All Posts Tagged: covid-19

COVID-19 booster

COVID-19 vaccine booster update

Here’s the latest information about COVID-19 vaccine boosters at PVH Medical.

Vaccine availability

We have the Pfizer vaccine for use as a booster dose. Other vaccines may be available at state vaccination centres and pharmacies.

We’re no longer running special vaccine clinics. Instead, simply call us and let us know you want to book in for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Fully vaccinated?

It’s recommended that everyone aged 16 and over has three doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

The third ‘booster’ dose is due three months after your second vaccine was given.

To find out when you’re due, access myGov or look at your vaccination certificate. Simply add three months to the date showing (your second vaccine dose).

Winter booster dose (fourth dose)

You should get another COVID-19 booster dose, also referred to as a ‘winter dose’, if you have had your initial booster dose at least four months ago and you are either:

  • 65 years or older, or
  • a resident of an aged care or disability care facility, or
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and aged 50 years or older, or
  • 16 years or older, and have a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness, including:
    • reduced immune function due to illness or medication
    • recent or current cancer
    • chronic inflammatory conditions requiring disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or immune-suppressive or immunomodulatory therapies
    • chronic lung disease
    • chronic liver disease
    • severe chronic kidney disease (stage 4 or 5)
    • chronic neurological disease
    • diabetes mellitus requiring medication
    • chronic cardiac disease
    • people with disability with significant or complex health needs or multiple comorbidities which increased risk of poor outcome from COVID-19
    • severe obesity with BMI ≥ 40
    • severe underweight with BMI < 16.5.

Your doctor can help determine your eligibility if you’re unsure.

Note that healthy people aged 16 to 64, who do not fall into these categories, are not being advised to get a fourth dose at this stage.

Recently had COVID-19?

You’re advised to wait three months after your COVID-19 illness, before you have your booster. Make a note in your diary so you don’t forget about booking in!

We’re not a COVID-19 testing site

Please be reminded that we’re not a COVID-19 testing site.

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. fever, cold, sore throat), visit one of the dedicated testing centres instead.

Once you receive a negative result, you may then book an appointment with us. This keeps everyone as safe as possible, including other patients and staff.

Of course, if you are infected with COVID-19 we are here to help you manage the illness. Just call us if you need to book, so that we can best manage the situation.

Thanks for your understanding. You can read more about the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out at PVH Medical or give us a call on 9304 0500 if you have any questions.

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs. Page last updated 27 May 2022.

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Top 10 questions about COVID-19

Top 10 questions our doctors are asked about the COVID-19 vaccines

We’ve vaccinated thousands of patients against COVID-19, and our doctors have been asked a lot of questions about the vaccines.

Some questions are asked more than others, and we’d like to share them with you today.

So, here are the top 10 questions our doctors are asked about the COVID-19 vaccines.

1. The vaccines arrived so fast. How do I know they’re safe?

COVID-19 vaccines went through the same safety checks as other vaccines. Rather than the science being sped up, the administrative and funding processes have been fast-tracked.

2. What are the side effects, and should I worry?

It’s normal to experience mild side effects. The most common ones include pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever. These side effects are temporary and go away without treatment in 1-2 days.

Severe reactions to vaccines are very rare. Health experts are closely monitoring this.

3. Can you get COVID-19 from a COVID-19 vaccine?

No, you can’t. To get COVID-19, a live virus that can multiply in your body has to infect you. No vaccine supplied currently in the world contains live coronavirus.

4. Is it free?

Yes, COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone in Australia, as per Australian government policy.

5. Can I choose which COVID-19 vaccine I get?

We’re offering the Pfizer vaccine for anyone aged 12 or over.

If you have any questions, please make an appointment with your usual doctor beforehand.

6. What’s the Novavax vaccine?

Novavax is a protein-based vaccine. Even though it’s a little different to the Pfizer vaccine, it ultimately helps protect you against COVID-19.

