All Posts Tagged: vaccination

AstraZenica COVID-19 vaccine

Information about the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca is one of the COVID-19 vaccines. Here’s what you need to know.

What is the side effect that people are talking about?

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 the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer) is preferred over the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in adults under 60 years old 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.

I’ve 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’m 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 chat with your doctor. 

I’m under age 60 and want the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, can you help?

Per recent government advice, if you’re aged 18-60, you can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine where the benefit of receiving it clearly outweighs the risk in your individual circumstance.

Staying up to date

It’s important to stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 advice from the state government and federal government.

Chat with your doctor

You can discuss your individual benefit-to-risk balance with your doctor. Simply make a booking with your regular GP.

Source: Australian Government Department of Health

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 August 2021.

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Flu shot Pascoe Vale

It’s time for your flu shot

Influenza, known as the flu, is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause severe illness and even death.

Each year, the flu affects thousands of people in Australia and puts an enormous amount of pressure on our hospitals and health system.

The flu vaccine is your best shot at stopping the flu.

Getting the flu shot in 2021

This year, vaccination against the flu is more important than ever.

While increased hand-washing and social distancing helped to stop the spread of flu last year, more relaxed social distancing restrictions this year may allow flu viruses to recirculate, even if they were hardly seen in 2020.

You can get the flu shot with the doctor of your choice, in a one-on-one consultation, at PVH Medical.

You can easily book on our website or download the Appointuit app on your phone. 

What are the symptoms of flu?

Flu symptoms can start suddenly like fever, headache, tiredness and muscle aches. Elderly people might also experience confusion while children might get an upset stomach and muscle aches.

Symptoms can last for a week or more. When severe, complications such as pneumonia and worsening of existing medical conditions can lead to hospitalisation and sometimes death.

Why should I get the flu shot?

The flu can hit quickly and last for a few weeks, meaning time off work or school and staying away from family and friends. You never forget the flu!

The flu doesn’t discriminate, and anyone can be affected – that’s why it’s so important that everyone (aged over 6 months) is protected against the flu this season by getting their flu shot.

When should I get the flu shot?

Everyone should get an annual flu vaccine anytime from April onwards to be protected for the peak flu season, which is generally June to September.

Am I eligible for the free flu vaccine?

In Victoria, the following people are eligible to receive a free seasonal influenza vaccine:

  • Children aged 6 months to less than 5 years
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and older
  • Adults aged 65 and over
  • People aged 6 months and over with medical conditions predisposing them to severe influenza (e.g. severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes)
  • Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy).

For everyone else, the cost of the flu vaccine is $16.

Different vaccines for different age groups

Our team of doctors in Pascoe Vale will advise which flu injection is appropriate for you.

All children under 9 receiving their flu vaccination for the first time require two doses of vaccine, spaced by a minimum of one month.

Is the flu vaccine safe?

Common side effects may happen within one to two days after the vaccination. These include soreness, redness, discomfort and swelling at the injection site, tiredness, muscle aches and low fever.

These side effects are usually mild and go away within a few days, normally without any treatment.

Can the flu vaccine actually give you the flu?

The flu vaccine does not contain any live virus, so you cannot get the flu from the vaccine.

Can I get the flu vaccine at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccination experts recommend waiting 7 days between getting a flu vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine. Given this, it will be important to plan both vaccinations.

Make an appointment today

To get your flu shot with a doctor, make a booking on our website or use the Appointuit app on your phone. You can also call us on 9304 0500.

Remember to tell us if you’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine and when you received it.

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel, Australian Government Department of Health and Victoria State Government

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 16 June 2021.

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Top 10 questions about COVID-19

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

With more than 1,500 patients now vaccinated at PVH Medical, our doctors have been asked a lot of questions about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Some questions are asked more than others, and we’d like to share those 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 currently giving AstraZeneca vaccines. In the coming months, other vaccinations will be available. We will advise when this happens. 

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

6. I’ve heard that AstraZeneca can cause blood clots. Is that true?

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is associated with a very rare risk of a condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS.

TTS involves blood clots (thrombosis) along with low platelet levels (thrombocytopenia), and occurs around 4-28 days after vaccination.

It’s currently estimated to affect around 6 people per million doses. To date, almost all reported cases were after the first dose of the vaccine.

Not all clots that occur after having the AstraZeneca vaccine will be due to TTS. Blood clotting problems occur commonly in the population.

Annually, common clots such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism (a clot in the lungs) will affect about 1 in a 1,000 people in Australia, unrelated to any vaccine.

7. I’ve had my first dose of AstraZeneca, can I switch to Pfizer for my second dose?

To be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 you must have two doses of the same vaccine.

If you’ve had your first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine without developing TTS or experiencing another serious adverse event, then you can safely receive your second dose regardless of your age.

8. Why is AstraZeneca still recommended?

The AstraZeneca vaccine remains highly effective at preventing death and severe illness among people who have contracted COVID-19. The incidence of the blood clotting syndrome (TTS) is very rare.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has advised the AstraZeneca vaccine remains safe and is recommended to be given to people aged 50 years and over, and may be given to people aged 18-50 if the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.

