Vaccine Rollout FAQs

Vaccine Rollout Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This webpage is reviewed weekly to provide up-to-date information on frequently asked questions relating to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Urgent enquiries

If you have an urgent enquiry please call Murray PHN t: 03 4408 5600

Join the rollout

Are EOIs still being accepted for general practices to administer COVID-19 vaccines?

Yes. EOIs can be submitted at any time to covax@murrayphn.org.au and no closure date has been set.

What can we do to plan ahead for administering Pfizer?

It is recommended that you:

  • Read the Pfizer Information pack emailed to you
  • Read the Pfizer product information
  • Complete the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Training Module (Pfizer training module)
  • Plan your model of delivery, including how to separate vaccination clinics by either time or space
  • Check your options for adding Pfizer vaccine appointments to your booking system

Can we administer Moderna?

Expressions of interest are open to participating general practices who are interested in receiving an ongoing allocation of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Email covax@murrayphn.org.au to submit an EOI for your practice site.

What are the site requirements for administering Moderna?

Moderna site requirements

What do I need to know about administering paediatric Pfizer?

  • The paediatric Pfizer vaccine for 5 - 11 year olds is a different formula and product to the adult vaccine.
  • All participating primary care vaccine providers will receive an ongoing allocation of either 100 or 200 doses per fortnight - there is no EOI process.
  • Practices should notify covax@murrayphn.org.au if they would like to express their interest in receiving additional vaccine stock.

What vaccine should be given to children who turn 12 after their first dose of Paediatric Pfizer?

Children who turn 12 after their first dose of Paediatric Pfizer vaccine should receive the Adult Pfizer vaccine for their second dose: more information.

Who is eligible

Who is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination?

  • Children aged between 5 and 11 years are eligible for the paediatric Pfizer vaccine.
  • People aged 12 years and over are eligible for the Pfizer, and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
  • People aged 18 years and over are eligible for the AstraZeneca and Novavax COVID-19 vaccines.

ATAGI has approved the administration of a 3rd dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as part of the primary course for people who are severely immunocompromised, clinical guidance is located here

How can people access a COVID-19 vaccine without a Medicare card?

People without a Medicare card can access a free COVID-19 vaccine via a participating general practice respiratory clinic (Bendigo, Wodonga, Mildura, or Swan Hill in the Murray PHN region), a community pharmacy or a State Vaccination Clinic. GPs will not be able to claim through the MBS for individuals without a Medicare (or DVA) card and cannot charge individuals for a COVID-19 vaccine service. Information for patients here.

Can I vaccinate someone who has a COVID-19 infection?

COVID-19 vaccination can be offered to a person with COVID-19 as soon as they have recovered from the acute infection and have been cleared from isolation. There is no recommended interval between infection and vaccination. More information here

A temporary medical exemption from COVID vaccination can be provided for people with a PCR-confirmed COVID infection for up to 4 months (reduced from 6 months) -  ATAGI guidance

How do I provide proof of medical exemption?

Only the AIR Medical Exemption form can be used to provide people with proof of medical exemption to any vaccine requirements in Victoria - see CHO update.

See medical exemption to COVID-19 vaccination guidance

Boosters

Who is approved for third doses and boosters?

ATAGI have recommended a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine for people who are aged 18 years and over who completed their primary vaccination course (dose 2) at least three months ago. ATAGI statement 12 December 2021.

Which vaccine is used as a booster?

Both Moderna and Pfizer are preferred over the AstraZeneca vaccine for a booster dose.

Although not preferred, people who cannot receive Pfizer or Moderna can be offered the AstraZeneca vaccine as a booster i.e. if they meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have a contraindication to mRNA vaccines.
  • Experienced a severe AEFI to an mRNA vaccine in their primary course e.g. myocarditis.
  • Completed AstraZeneca for their primary course and did not experience a significant AEFI

Does the addition of boosters impact on a person’s vaccination status?

  • Individuals are still considered fully vaccinated on completion of their primary two-dose vaccination course.
  • Entering a booster dose into AIR does not change a person’s fully vaccinated status.
  • A booster dose is optional to provide additional protection against the worst effects of COVID-19 infection.

