COVID vaccine give me a COVID-19 infection?

No. The COVID-19 vaccines do not use a live virus and cannot cause a COVID-19 infection. However, it is possible that you may experience mild flu like symptoms for the first couple of days after receiving the vaccine as your body is developing an immune response.

Additionally, it is important to remember that it will take a few weeks for your body to build immunity after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, it is possible that you could become infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or after being vaccinated.

Which COVID vaccines will Australians be receiving?

Currently, the Australian government has entered into agreements to purchase four COVID-19 vaccines:

Pfizer (Comirnaty):

  • mRNA based vaccine (new technology)
  • (-) minus 70C storage (ultra-cold)
  • Phase 1(a) rollout
  • Can be given to people 16 years and over
  • Requires 2 doses (3 weeks apart)
  • TGA approved

University of Oxford/ AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1-S):

  • Viral vector vaccine (traditional technology)
  • 2-8C storage (fridge)
  • Phase 1(b) rollout and beyond
  • Can be given to people 18 years and over
  • Requires 2 doses (4-12 weeks apart but 12 weeks is optimal)
  • TGA approved
  • Capacity to manufacture in Australia (CSL)

Moderna:

  • mRNA based vaccine (new technology)
  • 2-8C storage (domestic fridge) for unopened vials up to 30 days
  • Can be given to people 18 years and over
  • Requires 2 doses (4 weeks apart)
  • Provisional TGA approved

Novavax:

  • Protein vaccine
  • 2-8C storage (fridge)
  • Not known when will be available
  • Can be given to people 18 years and over
  • Requires 2 doses (3 weeks apart)
  • TGA approval pending

Which vaccine will I recieve/am I eligible for?

The vaccine that you receive or are eligible for may depend on a number factors including:

  • your age
  • previous medical conditions and adverse reactions to COVID vaccines
  • risk of contracting COVID infection, especially during outbreaks
  • vaccine brand availability

If you are under 60 years of age, it is generally recommended you receive the Pfizer vaccine. There may be situations however where AstraZeneca should be considered in people under 60. In particular these include:

  • where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is increased (e.g. during outbreaks), and/or
  • where there is a delay in receiving the Pfizer vaccine due to limited supply

If you are under 60 years of age and are considering the AstraZeneca vaccine it is important to speak to your usual doctor about the risks and benefits.

Can I request my usual GP to administer the COVID vaccine?

As the COVID vaccine comes in multi-dose vials, vaccinations will be administered via stand-alone clinics with rotating general practitioners to minimise vaccine wastage.

Therefore, when you are due to receive your vaccination it is possible that your GP may not be rostered on for that session.

We will of course try to provide you with a specific GP if requested, however, this may mean that your first vaccination will be delayed. You may need to see a different GP for your second dose to ensure you are vaccinated at the recommended timeframe.
Please be reassured that all medical staff (GPs and nursing staff) involved in our vaccination clinics are highly trained professionals, skilled in providing vaccines and post vaccination monitoring. Furthermore, all medical staff involved in our clinics have undertaken specific COVID-19 vaccine training.

Can I see my GP for a regular appointment when I receive the vaccine?

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines come in multi-dose vials, and vaccine doses must be used within a specific timeframe once the vial has been opened. Therefore, to reduce wastage, vaccinations are administered via stand-alone clinics.

To ensure efficiency, a COVID clinic appointment will only deal with COVID related matters (e.g. eligibility, safety concerns, vaccine administration and monitoring).

The practice will continue to provide regular appointments (concurrently with COVID clinics) for non-vaccine related health matters, however, this will involve a different doctor to the one that administered your vaccine.

Our reception staff will be able to advise you when your GP is available for COVID vaccination and regular appointments.

Will there be a cost associated with receiving a COVID-19 vaccine?

No. A COVID-19 appointment (vaccine and consultation) at SPMC will be bulk billed (no out of pocket expense) as per federal government regulations.

Is it mandatory to have the COVID-19 vaccine?

The vaccine is voluntary for all Australians, however there will be some workplaces where vaccination is mandatory (e.g. residential aged care workers). If unsure, speak to your employer.

If you are unsure about receiving a COVID vaccine we would recommend that you:

  • ask yourself what you are concerned about
  • make a list of your questions and concerns
  • speak with your usual GP to assist in the decision-making process

Our GPs understand there will be some degree of COVID vaccine hesitancy. Please feel comfortable to discuss these concerns in a non-judgmental environment with our doctors at SPMC.

What side effects can I expect after having the vaccine?

As with any vaccine, you may have some side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

Common side effects after Comirnaty (Pfizer) COVID-19 Vaccine include:

  • pain or swelling at the injection site
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • fever and chills
  • joint pain

Less common side effects after Comirnaty (Pfizer) COVID-19 Vaccine include:

  • redness at the injection site
  • nausea
  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • feeling unwell
  • pain in limb
  • insomnia
  • itching at the injection site

These side effects are usually mild and usually go away within one or two days.

Some people will experience more significant flu-like symptoms from this vaccination compared to other common vaccinations and may require time away from normal activities. These symptoms may occur after either dose but are more common after the second dose.

 

Rare side effects that have been reported after Comirnaty (Pfizer) COVID-19 Vaccine are:

  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
  • Myocarditis and pericarditis:
    • Most reported cases have been mild, self-limiting and recovered quickly, although longer-term follow-up of these cases is ongoing.
    • Cases have been reported predominantly after the second dose and predominantly in younger males (aged < 30 years)

 

If you would like more information, the Department of Health has provided some fact sheets:

What is the risk of having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a COVID vaccine?

