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COVID-19 information for GPs
PHNs are playing a major role in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout across Australia. Northern Queensland PHN will keep you and your practice staff informed along the way.
Medical recommendation letter for over 60s to receive Pfizer vaccine in Queensland Health facilities

As per the Management of COVID-19 vaccine rollout for Queensland hospitals Guideline, which is found on the NQPHN COVID-19 website and the COVID-19 Vaccination Primary Care webpage, there are currently a number of medical circumstances where a consumer over the age of 60 might be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, including those with underlying medical conditions, however they may not fall within one of the priority worker groups. 

The new Queensland Health Recommendation form to receive the Pfizer Vaccine is required to be signed by a medical practitioner and presented by an otherwise ineligible consumer at a Queensland Health vaccination location. This does not replace a referral to a local Hospital and Health Service for consideration for in-hospital vaccination or seeking specialist advice, however will assist people aged over 60 receive a Pfizer vaccine if they have an approved medical condition. 

As more GPs gain access to Pfizer supplies in the coming weeks, it is anticipated that these individuals will initially be referred to those practices rather than Queensland Health facilities, where the focus can remain on the priority worker groups listed above.

If you are a GP, or other Medical Practitioner making a recommendation for Pfizer, please ensure that your patient is aware that, despite holding this referral, they may not be able to be accommodated at a Queensland Health Vaccination Location at this time due to the prioritisation of second doses and the priority groups above. Additionally, they may be turned away if sufficient information is not included on the form.

Useful COVID-19 vaccine resources for your practice

Northern Queensland PHN has compiled some of the most useful COVID-19 vaccination program resources for your practice:

Northern Queensland PHN has produced a resource to assist General Practices and RACFs in directing their COVID-19 vaccine queries in the right direction. 

Download it here.

Northern Queensland PHN would like to acknowledge Brisbane North PHN for helping to develop this resource.

COVID-19 GP Query flowchart

Northern Queensland PHNs has developed a handy resource to assist general practitioners in responding to public enquiries around the COVID-19 vaccination program.

The resource includes suggested messaging for GPs participating in the vaccine rollout, and also for those not participating, to help all practices in dealing with the current high volume of calls regarding the COVID vaccine.

Download the resource here.

Queensland PHNs have developed a Vaccination Preparation Pack to assist general practitioners, practice nurses and practice managers in delivering a successful mass vaccination program.

The pack is made up of four parts, and is useful for the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out, and for other vaccination events, e.g. influenza. The pack is designed to build a complete picture of vaccine readiness in your practice. It also contains checklists which can be used as evidence for accreditation and quality improvement activities.

  • Part One: Preparing your practice policies and protocols [Word] [PDF]
  • Part Two: Internal preparation for your team [Word] [PDF]
  • Part Three: Identifying eligible patients and planning the patient vaccination journey [Word] [PDF]
  • Part Four: Preparing and implementing a vaccination clinic [Word] [PDF]

Northern Queensland PHN, with thanks to Brisbane South PHN, has developed a resource containing useful messaging for participating and non-participating general practices for Phase 1b of the COVID-19 Vaccine rollout.

The resource includes:

  • Reception guide for responding to COVID-19 vaccination enquiries
  • Telephone answering service message
  • Website text.

DOWNLOAD: Word version | PDF version

COVID-19 vaccine information for healthcare workers have been updated with screening questions and a decision support guide, updated patient information and consent forms, and forms in case of system downtime.

The Department of Health has prepared a COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Communication Kit to support General Practice patient communications efforts during Phase 1b and subsequent vaccine rollout.

Communication materials provided are voluntary, however use of these communication materials will support your compliance with the TGA advertising act.

The Provider Kit includes:

  • Pre vaccination content
  • Vaccination day resources
  • Post-vaccination content.

There are also resources available in other languages, and for people with a disability.

The Queensland Government’s Asset Library for COVID-19 health care providers also provides a collection of print-ready and editable resources for general practice in regard to COVID-19 and vaccination care. The collection includes:

  • patient fact sheets – what to expect after your vaccination (AstraZeneca and Pfizer)
  • sticker and badge artwork – “I’ve had the COVID-19 vaccination”
  • practice signage – COVID-19 vaccination location
  • pull-up banners – for photos and promoting the vaccination.
  • The Australian Government Department of Health has released further advice answering a range of common queries regarding the arrangements for practices who are offering COVID-19 vaccinations in Phase 1b.
  • The DoH has also provided accurate, evidence-based answers to questions about COVID-19 vaccines for the community
  • Cancer Australia has released information on the COVID-19 vaccines for people affected by cancer. This includes a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the COVID-19 vaccines and cancer, and links to health professional guidance and research articles.

Learn how Australia's vaccine rollout is tracking with new statistics published weekly on the Australian Department of Health website

Prepare for the vaccine rollout

Here are some ways your practice can prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout:

  • Vaccine storage as per National Vaccine Storage Guidelines ‘Strive for 5’, including:
    • Vaccine Management Policy
    • annual fridge maintenance
    • purpose-built vaccine fridges only, no domestic fridges
    • data logger monitoring
    • vaccine fridge storage capacity
Influenza vaccination

It is recommended to be immunised against the respiratory illness influenza. Annual vaccination is the most important measure to prevent influenza and its complications and is recommended for all people aged six months and over.

Translating and interpreting support

Queensland Health has developed Queensland-specific translated resources for COVID-19 information in 31 languages.

Refugee Health Network Queensland has also compiled translated resources from a variety of sources.

New resources will be added to these websites as they are developed.

Working with qualified interpreters is essential to ensuring you are able to communicate effectively with your patients and are protected from professional risk.

Private medical practitioners and pharmacies can access the Free Interpreting Service delivered through TIS National to provide services to anyone in Australia who is eligible for Medicare. More information is available here:

Practice support staff and nurses working with a private medical practitioner registered with TIS National can also access the service using the same client code.

The service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. To access this free service, please complete the client registration form. For more information, contact the TIS National Language Policy Liaison team on tis.lpl@border.gov.au or 1300 575 847.

The RACGP has also released a guide for GPs about telephone consultations with patients requiring an interpreter.

30 July 2021