If you are over the age of 50, you are now recommended to receive a winter booster dose of the COVID vaccine. If it has been 3months or more since your last shot ; get it now. There is little difference between the two mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna.)If you are over 65, you are most at risk . You can also receive this booster if you are over 30 years of age. We are trying to reduce severe disease from the emerging surge of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5. The new variants effect the lungs more and get better at evading the vaccines: as viruses do.
If you test positive for COVID, you may be eligible for oral antiviral agents. Particularly if you are over the age of 70, and you develop COVID : please call your GP. They will discuss which agent is best for you ( Paxlovid or Largevrio). It is some comfort that if you get COVID, are already vaccinated and have these agents, you are almost certainly, going to get through it, without needing hospital. Rest easy, these oral antivirals dramatically reduce the risk of severe disease, particularly for older Australians.
So who is eligible for antiviral treatments? Any Australian who tests positive to COVID-19 and is over the age of 70 will be able to access antivirals on the PBS. Access has also been expanded to people aged over 50 with two or more risk factors for severe disease, and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people aged over 30 with two or more risk factors for severe disease. A broad range of chronic illness is on the list
· Coronary artery disease
· Demyelinating conditions
· Moderate of severe asthma
· Renal impairment
· Stroke and dementia
· Kidney failure
· Diabetes type one or two
· Anyone who lives in remote areas and doesn’t have access to higher level healthcare
Anyone aged 18 and older who is severely immunocompromised or has severe physical or intellectual disabilities requiring residential care can also request antivirals. People with cerebral palsy or down syndrome can also request antivirals.
Our Doctors are available for telehealth consultations during practice hours, or for the After Hours On Call Doctor call 4464 1577.