The estimated risk of anaphylaxis to the COVID-19 vaccine is extremely low, at around one in 100,000 doses.

Importantly, there have not been any reported deaths from severe allergic reactions to a COVID vaccine

If I have multiple allergic reactions to drugs and have previously reacted to vaccines, should I have the COVID vaccine?

If you have an immune condition or a history of a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines your GP will discuss these issues with you prior to administration to determine if you are suitable for vaccination. It does not necessarily mean that you cannot be vaccinated.

What safety precautions will SPMC have in place to monitor and treat severe allergic reactions to the COVID vaccine?

  • Pre- vaccination screening to assess your risk of severe reaction and determine suitability for the vaccine
  • Highly skilled and trained medical staff that will monitor you after receiving the vaccine and are able to provide immediate assistance and treatment if required
  • Our practice has appropriate medications and equipment on hand to provide immediate treatment if required (e.g. adrenaline/ antihistamine/ oxygen/ blood pressure monitors)
  • Everybody that receives a COVID vaccine will be asked to remain at the practice for 15-30  minutes post vaccination to monitor for allergic reactions and side effects

Is the COVID vaccine safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women?

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning pregnancy it is preferable for you to have the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. This is the preferred vaccine in young adults. However, you can still have the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca if the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks for you.

It is recommended that women who fall into the above groups discuss the option of COVID-19 vaccination with their GP, obstetrician and or midwife.

For further information please refer to:

How long will I have to wait at the surgery after receiving the vaccine?

To monitor for severe allergy and side effects, you will be asked to remain at the practice for a period post vaccination.

People who have had severe allergic reactions or who have had any type of immediate allergic reaction to a vaccine or injectable therapy in the past will be monitored for at least 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine.

All other people will be monitored for at least 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine.

The vaccine needs to be given in two doses. What happens if I delay or miss my second dose?

Pfizer vaccines need to be delivered in 2 doses, 3 weeks apart. A delay can affect the efficacy and make them less protective.

Therefore, it is very important that you receive your second dose.

You should get the second dose even if you have side effects after the first jab unless your GP specifically tells you not to get the second injection.

If you miss your second dose, this means you are not protected against the effects of COVID-19 if you become exposed.

If you are travelling when your second dose is due, we will discuss with you the best options available for receiving your second dose.

Each vaccination will be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register.

Will you provide me with a record of my COVID vaccination? Can I access my COVID vaccination record online?

As a vaccination provider we are required by Australian law to record all vaccinations on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

We will also upload a record of your COVID vaccination to your My Health Record (included in a Shared Health Summary) with your consent. Depending on your MHR settings, you may receive an SMS/email from the government notifying you of the upload.

Options to view and print your full immunisation history (including COVID-19 vaccination) include:

Read more information on how to get proof of vaccination here.

Please allow up to 48 hours for immunisation history to transfer to your myGov record.

On request, the practice can provide you with an official record of the COVID vaccination you have received (please note that the document will include other vaccines you have received at SPMC). Please speak to your doctor or a member of our clinical team.

Should I still get my influenza vaccine this year and when?

Yes, you should still get your annual Influenza vaccination to protect you from getting the flu and the potentially serious complications that can occur from infection. As the flu season in Australia spans from April to October, it is not too late to be vaccinated.

Currently, it is advised that the two vaccines (COVID and Influenza) are spaced at least 7 days apart to ensure maximal immune response to both vaccines.

SPMC is now taking appointments for flu vaccinations. Please contact reception to make a booking!

Will having the vaccine mean that we can stop social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing?

Not yet! The vaccination program will take time, as it will occur in phases while the supplies of vaccine become available.

It is also believed that the COVID-19 vaccines may not prevent the spread of COVID-19 between people who are carrying the virus silently but are not showing symptoms. Therefore, social distancing and precautionary measures will need to continue until we get the spread of the disease under control.

About the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

What is this side effect that everyone is talking about associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine?

There is evidence of a likely link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and an extremely rare blood clotting syndrome (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia).

The recommendation from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is that use of Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer) is preferred over AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in adults under 60 years of age who have not already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe?

Yes. The individual benefit-to-risk balance of vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine varies with age. This balance is based on factors including the increased risk of complications from COVID-19 with increasing age and the potential lower risk of this very rare, but serious, adverse event with increasing age. ATAGI has recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine remains safe to be given to people aged 60 years and over.

I have had my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, what do I do now?

If you have had your first vaccine dose without this side effect or other serious adverse effects, you should receive your second dose as planned.

What if I am worried about side effects?

If you have recently had your first vaccine dose and are experiencing any side effects that you are worried about, please make an appointment to see your doctor.

Where can I find more information about the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clotting?

Disclaimer:

Information about COVID-19 vaccines/vaccination/ vaccination clinics is rapidly evolving and changing.

The information provided in the FAQ is based on the best current knowledge at the time of compiling and will be regularly updated as new information is received.

The information provided in the FAQ is not intended to be a substitute for a detailed discussion of COVID-19 vaccination related issues with your doctor or medical staff.

The information contained in the Q&A is not to be copied without the express permission of SPMC directors and management.

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Dr Margaret Hall