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.

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

The preferred minimum interval between a dose of seasonal flu vaccine and a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is 7 days.

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, print this consent form, fill it in and bring it with you to your appointment.

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 3 September 2021.

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COVID-19 vaccine

Information on COVID-19 vaccines

If youve watched the news lately, you would have seen all the reports about the COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s important that you get accurate information about the vaccine, so please take a read of the information below.

How will the vaccination protect me?

A COVID-19 vaccination will help reduce the severity of COVID-19.

Getting vaccinated can also protect people around you, particularly those at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, like the elderly.

When can I get vaccinated?

Priority groups can expect to receive a vaccination from early 2021. For everyone else, it’s expected that the vaccine roll-out will continue throughout the year.

Who are the priority groups?

The government has identified these groups as:

  • People who have an increased risk of developing severe disease or dying from COVID-19:
    • Older people
    • People with certain pre-existing medical conditions
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • People at an increased risk of exposure, infection and transmission of COVID-19, or are in a setting with high transmission potential:
    • Health and aged care workers
    • Other care workers such as group residential care and disability care workers
    • People in places like correctional and detention facilities, and meat processing plants.
  • People working in critical services:
    • Essential services staff such as emergency services providers, defence forces, public health staff and staff managing quarantine facilities
    • People working in supply and distribution of essential goods and services such as food, water, electricity, telecommunications and other critical infrastructure.

Here’s a chart of the government’s immunisation strategy (or visit here if you having trouble viewing it).

What can I do while I wait?

Whether you’re in a priority group or not, the best thing you can do is stay informed and continue to be COVIDSafe. Along with the government, we’ll provide more information about how vaccines will be rolled out over the coming months.

In the meantime, everyone still needs to:

  • Practise good hygiene
  • Maintain physical distance and wear a face mask where required
  • Stay home if you’re sick and get tested
  • Download the COVIDSafe app.

Is getting the vaccine compulsory?

No, you can choose not to vaccinate. But we’re calling on everyone to get vaccinated to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and get on with our daily lives.

Is the vaccine safe?

All vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety before they’re approved for use in Australia. This includes careful analysis of clinical trial data, ingredients, chemistry, manufacturing and other factors.

As with any vaccination, you may experience minor side effects afterwards like pain, redness or swelling where you received the needle, or a mild fever. You will be monitored after the vaccination.

Serious reactions like allergic reactions are extremely rare. Chat with your Pascoe Vale doctor if you have any concerns.

How are vaccines being tested?

Testing first begins with laboratory research, then animal studies and finally human clinical trials. Clinical trials involve testing the vaccine in thousands of volunteers, and are conducted in phases.

Before a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use in Australia, it must pass the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) rigorous assessment and approval processes. This includes assessment of its safety, quality and effectiveness.

What vaccine will I receive?

Australia has entered into four separate agreements for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, if they’re proved to be safe and effective. You can read more about this here.

Read the special information about the AstraZeneca vaccine.

How many doses of the vaccine will I need?

There are two doses. After the first shot, you’ll need to return three weeks later (for the Pfizer vaccine) or three months later (for the AstraZeneca vaccine), or as advised by the Health Department.

I’m pregnant. Can I get vaccinated?

The government has released some information specifically for pregnant women. Chat with us if you have any questions.

Where can I get vaccinated?

The government is setting up special vaccination sites across the country.

We’re also running special vaccination clinics. This will ensure we can vaccinate as many people as possible in an efficient and COVIDSafe way.

We’ll keep you up-to-date by email, on our website, and on our Facebook page.

How much will it cost?

The vaccine will be free at government sites and our special vaccination clinics.

How will I know when it’s my turn to be vaccinated?

The government will be running a big advertising blitz – you won’t miss it!

We’ll also be in regular contact by email, on our website and on our Facebook page.

More information

Always get your information about vaccines from trusted sources, like your doctor at PVH Medical, the Department of Health or your local hospital.

Let’s fight this virus together!

Source: Department of Health

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 16 June 2021.

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Travel health Melbourne

Travel checklist: do these things before you go

Summer is an exciting time for Australians. Many of us enjoy time off work to relax, spend time with family and friends or even go on holidays.

If you’re lucky enough to be travelling overseas, follow these tips for a smooth and stress-free trip.

Research your destination

Read up on your destination before you arrive – there are countless travel websites and guide books available. You could also talk with family or friends who are familiar with the places you’ll be visiting. As you research, pay particular attention to local laws, entry and exit requirements, health issues and safety.

Register you details

Make sure you register your travel and contact details on Smartraveller. This can make it easier for the government to contact you in the case of an emergency. You can also subscribe to receive free email notifications when the information for your destinations changes.

Cover yourself with travel insurance

Organising travel insurance is an essential part of preparing for your overseas trip. If you’re uninsured, you’re personally liable for covering any medical or other costs resulting from unexpected incidents or accidents. Check you’re covered for any pre-existing medical conditions and any additional activities you plan to undertake, such as skiing or hiring a motorcycle.

