Over the last week, five people have reported allergic reactions to the AstraZeneca Vaccine, and another 14 reacted to the Pfizer vaccine. The reports rose from all most states in Australia, including Queensland and Western Australia.
However, Australia’s drug regulator recommended that vaccinations continue administration following the initial review. The Western Australian chief health officer, Dr. Andrew Robertson also stated that there’s only been one reported case of vaccine adverse reactions in his state, compared to the other 9,651 administered doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
He also indicated that the Vaccine Safety Advisory Committee received two complaints of vaccine reactions out of the 13,291 administered doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
According to Robertson, “Both individuals responded well to a single dose of adrenaline and recovered.” He also added, saying, “I want to reassure all Western Australians that the Covid-19 vaccines … are safe and effective.”
Over in Queensland, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath emphasized the safety of the vaccine. According to D’Ath, individuals with a history of anaphylaxis can choose to delay their vaccination until hub staff understand their history and possibly extend observation time after vaccination.
Head of the Queensland Health Department Dr. John Wakefield, also said, “If you’re having the flu vaccine or any other type of vaccine and you have anaphylaxis, it is treated, and you will never hear about it again.” According to him, anaphylactic reactions are rare but not surprising, and we only hear about the side effects because of the spotlight on Covid-19.
Current recommendations state that people with a history of allergies to vaccines should remain in the clinic for a 15-minute observation. Individuals who have experienced allergic reactions in the past are advised to stay for 30 minutes.
The Government’s Vaccine Booking Website Crashes Immediately After Launch
Covid-19 booking systems were overwhelmed on launch day when individuals rushed to schedule their vaccinations. GPs also felt the pressure as their phone lines jammed up due to calls from eager patients.
Speaking on the site crash, Labor Health spokesperson Mark Butler expressed his disappointment, stating that the systems should have been tested long before launch. “Instead, all we’re seeing out there today is chaos and confusion,” he added.
Even before the crash, users experienced other problems with the site. For example, some GP clinics weren’t available on the website, and other people could not book appointments with the clinics closest to them.
Many individuals also found their GP clinics listed as “phone bookings only.” This led to patients inundating GPs phone lines and further adding to the confusion.
Health Minister Greg Hunt, defending the system, stated that “today is the first day… not everybody will be able to be vaccinated on day one or week one.” He also asked people who were worried about securing their appointments not to badger their GPs.
Protection Against Covid-19 Re-infection may be up to 80 Percent
A recent study found that individuals who successfully recovered from a Covid-19 infection may be protected against re-infection. However, the study also suggests that the protection may be much less for the aged population over 65.
Researchers found that protection against repeated infection was closer to 47.1% among the aged population. They also found no significant evidence of protection reduction over time or any changes in risks between males and females.
Patients Unwilling to Stop Telehealth
Research by Macquarie University shows a surge in the use of Telehealth consultations since last year. The researchers also found that people have contacted GPs more since Telehealth became necessary for both patient and doctor safety.
The effects are so profound that one GP says, “it’s now an important part of how we work.” He also stated that he doesn’t see things going back to the status quo.
Besides convenience, Telehealth makes the consultation process less time-consuming. Dr. Chris Pearce, a GP in Melbourne, states that before Telehealth, the patient would have to take the morning off work and sit in his waiting room for hours. “Now, we have a 10-minute phone call. It’s more convenient for them.”
At Medical Recruitment, we’ve been specialising in GP recruitment for a long time, so we have expert knowledge in the space. If you’re looking for an exciting opportunity to work as a permanent or locum GP job or even for a GP role after hours, then look no further - get in touch with our Recruitment Consultants now.