May is here and we know what that means – Winter is around the corner! Now is the time we need to be protecting ourselves from the dreaded winter infections and ensuring we are up to date with recommended immunisations such as Flu and Covid vaccinations.
In this month’s newsletter we will be updating you on our Flu and Pfizer vaccination clinics with the government announcement of an additional winter Covid vaccine booster for patients over the age of 65 and medically at risk 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.
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’ or with one of our nurses. When booking for children under 5 please select nurse appointment.
Now is the optimal time to be vaccinated, just before the onset of each influenza season (usually from June to September).
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.
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 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.
COVID-19 VACCINATION POST INFECTION
Recently recovered from COVID-19 and wondering when you can go for your next dose of a COVID-19 vaccine?
Updated advice from ATAGI now recommends that you wait 3 months after a confirmed COVID-19 infection, then receive your next COVID-19 vaccine dose as soon as possible.
This updated advice applies to all people and for all doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Waiting for a 3-month period after infection before COVID-19 vaccination is intended to optimise protection for that person.
It also reflects the lower risk of reinfection with the Omicron variant within the first 3 months following a confirmed infection, particularly if prior COVID-19 vaccine doses have been received.
This change in recommendation applies to all people who are recommended to receive COVID-19 vaccination (i.e., from 5 years and above), regardless of how many COVID-19 vaccine doses they have received. It does not apply to other vaccines (for example, influenza vaccinations) which can continue to be administered as usual.
At YFD we continue to have the Pfizer covid 19 vaccine available for our adult and younger patients aged over 5.
HEART WEEK 2nd – 8th May
Cardiovascular disease accounts for over 1 in 4 deaths in Australia and is the leading cause of death for older Australians. Approximately 1.2 million Australians are living with heart disease, stroke or vascular conditions. However, cardiovascular disease is largely preventable and by reducing cardiac risk factors, leading a healthy lifestyle and having regular checks with your doctor you can reduce your risk.
A Heart Health Check performed by your doctor involves an assessment of your risk factors for heart disease (such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, diet and physical activity levels). The most important part of this process is working with your doctor to manage your risk of heart disease through lifestyle changes, such as exercise, and possibly medications. If you are over the age of 45 (35 years or older for Aboriginal or Torres Strait islander people) please see your doctor for a Heart Health Check to give you the best chance of reducing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Please read more in our blog article on Heart Health ……
DO MORE ACTIVITY FINDER
Do you want to get moving but don’t know where to start?
Central Coast doctor and health and fitness enthusiast Dr Ash Bowden has done all the research for you by creating the Do More Activity Finder.
Dr Ash has found a range of physical activities on the Central Coast to suit all ages and fitness levels so jump on line to find something that suits you …….
(tip – click on the ‘’filter’’ section to individualise your search further)
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.
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
INTERNATIONAL NURSES DAY
May the 12th was International Nurses Day. We would like to say a big thank you to all the amazing nurses out there, especially our fabulous YFD practice nurses – Jodie, Fiona, Lynne, Steph and Cassy. To say the last two years have been busy is an understatement, with our nurses run of their feet caring for our patients and vaccinating our community. Thank you for all you do!
YFD PRACTICE VISIT FROM THE SHADOW HEALTH MINISTER
On Wednesday 11th May, some of our local GP’s met with Shadow health minister Mark Butler and Dr Gordon Reid to advocate for the future of General Practice and primary health care in our community. There is huge shortage of GP’s on the central coast with long waiting lists for patients to see a GP for essential health care (which then clogs up our emergency waiting rooms). By investing in primary health care we invest in better health outcomes.
WELCOME TO OUR NEW RECEPTION STAFF
The YFD team are excited to welcome Catherine and Lauren to our reception team. We also welcome back the lovely Kiara who has returned to us after maternity leave.
WELCOME TO OUR MEDICAL STUDENT EMMA
Your family doctors is proud to be a teaching practice, where we train GP registrars and Medical Students. During May and June we have final year medical student Emma, spending some time with our doctors and nurses learning what General Practice is really about. If you would not like a medical student to sit in during a consultation please let our reception staff or your doctor know.
We hope you enjoyed reading our May 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