Organise your passports and visas

All Australian citizens, including children, must have a valid passport before leaving Australia and maintain a valid passport while overseas. Find out early which visas you need by contacting the relevant embassy of the countries you intend to visit. Some destinations have specific entry and exit requirements, including compulsory vaccinations.

Get the right vaccinations

Your doctor can check the areas that you will visit, and recommend the appropriate vaccinations to keep you and your family safe. We have dedicated Travel Health GPs to help you with this. While we recommend making an appointment 6-8 weeks before your departure date, it’s never too late to come and see us.

Plan your medications

If you’re planning to take medicine overseas, you should:

  • Meet any legal requirements imposed by the foreign country
  • Take enough medicine to cover at least the planned length of your trip
  • Carry a letter from your doctor detailing what the medicine is, how much you will be taking, and stating that the medicine is for your personal use
  • Always leave the medicine in its original packaging so that it’s clearly labelled with your name and dosage instructions
  • Separate quantities between your luggage in case a bag goes missing.

Additional health tips

Be aware of the risk of hepatitis and HIV – practise safe sex and avoid ear-piercing, acupuncture, tattooing or dental work while travelling in destinations with lower health or hygiene standards.

Avoid temporary ‘black henna’ tattoos as they often contain a dye which can cause serious skin reactions.

Finally, if you wear glasses, take along a spare pair and/or a copy of the prescription so that they can be replaced more easily if lost or broken.

For more pre-holiday tips, check out Smartraveller.

Have a great time!

Being prepared for your overseas holiday is the first step to having a great time.

Remember, our Travel Health GPs can assist with all your travel health requirements including vaccinations. Safe travels!

 

Source: Smartraveller

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.

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Travel health Melbourne

Are you travelling overseas soon?

It’s so exciting knowing that you’ve booked an overseas holiday and you’ll be leaving soon.

To ensure you have a pleasant trip, however, you should see your Pascoe Vale doctor before you leave.

Why? Read on to find out.

Many other countries aren’t like Australia

Even if you think your travel destination is safe, disease outbreaks can and do happen.

In addition to immunisations against new infectious diseases, you might need booster doses of vaccines that you’ve received before.

Each case is different

There is no set immunisation schedule that will suit all travellers, so see our travel doctors for advice.

It’s important that you don’t wait until the last minute to visit your doctor to discuss the immunisation needs for your trip. You might need a number of doses and you might need time after immunisation for your body to develop full immunity.

Different types of immunisation for travellers

Some countries require proof of immunisation for some infectious diseases before you enter.

That’s why it’s so important to see your doctor before you go on your holiday.

Your doctor can check the areas that you will visit, and recommend the appropriate vaccinations to keep you and your family safe.

What about infectious diseases for which there are no vaccines?

Infectious diseases are generally transmitted by food, water or a lack of hygiene (e.g. ‘gastro’ and traveller’s diarrhoea) or by insects (e.g. malaria and dengue fever).

These diseases can be life threatening. Your doctor will advise you on measures and medications that you can take to help prevent these diseases.

We have dedicated Travel Health GPs

PVH Medical is an accredited Travel Health Practice (accredited Yellow Fever Vaccination Provider) and we have dedicated specialist Travel Health GPs.

Before embarking on your next overseas holiday, we can help with all your travel health needs including:

  • A travel health check
  • Vaccinations
  • Fit to Travel and Medical travel insurance requirements
  • The latest travel health information for your destination.

We recommend making an appointment 6-8 weeks before your departure date. Please download our pre-travel assessment form before your appointment.

We look forward to looking after your travel health needs. Stay safe and bon voyage!

Further reading

 

Source: Better Health Channel

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.

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Get immunised at PVH Medical in Pascoe Vale

Immunisation saves lives

Immunisation (or vaccination) saves millions of lives and is widely recognised as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions.

However, there are more than 19 million unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children in the world, putting them at serious risk of potentially fatal diseases. Of these children, 1 out of 10 never receive any vaccinations, and most likely have never been seen by the health system.

Celebrating World Immunisation Week

World Immunisation Week – celebrated from 24-30 April – aims to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. This year’s theme, “Protected Together: Vaccines Work!”, encourages people at every level – from parents to health workers – to help ensure we are all protected through the power of vaccines.

At the individual level, the most important thing you can do is to get yourself and your family vaccinated.

Why immunisation matters now more than ever

Routine immunisation is a building block of strong primary health care and universal health coverage – it provides a point of contact for health care at the beginning of life and offers every child the chance at a healthy life from the start.

Immunisation is also a fundamental strategy in achieving other health priorities, from controlling viral hepatitis, to curbing antimicrobial resistance, to providing a platform for adolescent health and improving antenatal and newborn care.

Get vaccinated in Pascoe Vale

Are you and your loved ones vaccinated?

At PVH Medical in Pascoe Vale we can look after your entire family’s vaccination needs, from birth right through to old age.

Simply make a booking with one of our doctors online, on Facebook, on the Appointuit app or by calling 9304 0500.

 

Source: World Health Organization

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.

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Online bookings are currently unavailable. Please call us instead. Consultations are being carried out over the phone or on video (telehealth) unless your practitioner requires you to come in to the clinic. Face-to-face COVID-19 vaccination clinics are still running.