- Pfizer vaccine for adults under 60
- Shorter gap between jabs
- Canadian First Nations incredible vaccine uptake
- Investment in Aboriginal education
- New CTG PBS Co-payment resources
- Suicide prevention manual
- Achieving healthy safe digital ecosystems
Pfizer vaccine for adults under 60
The AMA acknowledges the latest advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommending the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer (Comirnaty) is preferred in adults under the age of 60 years.
The AMA says the change to our COVID-19 vaccine roll out is based on the latest medical evidence and advice. “The Australian community can be reassured that the Commonwealth continues to take the advice of medical experts on how best to manage the risk of COVID-19 and target our vaccine roll out,” AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid said. “ATAGI has decided the AstraZeneca vaccine should be used for those patients who are 60 years of age and over based on an assessment of the current risks of COVID-19 in the community.
“With very low rates of community transmission, ATAGI has decided that Pfizer should be the preferred vaccine for anyone under the age of 60. People who have had the AstraZeneca vaccine should not be alarmed by this decision,” Dr Khorshid said. “The risks of serious complications, including clotting, from the AstraZeneca vaccine are very low and Australia is now very good at detecting clots in patients who’ve had the AstraZeneca vaccine.
To view the AMA’s media release click here.
Shorter gap between jabs
On the 8 June 2021 the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) published an updated version of the administration of 2021 seasonal influenza vaccines advice. The new advice incorporates the latest ATAGI agreed recommendations on the relative timing of administering influenza vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines in 2021. The key changes in advice are as follows:
- the preferred minimum interval between influenza vaccine and a dose of COVID-19 vaccine is 7 days (previously 14 days) a shorter interval between the two vaccines (including co-administration) is acceptable when there:
- is increased risk of COVID-19 or another vaccine-preventable disease (e.g.) COVID-19, influenza outbreak, tetanus-prone wound)
- are logistical issues, e.g. difficulty scheduling visits to maintain the 7 day interval
- influenza vaccine can be given before or after any dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with a minimum interval of 7 days
- an influenza vaccine can be given in between their two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine
- when scheduling influenza and COVID-19 vaccines, providers should prioritise COVID-19 vaccines for patients who are eligible to receive the vaccine now, then they can schedule the influenza vaccination
A news item providing these key changes in advice can be viewed here and the Health professional update – Updated ATAGI advice on administering seasonal influenza vaccines in 2021 can be viewed here.
Vaccination providers are also reminded that it is now mandatory to report all influenza vaccinations to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) (in effect since 1 March 2021).
Canadian First Nations incredible vaccine update
Investment in Aboriginal education
Thrive by Five, the national campaign to reform early learning and childcare, has welcomed the NSW Government’s $23 million investment in Indigenous early learning announced in the State Budget. The Berejiklian Government investment will help increase opportunities for First Nations children to learn the language of their heritage, as well as increasing the enrolment of Indigenous children in early learning. “The science is very clear. Children’s brains grow to 90 per cent of the size of an adult brain during their first five years. This makes those years absolutely critical to ensuring children have the opportunity thrive,” Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill said.
To view the Minderoo Foundation media release in full click here.
New CTG PBS Co-payment resources
New resources are available for GPs about the changes to the Closing the Gap (CTG) PBS Co-payment program due to take effect on 1 July 2021.
The CTG PBS Co-payment program was established in July 2010 to improve access to affordable PBS medicines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with, or at risk of, chronic disease, and who in their doctor’s opinion would experience setbacks in the prevention or ongoing management of chronic disease if they did not take the prescribed medicine and would be unlikely to adhere to their medicines regimen without assistance through the program.
To view the article in full click here.
Suicide prevention manual
Professor Pat Dudgeon welcomed 250 plus attendees to the webinar for the launch today of the Manual of Resources in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention.
The Manual is a collection of practical resources and tools that people, both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous, can use to make a real difference in promoting positive mental health and social emotional wellbeing, and preventing suicide in our communities.
To view the manual click here.
Achieving healthy, safe digital ecosystems
New research led by Noongar researcher Dr Tristan Kennedy shows that social media offers many benefits to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, such as ways to establish and navigate identity and build and maintain strong connections to family and community. But it also found significant negative impact, with 97% of Indigenous people surveyed saying they experienced negative content on social media on a weekly basis, “grounded in ways of talking about Indigenous people and racist ideas that have pervaded Australian settler-colonial history”.
Concerned that the cultural subtleties of offensive content are not readily identified by non-Indigenous platform moderators, the research identified the need to employ more Indigenous peoples in the platforms, but also in government, policy making institutions and education more generally.
The findings underscored issues raised by Associate Professor Megan Williams, about how important platforms like Facebook can be for communities and for raising issues more broadly. But she was also concerned by the “vitriol and racism” Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people face online and how their voices are missing at the table of so many discussions, and from all types of media.
A Wiradjuri scholar, Assistant Director and Research Lead at the University of Sydney’s National Centre for Cultural Competence, and Co-Chair of Croakey Health Media, Williams has talked about the need to create “healthy, safe digital ecosystems”, informed by First Nations voices and knowledges, such as the resources created to support the Stolen Generations by the Healing Foundation.
To view the Croakey article in full click here.