News and information…
Free Flu Vaccinations
The Victorian Government has announced FREE Influenza Vaccinations for the period of 1 June -30 June 2022.
Any person over 6 months of age is eligible.
Patients who do not have a Medicare card are advised by the Victorian Government to access their free flu vaccine at a pharmacy.
Please phone the clinic to book for a free flu vaccination. If you already have a face-to-face appointment booked for another purpose during the month of June, we are happy to administer the free vaccine at that appointment, subject to flu vaccine availability.
If you book a Flu Clinic appointment (solely for a flu vaccination) your appointment will be bulk-billed. Flu Clinic appointments are offered on weekdays between 8am and 5pm and also available on some weekends.
Expanded eligibility for COVID Vaccination Winter dose
The Winter booster (fourth dose) of Covid vaccine is recommended by ATAGI for the following groups:
- 65 years and older and ATSI 50 years and older,
- severely immuno-suppressed age 16+,
- aged care and disability care residents
- people aged 16-64 who have complex, chronic or sever conditions that are considered to increase their risk of severe illness from Covid-19 – see this link for eligible conditions.
Newly eligible from 9/6/2022:
- Adolescents aged 12-15 yrs with severe immunocompromise or complex severe medical illness/disability are now eligible for a 1st booster dose of Pfizer (dose 3), 3 months after their primary course (or 3 months after confirmed infection since last dose).
Patients can receive their ‘winter’ Covid booster dose four months after receiving their third dose, or from three months after a confirmed COVID-19 infection, if infection has occurred since the person’s third dose and they meet the other eligibility.
The following groups are currently not eligible to receive an additional winter dose:
- ages 16-64 without risk factors outlined above
- pregnant women without other comorbidity
- occupational groups (eg. healthcare workers) without other comorbidity.
Covid & Flu vaccine appointments – please phone
- Flu Clinic only – These appointments will be offered throughout the weekdays between 8am and 5pm and are solely for flu vaccination. Appointments also available on Saturday 4th June afternoon.
- Covid only – Appointments available Mon to Fri throughout the day & specific Sun mornings (Pfizer only).
Please phone the clinic to book in for these vaccines.
Carson Suite is open!
The following doctors now consult from Blackburn Clinic Carson Suite (Suite 8):
Dr Suzanne ASHDOWN, Dr Andrew BROAD, Dr Sean DAS, Dr Ann DONAGHY, Dr Alvin KONG, Dr Peter LOVASS.
The image below will help you locate Suite 8 (click on the image to enlarge it). The entrance is opposite Blackburn Specialist Centre.
PFIZER AND NOVAVAX COVID VACCINES AVAILABLE. PLEASE PHONE CLINIC TO BOOK
Moving forward we will only stock Novavax and Pfizer vaccine (both the adult formulation and the paediatric formulation). Pfizer is approved as a primary course (ages 5 plus) and as a Booster for ages 16 plus.
Novavax is only approved as a primary course and as a booster for patients aged 18 and over ‘if no other COVID-19 vaccine is considered suitable for that individual’.
Managing COVID at home
Most people who test positive for COVID-19 will likely only experience mild symptoms and recover without requiring special treatment or hospitalisation, especially if fully vaccinated. The RACGP have produced a very useful Covid-19 patient guide, which will help reassure you about what is normal and when to seek further help: https://www.racgp.org.au/FSDEDEV/media/documents/Clinical%20Resources/Guidelines/Managing-mild-COVID-19-at-home-with-assistance-from-your-GP.pdf
If you want to talk to a GP about your results or any symptoms, please make a telehealth appointment.
If you are experiencing worsening or severe COVID-19 symptoms, call 000. Symptoms to be concerned about include:
- new or increasing shortness of breath
- chest pain or tightness
- fainting or near fainting
- altered mental state
- severe weakness or lethargy
- haemoptysis (coughing up blood)
- consistently missing meals (more than one a day).
Caring for higher risk patients
Patients who have a higher risk of adverse outcomes or more severe disease should speak with us about their positive result.
This includes those who:
- are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated
- are aged ≥65 years
- are pregnant
- have comorbidities, including
- lung disease, such as COPD, asthma or bronchiectasis
- cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension
- obesity (body mass index >30 kg/m2)
- immunocompromising conditions
- have chronic kidney disease
- have diabetes (type 1 or 2)
- have liver disease
- have significant neurological disorders, such as stroke or dementia
- suffer from some chronic inflammatory conditions and therapies
- have significant frailty or disability
- have severe mental health conditions.
Testing positive with a RAT
From 7 January 2022, people in Victoria must register a positive RAT result with the Victorian Department of Health via either the Coronavirus Hotline at , or at https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/report.
If you get a positive result on a RAT, but are not at higher risk and are self-managing at home, please note down the date so you can let your GP know when you next see them.
As well as being a Government requirement, it is worth registering a positive RAT result as depending on your symptoms you will receive either:
- a recommendation to self-monitor at home. You will receive daily SMS’s in which you can input your symptoms
- be allocated to the COVID positive pathways team in your local area. You will also receive daily SMS’s in addition to further support from your GP, local community health provider or local hospital network.
