Welcome to our May Newsletter. It feels like last week we were putting together our April newsletter and there is so much to update you on already! In this month’s newsletter we will be updating you on how things are travelling for the COVID 19 and Flu vaccination role out, how to book appointments online and more exciting staff news including celebrating our 5th year in our new premises.
You can also like us on Facebook or Instagram to keep up to date and see what the YFD team have been up to.
COVID 19 VACCINATION UPDATE 💉
Your Family Doctors is participating in the government funded Covid-19 Vaccination rollout, delivering the AstraZeneca vaccine to our patients. So far we have been vaccinating our patients in the Phase 1B priority groups. As of 17th May those in phase 2A (all adults over 50 years) will also be eligible to receive the COVID 19 vaccine.
At this stage we have only been allocated 50 vaccinations per week so we have been prioritising our patients over the age of 80, followed by our 70 – 79 year olds. If you are eligible for Phase 1B and 2A and are eager to get your vaccination earlier than we can offer you there is the option of booking online into the Coast and Country Respiratory Clinic COVID 19 Vaccine clinic just up the road from our practice https://www.hotdoc.com.au/medical-centres/erina-NSW-2250/erina-respiratory-clinic/doctors
We are getting many questions about the AstraZeneca vaccine and safety so we hope the following information helps answer some of these questions…..
⭐️The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is very effective in preventing severe disease and death due to COVID-19 in adults of all ages.
⭐️There have been very rare reports of a condition called Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) associated with the AstraZeneca vaccination. This involves the formation of blood clots (thrombosis) and low levels of platelets (thrombocytopenia) about 4 – 20 days after vaccination and can occur in the brain (called a cerebral venous sinus thrombosis) and abdomen. This condition is very rare (4 – 6 cases per million doses) but can be serious and lead to death. At this stage there has not been any specific risk factors confirmed for TTS but it has been reported to be more common in the younger population (e.g. age under 50).
⭐️The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have recommended that currently the use of the Pfizer vaccine is preferred over the AstraZeneca vaccine in adults under 50 years of age who have not already received their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine. At this stage we do not know when the Pfizer vaccine will be available to this age group.
⭐️The benefits of vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risks for older adults (50 years and older) and those with increased risk of exposure to COVID-19 (e.g. through employment or overseas travel).
⭐️Please check with the regularly updated government website and your doctor if you have more questions about COVID-19 vaccinations to help you make informed decisions (the following link is a great resource too!)
If you are an existing patient of our practice you can book for your Covid-19 vaccine online using our hot doc app or by calling reception on 43654999.
For more information on how you can prepare for your Covid-19 Vaccine …….
HOT DOC ONLINE APP AND BOOKING SYSTEM
We recommend downloading the Hot Doc app which is our online booking system. By downloading the app not only can you book appointments online but you can receive notifications on when it’s your turn to have the Covid vaccine or Influenza vaccine and when other health checks are due. https://www.hotdoc.com.au/
Our Influenza vaccination clinics are in full swing, so if you haven’t had yours yet – May is the perfect time! You can book online using our Hot Doc app.
# Please note the influenza vaccine must be given at least 2 weeks apart from your COVID-19 vaccine.
We have both government funded and private flu vaccinations available. It is recommended that everyone six months and older get immunised against the flu.
Just a reminder that government funded flu vaccines are available for;
* the over 65’s
* children aged 6 months to 5 years,
* pregnant women
* those with certain chronic health conditions
* all Aboriginal and Torres straight islanders over 6 months.
Please note the enhanced quadrivalent vaccine FLUAD QUAD is specifically designed for patients over the age of 65. It has been specifically formulated to create a greater immune response amongst the elderly and are only available through your GP clinic.
Private flu vaccinations are available for $20.
If you have more questions about the flu vaccine please discuss with your doctor or follow this link on frequently asked questions. … https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/Pages/seasonal-flu-vaccination-faqs.aspx
MANAGING MEDICARE ONLINE
Do you have a medicare online account? You can use your online account to manage details and claims, access statements and get letters online. It is particularly handy for Immunisation history statements for yourself or your child under the age of 14 (such as Covid-19 or Influenza immunistions .You can set up and use your medicare online account through myGOv
Once you have that sorted you can then download the express app on your mobile device.
