COVID and Flu Vaccinations

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Our aim is to keep you updated with the latest advice and information regarding both COVID-19 and 2021 Influenza vaccinations.

Please check in regularly to keep up to date with new information.

Conditions of Entry

The following conditions of entry will apply for patients and visitors to the Launceston Health Hub.

  • Any person experiencing cough, cold and/or flu-like symptoms will not be permitted to enter the Health Hub building.
    Patients with these symptoms can book into the Launceston Respiratory Clinic for a face-to-face consultation, at no charge.
  • COVID positive patients can book a F2F appointment at the Launceston Respiratory Clinic if a physical examination is needed.
  • Alternatively, a telehealth appointment can be made at the Launceston Medical Centre for patients who are COVID positive. Standard fees apply.
  • Close contacts may enter the building as long as a negative RAT has been performed on that day. Strictly, the person must not have any cough, cold or flu like symptoms.
  • A mask must be worn by anyone aged 12 and over (surgical preferred).
    Children aged 5-12 are encouraged to wear a mask, however this is at the discretion of their parent.
    One surgical mask per patient can be provided.
  • A maximum of one support person is permitted per appointment (excluding young children)
  • Patients may be asked to wait in their car if there is an unexpected delay to the appointment time.
  • Our practice has a Zero Tolerance policy towards abuse of any kind. We ask for kindness and understanding as we endeavour to keep our practice safe for our staff, visitors and patients.
Launceston Medical Centre will be holding flu clinics from 21 April, 2022 to correspond with Public Health Guidelines for maximised protection over the flu season. These vaccinations will be given in the General Practice;
Ground Floor
247 Wellington Street
Launceston

Online bookings can be made here

Here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions.

  • ATAGI has advised that influenza vaccines can be co-administered (on the same day) with a COVID-19 vaccine. Patients due for a COVID vaccination will be able to request this on the day of their flu vaccination.
  • The highest level of protection occurs in the first 3 to 4 months following vaccination. Annual vaccination should ideally occur before the onset of each influenza season. This is usually from June to September in most parts of Australia but may be atypical this year. Vaccinating from April provides protection before the peak season.
  • Free flu vaccinations are provided to individuals considered high risk:
    • children from 6 months to less than 5 years of age
    • adults aged 65 years and over
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
    • pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy)
    • people aged 6 months and over with medical conditions which increase the risk of complications.
  • Private vaccines are available for $18 for those who don’t meet the above criteria.

Medical exemptions

Patients seeking a vaccination exemption will require certification from a medical practitioner.

Medically accepted contraindications are outlined by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) clinical guidance on COVID-19 vaccine in Australia in 2021

The medically accepted contraindications are reflected in the VACCINE MEDICAL CONTRAINDICATION form, which our practice uses as recommended by the Tasmanian Department of Health.

In Australia, COVID-19 vaccines will be available in phases. Groups of people get the vaccination at different times.

The groups are Phase 1a, Phase 1b, Phase 2a, Phase 2b and Phase 3.

To check to see if you can book a COVID-19 vaccination yet, please use the Vaccine Eligibility Checker available here

You can do this for yourself or another person.

For up-to-date information about COVID-19 Vaccinations and how they work, please click here

After receiving any vaccine, you may experience minor side effects. Most side effects are mild and last no more than a few days.

Common reactions to COVID-19 vaccinations include:

  • a sore arm
  • headache
  • low level fever
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • tiredness, or
  • joint pain.

If you have a side effect that worries you, please call us and we will book an appointment with your doctor.

You can also use the COVID-19 Symptom Checker to see if you need to seek medical help

To keep our staff and patients well Launceston Medical Centre is currently not seeing patients with cold and flu symptoms (including runny nose, sore throat, cough or fever).  Patients who have attended the practice previously have the option of booking a telehealth appointment with their regular GP.

Alternatively, any patient experiencing these symptoms can book in for a FREE consultation at the Launceston Respiratory Clinic which is located right next door to us.  In addition to COVID testing, prescriptions, general advice and medical certificates can be provided.

Booking and more info available at www.launcestonrc.com.au or by calling 63108310

Updated 16th Match, 2020

On March 13th 2020, Medicare via the federal government introduced bulk-billed telehealth item numbers for practices that can be used for patients who meet certain criteria (please see below for more detail).

Our online booking platform, Hotdoc can be used for booking these appointments and will ask several questions to identify whether you are eligible.

Several of our doctors will also be undergoing self-isolation.

This coming week Dr Daniel Kirk, Dr Min Giffard and Dr Jaclyn O’Keefe will only be providing telehealth options from home. Other doctors will offer telehealth from the practice.

Reasons for this include recent travel and some of them having vulnerable people at home and within their own families.

In order to provide the best continuity of care possible we have worked with our IT and phone providers to establish secure, remote access to our software for these doctors.

Patients who are already booked with these doctors will be contacted by our reception team to offer the following alternatives:

  • Having a telehealth appointment at the same day and time with the original doctor.
    (If patients don’t meet the criteria our standard practice fee would be applied. Unfortunately a Medicare rebate will not apply. We are continuing to lobby for broader criteria)
  • Rescheduling the appointment for the same doctor at a later date.
  • Seeing an alternative doctor at a similar time.

Who’s eligible?

People in home isolation or quarantine as a result of the coronavirus, and those at high risk of complications if exposed to it, will be eligible for bulk-billed telehealth consultations with doctors, nurses and mental-health professionals.

Eligible vulnerable groups include:

  • people aged over 70
  • Indigenous people aged over 50
  • people with chronic health conditions or whose immune system is compromised
  • parents with new babies
  • pregnant women.

What software is required?

In addition to your phone call your doctor may require you to switch to video by either FaceTime or WhatsApp.

Our doctors will call you on the number provided, at the booked time. It would be good prior to your phone call if you could install either FaceTime or WhatsApp on your phone in case they if needed. If this isn’t possible don’t worry as a phone call can work.

Please ensure your phone is on, charged and that you have good connection available to conduct the call.

Is it still safe to visit the Launceston Health Hub?

Yes. Our number one priority is both staff and patient safety. As such we have instituted the following changes:

  • All phone calls and online bookings are screened to ensure no cough, fever, cold and flu symptoms.
  • Those with symptoms or a fever are only seen after hours in separate waiting rooms, in dedicated consultation rooms, with a doctor in full personal protective equipment.
  • Every patient has their temperature checked by a staff member wearing a face mask.
  • Physical changes to our reception and waiting rooms encouraging social distancing.

Thank you!

We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our patients for the overwhelming support and understanding during this time.

As you can imagine, we are experiencing exceptionally high volumes of calls and enquiries and apologise for the occasions where our call waiting times may be a little longer than usual.

Patients are welcome to Contact us here if this is more convenient.

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