Western Queensland PHN - COVID-19 Weekly Update

16 May 2022

Dear Practice and Pharmacy Staff,
Please see this week’s collection of updates and links for COVID Care and Vaccinations.


Small Dose Orders of Pfizer 12+ now available

Good news for our small population sites, the National Taskforce has enabled minimum 60 dose orders of the purple cap Pfizer 12+. This will be available from the start of the next order window. All other vaccines remain at 100.

Have you heard about EVA?

Last month the Department set up the Easy Vaccine Access (EVA) service to help vulnerable people find and book a covid vaccine appointment. A person or their carer registers for EVA by sending an SMS, and a National Coronavirus Help line agent calls back and provides personalised support to book their vaccination. Practices are located using the Vaccine Clinic Finder.

Consider adding the below information to a newsletter or website:

SMS ‘Hey EVA’ to 0481 611 382 for help booking a COVID-19 vaccine. Someone from the National Coronavirus Helpline will call you back and find you an appointment. EVA is available every day from 7 am to 10 pm (AEST) with free interpreting support

Is your practice listing accurate in VCF Connect?

Vaccine Clinic Finder Connect is the only way to update your practices listing on the Vaccine Clinc Finder. A VCF Connect registration email was sent to the primary contact for your site as nominated on the COVID Vaccine Administrative System (CVAS). If you can’t find the email, contact the DOH team and they will help you out. Email, or call 1800 316 375.

Vaccine Use by Dates and Shelf life extension

The latest Provider Bulletin for General Practices, 13 May, details an extension for MRNA vaccines shelf life when stored frozen, prior to thawing. Plus highlighted vaccine administration errors related to use after thaw use-by date or the manufacturer expiry date. Two case studies are provided.

Vaccination Locations in Western Queensland

The list of Vaccination Clinics in Western Queensland is updated weekly. It includes General Practices, Pharmacies and HHS outreach clinics and is available on the WQPHN website.
Please email Melissa Williams to notify WQPHN of any change you want to your listing.


COVID Case Numbers Rising

As reported by the Deputy Medical Officer Prof Michael Kidd on Friday, the number of COVID-19 cases being reported across the country is rising (estimated 361,170 cases). In the last week there has been an increase of more than 30,000 cases of COVID-19 nationally.  Fortunately he advises that the number of patients hospitalised (3,004) or receiving treatment in intensive care (122) remains stable.

So far this year, there have been more than 6 million cases of COVID-19, and 5,479 deaths reported across Australia.


Face Masks Still Required

Qld Health were recently asked to clarify if Face Masks were required to be worn in General Practices, as the short version of the Public Health Face Mask Requirement Direction (No. 5) does not mention them.

The answer is Yes, Face Masks are still required at general practices.  The Direction provides an expanded definition of “Healthcare setting”.

Face masks are still required in these situations:

  • in healthcare settings, residential aged care, disability accommodation, prisons or detention centres

  • on public transport, including while waiting on the platform or at a stop

  • in a taxi, rideshare vehicle or commercial shuttle, including while waiting at a taxi rank or pick-up area

  • in airports and on planes

  • when outside of your home or accommodation if:

    • you have a temperature equal to or higher than 37.5 degrees

    • you have COVID-19 symptoms

    • you’re awaiting a COVID-19 PCR test result

  • if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19, are a close contact, or are an international traveller (in accordance with other public health directions).

Masks are not currently required in schools - including for staff, students and visitors - but schools may have their own mask policies.

Masks are still recommended whenever you can’t socially distance.
Children under 12 years and people affected by a medical condition or disability do not have to wear a face mask. See exceptions from wearing face masks.


Watch a recording

Winter Readiness: Coincidence of Influenza and COVID, #6 in the Qld PHN Covid Series.
WQPHN hosted a webinar featuring Dr Steven Donohue, Dr Trent Yarwood and Dr Karen Benn 
Click here to watch a recording

DOH Primary Care Webinar: Last week’s webinar addressed Oral Covid anti-virals Lagevrio and Paxlovid. Click here to watch a recording. 


WQPHN COVID-19 Response Contacts

Kathleen O’Hara, Program Manager, COVID-19 Response 
Email: Phone: 0456 001 789

Sarah Carige, Coordinator, COVID-19 Response
Email: Phone: 0417 745 342

Melissa Williams, Coordinator, COVID-19 Response
Email: Phone: 0448 999 218

Western Queensland Primary Health Network gratefully acknowledges the financial and other support from the Australian Government Department of Health


Although funding has been provided by the Australian Government, the material contained herein does not necessarily represent the views
or policies of, nor is endorsed by, the Australian Government.

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Western Queensland PHN · 11 Barkly Highway RFDS Base · Mount Isa, QLD 4825 · Australia