We’re not currently offering the Novavax vaccine.

7. Can I switch the kind of vaccine I receive?

It’s preferable to have two doses of the same vaccine to be fully vaccinated, but it’s possible to switch vaccines if necessary. Please talk to your doctor.

8. Is a COVID-19 booster necessary, and if so, when should I have it?

Research shows that boosters don’t simply top up immunity – they elevate protection well above the peak level from two doses. So, it’s very important you get your booster shot.

You should have your booster about three months after your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

There’s also a winter booster dose for certain people, and you can have this four months after receiving your third dose.

9. Can I get the vaccine if I’ve recently had other vaccinations, such as the flu jab?

COVID-19 vaccines can be given with other vaccines, including at the same time as the flu vaccine, or they can be separated if you prefer.

You can chat with your GP for more information when getting your routine vaccinations.

10. Will the COVID-19 vaccines be effective on new variants of the virus?

Current evidence from clinical trials indicates that the antibodies induced from COVID-19 vaccines are likely to provide protection to a variety of mutations and minor changes.

However, in some cases there may be an impact on how antibody developed from vaccines based on the original strain can ‘neutralise’ the virus.

This may mean that the effectiveness of the current vaccines against this particular strain could be affected. This information is still emerging and is being closely monitored.

In the same way that the influenza vaccine changes each season, the technology used to create the COVID-19 vaccines may be able to be adapted to changes in variants.

How to book

You can book in for a special vaccine clinic by calling 9304 0500.

If you can, bring the consent form to your appointment (we’ll email you a link to the form once you’ve booked).

More information

If you’d like to find out more, take a read of these frequently asked questions. Or, make a booking with your GP and they’d be glad to answer your questions!

Source: Australian Government, SA Health, NCIRS, ABC

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs. Page last updated 31 May 2022.

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Woman wearing a face mask

Wearing a mask during the coronavirus pandemic

We’re all used to wearing face masks now.

It’s one of the most important ways we can help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

There are some commonly asked questions about face masks, and we’d like to answer them for you.

The most important thing to remember is you still need to wear your mask when you come into the clinic.

What masks are available?

There are two types of masks commonly available – disposable and cloth.

Cloth masks are good because they’re recyclable and better for the environment than disposable masks.

Cloth masks must fit snugly around your face. They should have three layers of closely woven fabric – cotton on the inside, cotton blend in the middle and a polyester outer layer.

Disposable masks, i.e. surgical and N95 / P2 masks, may be better at filtering out small viral particles in the air, but wearing any mask is better than wearing none.

Where should I buy one from?

Pharmacies, supermarkets and post offices are good places to buy disposable masks, as many sold on the internet may be inappropriate.

How should I care for my mask?

Cloth masks should be washed in hot water and detergent. It’s well known that hot water above 56°C can kill the virus.

Care is required when removing your mask to avoid touching the outer and inner surface of it.

Disposable masks must be put in the bin after each use.

Wearing a mask
Wash your masks in hot water.

What are the most important things to consider about masks?

You’re required to wear a face mask in certain settings, such as on public transport and at hospitals. You can find a list of all the places here.

When you come in to our clinic, you must wear a mask, even if you’re feeling great. Make sure the mask covers both your nose and mouth.

Some patients in our waiting room have serious medical conditions or have compromised immune systems, so it’s important we all play our part in keeping everyone safe.

If you do touch the mask, wash your hands with soap and water or sanitise your hands immediately. Do this after removing your mask too.

And remember, masks are not a replacement for social distancing, strict hand hygiene, and sneeze and cough etiquette.

Feeling unwell?

If you have any respiratory symptoms, no matter how mild, you should get tested at a COVID-19 testing site or use a rapid antigen test (RAT).

If you test positive, please stay at home and follow the government health advice.

As always, we’re here for you. If you have any questions, please give us a call on 9304 0500.

