Update on masks distributed from the National Medical Stockpile
20 August 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Murray PHN has distributed more than 105,000 surgical and P2/N95 masks from the national medical stockpile, on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Health.
These masks are available for general practices, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, allied health and pharmacists, for use in a clinical setting.
Murray PHN first began distributing masks/respirators in February, with more than 1000 orders dispatched since then. We recently received a report from one general practice in our region, about issues with N95 masks causing physical irritation to wearers.
As masks are provided to protect our health workers, we immediately suspended distribution and notified the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Response Team.
The Response Team consulted the Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA) which confirmed that ALL masks made available through the National Medical Stockpile are included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) and therefore deemed fit for their intended medical purpose.
We are advised that the Department of Health has also had these respirators independently tested against Australia’s standards for respiratory devices. The masks/respirators are sterilised using ethylene oxide sterilisation, a locally and internationally accepted form of sterilisation used for certain medical devices.
Individuals experiencing any adverse events associated with the use of a mask should stop using the masks immediately and report their concerns to the TGA.
Where mask use has been discontinued, practices are encouraged to contact Murray PHN for further information and support. Click here to order masks.
Advice on the continuing review of TGA masks, can be found at https://www.tga.gov.au/post-market-review-face-masks-overview.