Does an immunocompromised person who has had a third dose require a booster?

Immunocompromised individuals who have completed a three-dose primary course are also recommended to have a booster dose from a minimum of 3 months after their third dose, resulting in a total of four doses.

Do severely immunocompromised children (5-11 yrs) require a booster?

  • ATAGI recommends severely immunocompromised children aged 5-11 years have a three-dose primary course, as per recommendations for severely immunocompromised people aged 12 years and older.
  • The recommended interval for the third primary dose is 2 to 6 months after dose two, more information.

Can a booster vaccine be co-administered with flu vaccine?

Yes, ATAGI has recommended that a COVID vaccine and flu vaccine (but no other vaccines) can be administered during the same visit. More information

How are appointments for booster doses funded through MBS?

Boosters can be funded through the existing dose 2 MBS item (items 93644, 93645, 93646, 93647, 93653, 93654, 93655 and 93656 or equivalent for Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics), which allows for ‘second or subsequent COVID-19 Vaccine Suitability Assessments’.

Is there additional funding for general practices to provide 3rd primary dose or boosters doses?

No, not at this stage. The additional PIP payment is not claimable for a vaccine suitability assessment service associated with a third or booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The PIP payment remains payable only when the 1st and 2nd vaccine doses are administered under the same general practice. (See MBS Online).

Can our general practice approach RACFs to offer 3rd primary dose and booster dose clinics?

Yes, you can approach a RACF to offer COVID vaccination in-reach clinics. Please notify Murray PHN as soon as possible if you are planning to run a Residential Aged Care Facility booster clinic, or if you would like to notify us of your interest in participating. Contact covax@murrayphn.org.au if you need any assistance.

How is consent obtained for 3rd primary dose or booster dose vaccinations?

Informed consent needs to be completed with the patient for each vaccination.

 

Running COVAX Clinics

How can we inform the public which COVID-19 vaccines we are administering in our general practice?

General practices can inform the public of the COVID-19 vaccines they are administering by using public information resources and social media materials produced by the Commonwealth Government. This ensures that information materials are TGA compliant - more information here. The full provider kit is located here including a Word version so resources can be customised for your general practice. There is also an advertising pack available - COVID-19 vaccines campaign advertisements - Commonweath Government.

Can our general practice only vaccinate our own patients?

A new patient who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine should not be refused a vaccination appointment if there is one available.

Participating general practices should accept bookings from all eligible people where supply allows and demand exists.

General practices are able to prioritise existing patients via booking processes, for example, by proactively notifying patients of vaccination appointment availability, maintaining a waiting list of eligible existing patients, or limiting appointment bookings to phone only (i.e. not offering online bookings for vaccination appointments).

What if we aren't accepting new patients?

A new patient who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine should not be refused a vaccination appointment if there is one available.

How can we help our patients show proof of vaccination if they don't have access to a printer or internet?

People who are not able to access proof of COVID vaccination online through MyGov are able to call the Australian Immunisation Register and request to have this posted to them. Phone 1800 653 809 (Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm). The document may take up to 14 days to arrive.

Vaccine providers can print a person’s immunisation history statement or COVID-19 digital certificate from AIR as proof of immunisation. To download:

  1. Expand the Immunisation Details section once you have found the individual
  2. Select Generate Immunisation History Statement or Generate Immunisation Certificate(s) and print.

How do I reorder appointment cards and stickers?

To reorder simply email Steve or Mark at BartnPrint: info@bartnprint.com.au

Covax appointment cards (as organised by Murray PHN):
Cost: 5,000 = $649, or 10,000 = $848.10;
Note cards are sent in bundles of 250.

Covax Stickers (as organised by Murray PHN):
Cost: 1,000 = $220, 2,000: $429, or 5,000: $804.10
Note: Stickers are sent in bundles of 100.

Excess vaccine stock

Can we increase or decrease our dose allocation?