Source: RACGP

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs. Page last updated 23 February 2022.

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Man on bike moving during COVID

Keep moving for COVID-19 recovery

The pandemic has thrown you a number of obstacles.

Moving less during lockdowns or due to ill health is unfortunately a large part of your COVID-19 experience.

Less movement creates a huge problem for your health moving forward. For us and our loved ones, the best way to optimize your COVID-19 recovery is to keep moving!

Benefits of moving regularly are well known, but here are some good reminders:

Regular movement makes you energized

  • Exercise is an important part of being healthy, with or without infection. You can overcome lethargy, pain, stiffness and a loss of strength.

Regular movement helps you to be motivated

  • Exercise helps increase motivation to do all the things you love – catching up with loved ones, completing daily chores, work, study, and caring for yourself
  • The better you feel, the more motivated you become to keep it going, so it becomes part of your life!

You gain confidence

  • To reconnect with all the things that make you special. Your unique talents and personality shine through when you’re fitter, stronger and healthier
  • In your ability to achieve life goals – celebrate your achievements, no matter how big or small.

You feel less pain, doubt and fear

  • You learn to understand pain, listen to your body and deal proactively with pain
  • Becoming healthier and experiencing the joy of movement gives pain less of a role to play in your life.

How do I get moving again?

  • Start slowly. Your body has been through a lot and is still in recovery mode
  • Gentle walking and resistance exercises are a good way to help restore daily function
  • Breathing exercises play a role in recovering from COVID-19
  • Aim to exercise in environments that are well ventilated and where you can practice social distancing.

Will exercise make me more tired?

  • Initially you will feel a bit fatigued but over the next few bouts of exercise you will begin to tolerate movement a little more
  • You should aim to gradually increase the amount you do.

Compared to our friends in other countries, there’s been much less COVID-19 around us prior to 2022.

Our colleagues in the UK have been forced to develop great resources to help thousands of people get moving again after their COVID-19 infections. 

With so much practice, they’ve gotten pretty good at it too! Here’s the best movement advice from the UK.

When you’re ready to move again, your Pascoe Vale exercise experts will help you feel safe and energized through your COVID-19 recovery journey.

Book online or call us on 9304 0500 for your session.

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs. Last updated 27 January 2022.

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Managing COVID-19 symptoms

Got COVID-19? Here’s how you can manage your condition

If you’ve had a test for COVID-19 and the result is positive, meaning you have COVID-19, there are some things you can do to help manage the virus and keep you and others safe.

If you have mild symptoms

Most people with COVID-19 will only experience mild symptoms. This includes things like:

  • Aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Runny nose.

If you have mild symptoms, you can manage your condition by:

  • Getting rest
  • Staying active (within your house and/or garden)
  • Eating well
  • Maintaining a good fluid intake
  • Taking any medicines as discussed with your GP
  • Taking paracetamol or ibuprofen for symptom relief.

If you have moderate symptoms

Some people experience moderate symptoms of COVID-19, such as:

  • Breathing rapidly
  • Temperature above 38 degrees
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Mild breathlessness or a persistent cough
  • Struggling to get out of bed and feeling abnormally tired and weak.

If this sounds like you, book an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

If you have severe symptoms

Although it’s rare, some people experience severe symptoms of COVID-19, such as:

  • Breathing rapidly or your heart is beating very fast
  • Severe shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Lips or face turning blue
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Skin cold and clammy, or pale and blotched
  • Confusion (e.g. you can’t recall the day, time or names)
  • Fainting
  • Finding it difficult to keep your eyes open
  • Little or no urine output
  • Coughing up blood.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, call 000 immediately and let them know that you have COVID-19.

Review your symptoms daily

It’s a good idea to monitor and document your symptoms on a daily basis. You can do this for up to a month after testing positive to COVID-19, or until you’re feeling 100%.

Enter your symptoms on your phone or write them in a diary.

