April is here and so is Easter! We hope you are all doing ok, as Covid infections continue to cause much disruption in our community. Many of you have been doing it hard – either caring for loved ones, requiring long periods of isolation or feeling pretty crook yourself. The YFD team has also been affected which means we have been running on low numbers of staff. Irrespective of this, we have been working very hard to make sure this doesn’t affect the quality of health care you receive.
In this month’s newsletter we will be updating you on our Flu and Pfizer vaccination clinics with the government announcement of a new additional winter Covid vaccine booster for vulnerable patients 4 months after their initial booster. The good news is that you can have the flu vaccine and Pfizer additional booster at the same time if you are eligible. Appointments can be booked on line via hot doc and we will be opening more clinics after Easter.
EASTER OPENING HOURS
We will closed over the Easter period from Good Friday to Easter Monday. We will be open again on Tuesday 19th April at 8.30am.
Our After Hours service is Bridges GP After Hours at Erina and Kanwal.
Monday to Friday 7pm – 10.30pm
Saturday 3pm – 10.30pm
Sunday and Public Holidays 10am – 7pm (Kanwal 1 – 6pm)
A copy of your consultation notes and any test results will be sent to your local GP as we know continuity of care is so important.
If you have any cold or flu like symptoms, or have been in contact with anyone with COVID 19 – Please call ahead before presenting to Bridges After Hours GP Clinics:
Erina – 02 4367 9699
Kanwal – 02 4394 7333
Telehealth appointments are also available.
In the event of an emergency please go to Gosford or Wyong hospital or call 000.
For more information on how this service is operating during the COVID-19 pandemic please follow the link
We hope you have a happy, healthy and safe Easter weekend !
The government funded flu vaccines have finally arrived at YFD for those at risk of severe illness from the flu. This includes:
- Children from 6 months to under 5 years
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 6 months
- Pregnant women
- People aged 65 years and over
- People with serious health conditions (including severe asthma, diabetes, cancer, immune disorders, obesity, kidney, heart, lung or liver disease)
Flu vaccine appointments are available for patients of our practice online via HotDoc under ‘Flu clinic’. When booking for children under 5 please select nurse appointment.
Don’t worry if you can’t find an appointment yet as the highest level of protection occurs in the first 3 – 4 months after vaccination. Therefore the optimal time to be vaccinated is before the onset of each influenza season (usually from June to September).
We are in the process of setting up more clinics after Easter.
Please do not call reception as they are receiving a high volume of calls at the moment regarding the flu vaccine.
Those not eligible for a government funded flu vaccine can receive a private flu vaccine for $20. Bookings are available online also.
This winter, Flu and COVID-19 will be circulating in the community. Your best protection this winter is to get a flu shot and stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations. The COVID-19 and flu vaccines can be given together at the same time and bookings will be available for co-administration of the flu and Covid-19 vaccine if you are eligible. Please note – We are unable to administer the Covid-19 vaccine if you are not yet due as per NSW health guidelines so please check your dates carefully (see link below)
More info about the flu vaccine : https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/…/seasonal-flu…
More info to see if you are eligible for a Covid booster at the same time as your flu vaccine.
COVID-19 ADDITIONAL BOOSTER VACCINATION
ATAGI recommends an extra booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine before winter for selected groups who are at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and who have had their primary vaccination course and first booster dose. This group includes
* Adults aged 65 years and older
* Residents of aged care or disability care facilities
* People aged 16 years and older with severe immunocompromise (as previously defined)
* Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older.
The additional winter booster dose can be given from 4 months or longer after the person has received their first booster dose, or from 4 months after a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection if infection occurred since the person’s first COVID-19 booster dose.
ATAGI recommends the roll out of the additional booster dose can occur from April 2022 to coincide with the influenza vaccination program. Influenza vaccine may be co-administered (i.e., given on the same day) as a COVID-19 vaccine
Comirnaty (Pfizer) or Spikevax (Moderna) are the preferred vaccines for COVID-19 booster doses including the additional winter booster dose. Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) can be used when an mRNA vaccine is contraindicated, or a person declines vaccination with an mRNA vaccine. Nuvaxovid (Novavax) can be used if no other COVID-19 vaccine is considered suitable for that person.
There is currently insufficient evidence to recommend additional booster doses for other population groups.
At YFD we have the Pfizer COVID vaccine available only and appointments are available most days of the week.
For more information …. https://www.health.gov.au/…/atagi-statement-on…
FIRST COVID BOOSTER DOSE – If you’re 16 years or over and had your second COVID-19 vaccine three or more months ago, you will be eligible for your booster dose. Health authorities at this stage do not recommend a booster dose for those under 16 years. Presently we have Pfizer vaccine appointments available most days of the week by booking on line.
PAEDIATRIC PFIZER VACCINE – If your child aged between 5 – 11 has not had their paediatric Pfizer vaccine yet – please call reception to make an appointment. These appointments cannot be made at the same time as the Adult Pfizer vaccine as a different vaccine vial is used.
TELEHEALTH APPOINTMENTS – 12 MONTH FACE TO FACE RULE
For 2 years, we have been fortunate to have had the availability of telehealth consultations to help get us through the hurdles that the COVID-19 Pandemic has thrown at us. However, to be able to use this service and receive a medicare rebate you must have attended our practice for a face to face consultation in the last 12 months. This is not our rule, but a decision made by medicare to ensure patients that utilise the telehealth service has an existing relationship with their GP practice.
If it is greater than 12 month (which we are finding is becoming more frequently the case), you will be required to attend for a face to face appointment, unless of course you have covid or cold and flu like symptoms.
If you attended our practice for a Covid or Flu vaccination this does count as a face to face attendance.
If you are unsure when your last face to face appointment was (lets face it, the last 12 months have been a blur!) please check with our reception staff.
Follow the link to this quick guide on how best to utilise the telehealth service at YFD…..
Wearing a face mask is still recommended for high risk settings such as General Practice. As we see vulnerable patients in our practice, patients and staff are required to wear masks when attending our premises. Thank you for continuing to help protect our community.
ADVANCE CARE PLANNING WEEK
If you were too unwell to speak for yourself who would speak for you and what would they say? Sometimes a difficult conversation now can make a big difference in the future. Advance care planning can provide peace of mind for you and those close to you.
Central Coast Local Health District have developed a booklet to help get you started and you can also discuss this with your GP or practice nurse at your next visit or during your over 75 Health assessment ……….
If it has been over 12 months since your last over 75 health assessment please call reception staff to make an appointment with one of our practice nurses, then your regular doctor.
BAY TO BAY RUNNING FESTIVAL
Entries for the Bay to Bay Running Festival on Sunday June 19th are open. There are distances to suit all abilities …..
– Travelling Fit Half Marathon
– ET Australia 12km Fun Run
– Healthe.care 5km Run/Walk
– Ocean View Physio 2km Kid’s Run.
Your Family Doctors are proud bronze sponsors this year and are encouraging staff and patients to join in on the fun! Who will be joining us?
This year’s beautiful T-shirt design is based on an indigenous theme by local artist and keen runner Shayne Hill.
These T-shirts are available for free to the first 2,000 entrants so get in quick
We hope you enjoyed reading our April Newsletter. You can also like us on facebook or instagram to keep up to date with the latest Covid changes, important health information and to see what the YFD team has been up to. Our website is also a great source of information, so please check out our blog for health information written by our team. Stay well.
Love Team YFD xx