We are here to help
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns.
CURRENT COVID PROTOCOLS
We are pleased to announce that all patients regardless of vaccination status are welcome to attend for a face-to-face appointment. Please ensure that you do not have any Covid related symptoms or are a close contact of a known case. We thank you for your patience as we adapt our policies in order to maximise protection for our vulnerable patient community and ensure that our business can remain open and staffed.
COVID VACCINE BOOSTERS
After almost 12 months of running weekend vaccine clinics we have met the Covid vaccine needs of the vast majority of our patients. Reduced demand allows us to cease the weekend clinics (at least for now!) other than those scheduled for ages 5-11 second doses.
ALL APPOINTMENTS FOR COVID VACCINES MUST BE MADE BY PHONING THE CLINIC.
Boosters now allowed at 3 months after second dose.
We are able to offer a Pfizer booster dose for current patients aged 16 and over who have received their first two doses of any of the Covid vaccines.
Current patients who did not have their Covid vaccines with us, you are very welcome to telephone the clinic to book in for your booster dose. We will need to know the date that you received your second dose.
Pfizer and Moderna are the preferred vaccines for booster doses. From 7 March 2022 we will only have PFIZER available as a booster.
COVID VACCINES FOR AGES 5-11
Saturday 5th February will be our final weekend clinic for first doses. We will run the sessions needed for second doses (these are already booked in for patients who have received a first dose). Due to space constraints and in order to provide an efficient service, we request you to attend with a ratio of one adult for every child being vaccinated. Please arrange for any children not being vaccinated to be looked after elsewhere.
We will continue to offer Pfizer for this age group. Please phone to clinic to book an appointment.
ONLINE appointments are now for FACE-TO-FACE.
If you book an appointment online from 22/10/2021, this will be for a FACE-TO-FACE (F2F) consultation (but you are welcome to call the clinic to change this to a Telehealth appointment).
If you make an online booking (for F2F) but have ANY respiratory symptoms prior to the appointment, please phone us to change this to Telehealth. The doctor can decide via Telehealth whether to book you for the Carpark Respiratory Clinic or how else we can assist.
Respiratory symptoms are those associated with having a cold or flu, or having a fever.
We understand some of our Covid protocols are inconvenient – unfortunately if a patient attends in person and is subsequently diagnosed with COVID it means that all staff, doctors (and other patients) who were present need to isolate and be tested. We will struggle to keep operating if staff and doctors keep having to isolate, so our protocols are designed to keep us open, allowing us to continue helping our community.
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Keep up to date with changes to the vaccine program, new services and ways that we can continue to help during Covid restriction periods.
We are very proud of our hardworking immunising team – they have given over 4,300 Covid vaccinations between 10 January and 15 February 2022. Those 4,300 patients also have our thanks for stepping up to get the jab.
BLACKBURN CLINIC NOW PROVIDES PFIZER AND NOVAVAX VACCINATIONS.
Please note, this is not the same as booster doses. Third doses are for people with immune compromising conditions or medications (eg. cancer, chemotherapy).
If you regularly attend Blackburn Clinic, please call the clinic for an appointment to determine your eligibility. If you are not our regular patient, please arrange a letter confirming eligibility from your GP or relevant specialist, or use the eligibility declaration form.
A useful resource for parents and teenagers regarding Covid-19 vaccines:
For further information about the Pfizer vaccine, please click on the link below:
HOW TO GET PROOF OF YOUR COVID-19 VACCINATION
You can get proof via your Medicare online account through myGov, or the Express Plus Medicare mobile app. See this link for instructions:
Flu vaccination bookings can be made by telephoning our reception team. We are now taking bookings for weekend flu clinics that will be held in April.
FLU VACCINATIONS CANNOT BE BOOKED ONLINE.
WEEKEND PROTOCOL – no appointment necessary
On weekends and public holidays patients will be seen in order of arrival. If you have symptoms please phone the clinic before 10:00am, so we can arrange for the doctor to call you and book you into our carpark respiratory clinic if appropriate.
We have limited capacity to change ‘dressings’ on weekends, but if strictly necessary, you are advised to come as early as possible – depending on how busy the carpark respiratory clinic gets, dressings may not be possible after 10:00am on weekends.
Please phone the clinic to book Telehealth appointments.
Telehealth consultations have an out of pocket Gap (after the Medicare rebate) of $30 (or $15 for Concession patients) for appointments MON-FRI BEFORE 6PM. Telehealth AFTER 6PM and ON WEEKENDS has a Gap of $45 ($30 Concession). These gaps are lower than for face-to-face appointments.
Blackburn Clinic is not able to test for COVID-19. Please CLICK HERE to view the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) MAP OF COVID-19 TESTING SITES or speak with your doctor. Some sites require a referral from your GP. Click on the site you are interested in attending to get further information about their service.
CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOM CHECKER
CLICK HERE to access the DHHS Symptom Checker.
CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION IN OTHER LANGUAGES
Please CLICK HERE to view information provided by DHHS about COVID-19, which is available in over 50 different languages.