If your symptoms are tracking worse, rather than stable or better, book an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can.

Follow the government’s guidelines

As well as managing your condition, there’s a bunch of other things you need to do, from reporting your result to telling your contacts and workplace.

You can refer to the government’s checklist or this resource based on your symptoms.

You can also refer to the government’s guide to managing COVID-19 at home.

Reach out if you need help

Remember, we’re only a phone call away. Book an appointment with your doctor if you need help. And, as always, call 000 in the case of an emergency.

Source: RACGP

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs. Page last updated 17 January 2022.

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Hay fever sufferer

The best ways to manage hay fever

Countless people across Melbourne suffer from hay fever. Are you one of them?

Medically known as allergic rhinitis, hay fever causes cold-like signs and symptoms. This can include things like runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing and sinus pressure.

However, unlike a cold, hay fever isn’t caused by a virus.

Hay fever is caused by the nose and/or eyes coming into contact with environmental allergens, like pollen, dust mites, mould and even animal hair.

How do you manage hay fever?

The first thing you need to do is identify the allergens causing the symptoms.

In some cases the cause may be obvious. But in other cases, your doctor will need to consider your medical history and possibly order tests or a referral to a specialist in difficult cases.

Some medications may help relieve the symptoms of hay fever, such as:

  • Nasal sprays
  • Antihistamines (like Telfast and Claratyne)
  • Eye drops.

Some medications need a prescription while others don’t. It’s always best to ask your GP for advice.

How can you reduce symptoms?

There are ways to prevent or limit your hay fever symptoms, including:

  • In your garden, choose plants that are pollinated by birds or insects, rather than plants that release their seeds into the air
  • Splash your eyes often with cold water to flush out any allergen
  • Reduce your exposure to dust and dust mites, animals and animal hair or fur.

If you’re allergic to grass pollen, it can be difficult to avoid. However, when pollen levels are high the following advice may help:

  • Avoid being outdoors on very windy days and when there are thunderstorms
  • Avoid activities known to cause exposure to pollen, such as mowing grass
  • Shower after outdoor activities
  • Use re-circulated air in the car
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Dry your bedding and clothing inside.

Stay informed about pollen

It’s now easier than ever to know when the high pollen days are.

Just check this website or download the Melbourne Pollen Count app on your phone.

Does hay fever only affect people in spring?

Most people associate hay fever with spring, when airborne grass pollens are at their peak. This is known as seasonal allergic rhinitis or spring hay fever.

However, hay fever can occur at any time of the year. When symptoms occur all year round, this is known as perennial allergic rhinitis. This is usually caused by a reaction to allergens around the home, like dust mites and animal hair.

Hay fever or COVID-19?

Both hay fever and COVID-19 include respiratory symptoms. So, it’s easy to get them confused.

If you have respiratory symptoms and aren’t sure if it’s hay fever or COVID-19, just give us a call.

If you’ve never had hay fever before, you should you get a COVID-19 test straight away and then self-isolate until you get the results.

Get help for hay fever

If you suffer from persistent hay fever, have a chat with us about the best ways to manage it.

Spring is a beautiful season and we’d like to help you enjoy it!

Source: BetterHealth and ABC

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs. Page last updated 26 September 2021.

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Telehealth update

Telehealth update

Need to see a healthcare professional in Pascoe Vale? Here’s how you can make a booking easily.

A face-to-face consultation

To see a doctor or allied health professional (e.g. physio, podiatrist, etc) simply book online here or call 9304 0500.

A telehealth consultation

If you would prefer a telehealth (over the phone) consultation, you must call 9304 0500.

Have a respiratory illness?

If you have any respiratory illness, such as sore throat, runny nose, cough or flu-like symptoms, you must call us to make a booking. Please do not book online.

Thank you!

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Call us for your free flu shot

Everyone is eligible for the free flu shot until 10 July at one of our special flu vaccine clinics.

Call us on 9304 0500 to book in!