Participating general practices can order more or less than their allocated doses of AstraZeneca (in multiples of 100) or Pfizer (in multiples of 120). This will allow additional flexibility to order the amount of vaccines you require based on local demand (up to your maximum allocation).

Note: General practices can reduce their minimum Pfizer order to 60 doses/10 vials by request to covax@murrayphn.org.au

Can we give excess doses to another vaccination site?

Yes. General practices, respiratory clinics, pharmacies and ACCHOs may choose to transfer vaccines from one participating/approved vaccination site to another for a range of reasons, including:

  • to support unmet demand at another site,
  • an oversupply of vaccine stock on hand, or
  • unused stock following withdrawal from the COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

Primary care COVID-19 vaccine providers  can transfer excess vaccine stock to another participating/approved site, as long as both sites agree to the transfer, cold chain integrity is maintained and the transfer is recorded in CVAS.

Contact practices in your geographic area first to see if a transfer can be made locally. Refer to the list of primary care COVID-19 vaccine providers on the Murray PHN COVAX webpage to locate a site for the transfer – vaccination clinics by region. Email covax@murrayphn.org.au if assistance is required.

For advice on cold chain management and use of coolers/eskys, see National vaccine storage guidelines resource collection "Strive for Five" - Australian Government

VOC should be notified of excess Pfizer stock via 1800 318 208 or covid19vaccineoperationscentre@health.gov.au with the following information:

Practice name
Practice ID # (if known)
Practice address
Practice opening hours
Excess vaccine type
Number of vials
Defrost expiry date
Batch number

I have excess AstraZeneca stock, can I send it back?

The VOC is coordinating a recall process for eligible excess AstraZeneca vaccine stock, where the following criteria are met:

  • Must have more than 20 vials of excess AstraZeneca vaccine stock
  • With a minimum of eight weeks to expiry date
  • Cold chain records must be available
  • Vaccine stock must be in its original packaging i.e. cannot be separate individual vials.
  • If you meet these criteria, complete this spreadsheet AZ Excess Stock and email to covax@murrayphn.org.au

Click here for more information from DoH.

Do I have to report expired doses?

Yes. In the event that your doses have expired, please:

  • Refer to the COVID-19 Vaccination Training which provides details on how to dispose of vaccines, and;
  • Remember to report wastage via CVAS
    • Wastage less than 5 vials should be reported in your Vaccine Stock Management Report
    • Wastage of 5 vials or more should be reported in the Wastage Report.

What is the excess dose policy for Pfizer?

The Department of Health recommends applying the same excess dose policy to both AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines, available here.

Once our general practice is approved to administer Pfizer, how many doses can be ordered?

Practices order Pfizer in a minimum of 120 doses/20 vials, up to their maximum fortnightly dose allocation. Practices can order in multiples of 120 doses/20 vials and 300 doses/50 vials. For more guidance see the Pfizer Information Pack emailed to you.

Note: General practices can reduce their Pfizer order to 60 doses/10 vials by request. To make this request, email covax@murrayphn.org.au before the Wednesday prior to your next ordering window.

How long will the Pfizer vaccine last in my vaccination fridge?

General Practices will receive the Pfizer vaccine thawed. The unopened, thawed vaccine is stable at 2-8°C for a maximum of 31 days.

How can I access the surge workforce in cases of high demand/outbreaks?

Emergency authorisation has been given to a range of health workers and students to prepare and/or administer COVID vaccines in Victoria, including primary care sites. Surge workforce summary table for practices in Victoria [updated 8 Sept]

My cohort and/or site codes are not being accepted by the system.

Please contact the Vaccine Operations Centre on 1800 318 208 (7am-10pm AEST, 7 days).

My general practice has a query about a vaccine order / delivery date / vaccine stock management

Please contact the Vaccine Operations Centre on 1800 318 208 (7am-10pm AEST, 7 days).

My general practice would like to update its delivery details

Please contact the Vaccine Operations Centre on 1800 318 208 (7am-10pm AEST, 7 days).

My general practice would like to update the contact details published on the Vaccine Service Finder for the roll-out.