WINTER COUGHS AND COLDS
As the colder month approach us, so do the winter coughs and colds. If you have any cold or flu symptoms please call and let our staff know. The doctor can still assess you initially via a telehealth appointment. If a face to face review is required your doctor may book you into our Respiratory clinic (called the Check Clinic) at the end of the day so you or your child can be properly assessed.
It is also recommended that patients with cold and flu like symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, and runny nose be tested for Covid-19. Our closest testing clinic is the Coast and Country Respiratory clinic in Erina. Bookings can be made online https://www.hotdoc.com.au/medical-centres/erina-NSW-2250/erina-respiratory-clinic/doctors
To help reduce the spread of Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses, we continue to ask all patients to wear a mask when they attend our practice.
PATHOLOGY ROOM TEMPORARY CLOSURE
Due to water damage from the bout of heavy rain we had at the end of March our Douglas Hanley Moir pathology service is temporarily closed. We will let you know when our pathology service is in operation again. To find other local DHM locations to have your blood tests please click on the follow link …… https://www.dhm.com.au/locations/
BAY TO BAY RUNNING FESTIVAL SUNDAY JUNE 20
Entries for the @baytobayrunningfestival Sunday June 20th are now open! There are distances to suit all abilities – Travelling Fit Half Marathon, Hit 101.3 12km Fun Run, Healthe.care 5km Run/Walk and the Terrigal Trotters 2km Kid’s Run. Your Family Doctors are proud silver sponsors this year and are encouraging staff and patients to join in on the fun! Dr Sam Pethen is keen to make use of the hoka’s she bought for last years event which was cancelled due to COVID. Sam is aiming for the 12km – she may walk a bit, run a bit, skip a bit or dance a bit – who knows with Dr Sam – but she will give it a crack! Who else will be joining her? You can enter on line here …… https://baytobay.org.au/
DR ELLY’S TOUR DE CURE
A big shout out to Dr Elly Warren who participated in the official TOUR DE CURE – SIGNATURE TOUR 2020 (March 2021). Tour de cure raises vital funds to support the researchers, surgeons and clinicians who dedicate their lives to finding a cure for cancer. Dr Elly joined 77 other cyclists from 26th March to 1st April to ride 900km (10,870m elevation) from Newcastle to Coffs Harbour. Dr Elly’s motivation and goal was to also raise awareness of the gap in cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. Aboriginal people are generally diagnosed later and are more likely to die from cancer than non-aboriginal people in Australias. We are so proud of Dr Elly, who raised an amazing $34 thousand dollars, and the incredible Tour De Cure team who raised over $2.5 million for cancer research, support and prevention.
HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY TO US!
Did you know it has been 5 years this month since we relocated to our new premises at 602 Terrigal Drive? How time flies! Our practice was established over 20 years ago by Dr Elvira Bardon, when it was formally known as Woman’s Care and Family Practice. Since then, the practice and team has expanded and 5 years ago we made the move down the road to our fresh new practice.
We bid farewell to Dr Jodie Ralph who we have been very lucky to have had at our practice for the last few years while she completed her GP speciality training. Jodie passed her exams with flying colours at the end of last year and we wish Jodie all the best in her new ventures as a specialist GP. We are also sad to farewell Dr Alison Mooney who has also moved on to new opportunities.
But never fear, we have Dr Vanessa Alexander who has returned from maternity leave and we have 2 new doctors starting in August so we can continue to provide great care to our patients.
Unfortunately we are currently unable to accept new patients at our practice.
So now you are officially up to date (as of the time this went to print). There is no doubt there will be more changes and news in a months time and we look forward to getting in touch with you then. In the meantime don’t forget to like us on facebook and Instagram to keep up to date. Stay healthy!
Love the YFD team xx