Please update your practice details in CVAS ('Public Information Section') and notify the Department of Health by email to PCDVCF@Health.gov.au.

My general practice would like to withdraw from the roll-out.

If your general practice is no longer providing COVID-19 vaccinations or is planning on concluding your clinics, please notify covax@murrayphn.org.au. We encourage practices to elect to pause rather than completely withdraw from the COVID-19 vaccination program, to ensure sites could be reactivated easily in future if the need arises.

 

Other enquiries might be addressed in Murray HealthPathways COVID-19 pathways

 

Priority Groups

Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF)

How can RACF staff access a COVID-19 vaccine?

See the Australian Government webpage Information for residential aged care workers about COVID-19 vaccinations.

My RACF has been given a date and time for residential vaccinations and I have a query/issue.

Contact Murray PHN at covax@murrayphn.org.au

People with Disability

What support is available to increase accessibility of my practice for people with disability to access COVID-19 vaccination?

General practices can access support and resources from Disability Liaison Officers to enable people with disability to access COVID-19 vaccination at their practice. For more information see our Running covax clinics webpage.

In-reach and off-site clinics

Our general practice is already vaccinating and would like to explore opportunities for in-reach clinics at local residential aged care or disability residential facilities.

The PIP incentive payment for general practices providing in-reach COVID-19 vaccinations for residential aged care and disability support staff has been extended to 30 June 2022. It has also been expanded to include aged and disability care residents.

  • A $1,000 payment once a minimum threshold of 50 COVID-19 vaccine suitability assessments (including vaccine administration where appropriate) have been provided to residential aged care or disability support workers (cumulative) through in-reach clinics.
  • $20 for every vaccine suitability assessment provided to a residential aged care or disability support worker thereafter.
  • $20 for every vaccine suitability assessment provided to aged care or disability accommodation residents through an in-reach clinic that occurs from 1 November 2021  after the initial 50 worker threshold has been reached
  • These payments are available to vaccination providers in addition to the per patient fees payable in line with existing funding arrangements.

MBS ‘remote supervision’ items 93600 and 93661 will be available from 1 January 2022 to improve access to vaccines and booster shots for those unable to attend a vaccination site. The new items will allow an appropriately qualified health professional (such as a nurse or Aboriginal Health Worker) to conduct a COVID-19 Vaccine Suitability Assessment on behalf of a General Practitioner (GP) or Other Medical Practitioner (OMP) in a person’s place of residence without a GP being present.

COVID-19_VACCINE_in reach clinics factsheet 16 December 2021

MBS item 90005 provides a “flag-fall” fee for medical practitioners to conduct a COVID-19 vaccine suitability assessment service in a residential aged care facility, a residential disability facility setting or at a patient’s place of residence (see MBS factsheet).

Both the facilities requesting in-reach clinics and the primary care provider willing to deliver the vaccination clinics must engage with the local PHN before and after any in-reach clinic to report:
o the planned date of in-reach vaccination clinic
o confirmation the clinic was delivered, and
o the number of staff and residents vaccinated

Our practice would like to run a drive-through clinic

Please review the clinical guidance and site requirements for drive-through vaccination clinics and email covax@murrayphn.org.au to complete the site declaration.

Our practice would like to run an off-site clinic

Off-site and pop-up clinics are supported. Please review the clinical guidance for off-site vaccination clinics and email covax@murrayphn.org.au if you have any questions.

Our practice would like to administer vaccines at workplaces

Vaccination providers can seek accreditation to administer COVID-19 vaccines at workplaces through a Request for Tender program now available in AusTender - more information here.

Who are classified as authorised workers?

All workers on the Authorised Worker list will require their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by 15 October and must be fully vaccinated by 26 November to continue working onsite. The 15 October deadline does not apply to industries with existing requirements, who still have to comply with previous advice. Click here to read more.

The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) has provided a summary of COVID-19 mandatory vaccination directions in Victoria.

 

General non-urgent enquiries
Email covax@murrayphn.org.au

Subscribe to COVID-19 enews mailing list
Please email covax@murrayphn.org.au

 

Page last updated 26 January 2022