Covid-19 Vaccines

Vaccines available at Hills Family Practice

If you receive your vaccine elsewhere, please let us know when you next have a visit so that we can record this in your medical record at our practice.

Frequently asked questions

Updated 24th October 2022

What vaccines am I eligible for?2022-10-06T02:36:15+00:00

There are now a number of vaccines available to choose from:

  • If you are 12 years and over, you can choose between Moderna Spikevax and Pfizer Comirnaty vaccines for your primary course (i.e. 1st 2 doses) or booster doses
  • Children between 5 and 6 years of age can only have the Pfizer Comirnaty paediatric formulation for their primary course
  • Children between 6 and 11 years of age can have either the Pfizer Comirnaty paediatric formulation or Moderna Spikevax
  • Adults 18 years and over can choose to have the updated Spikevax Bivalent original/Omicron BA.1 version for either their 1st or 2nd booster
What is the dose interval for each vaccine?2022-10-06T02:37:48+00:00

The following dose interval is recommended for each of the vaccines for the primary vaccination course:

  • Pfizer in adults- 8 weeks apart (minimum 3 weeks apart)
  • Pfizer paediatric formulation – 8 weeks apart (but can be done 3 weeks apart under special circumstances)
  • Moderna- 8 weeks apart (minmum 4 weeks apart)
  • Astra Zeneca – 3 months apart but can be done as short as 6 weeks apart (currently not available at HFGP)

Some patients who have severe immunosuppression require three doses to complete their “primary immunisation”. This is approved for use for patients with certain conditions in accordance with strict criteria.  Dose 3 is given 2 months after the 2nd dose. Patients who require 3 doses for their primary immunisation are also eligible for further booster doses as outlined below.

What do I need to know about the vaccine for my 5-11 year old?2022-05-03T02:01:29+00:00

Children between 5 and 6 can only have the Pfizer vaccine. 6-11 year olds can have either Pfizer or Moderna. Your child will require 2 doses, 8 weeks apart (but this can be brought forward to 3 weeks in specific circumstances).

More detailed information about the vaccine can be found in the ATAGI recommendation, and the Covid childhood vaccine government consent form.

If your child is aged 11 years and has the paediatric formulation for their first dose, and then turns 12 years of age before their second dose, they should have the adult Pfizer formulation as their second dose.

The Pfizer paediatric vaccine can be co-administered with other vaccines.

Is having a booster important?2022-05-03T02:04:53+00:00

Yes. Having a booster is very important to protect against death and hospitalisation.

The effect of vaccines and boosters on death rates in Australia can be found here.

When can I have a booster if I have already been vaccinated?2022-10-25T00:32:11+00:00

You are eligible for a Pfizer COVID-19 booster dose if you:

  • are 5 to 11 (paediatric pfizer comirnaty), and:
    • are severely immunocompromised, or
    • have a disability with significant or complex health needs, or
    • have severe, complex, or multiple health conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19
  • are 12 to 15 (adult pfizer comirnaty), and:
    • are severely immunocompromised, or
    • have a disability with significant or complex health needs, or
    • have severe, complex, or multiple health conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19
  • are 16 years and older, and
  • completed your primary dose course of COVID-19 vaccination at least 3 months ago.

If you are aged 18 years or older, you can have the Pfizer or Moderna (including the updated Spikevax bivalent orginal/Omicron BA.1 version) vaccine as a booster dose regardless of which vaccine you had for your first 2 doses.

If you have had COVID-19 you should wait to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine for 3 months after your confirmed infection.

To make a booking, please book a “covid vaccine booster” appointment online or call our practice. Further information is also available on the government website and ATAGI statement.

Who should have a winter booster (2nd booster)?2022-07-07T12:34:46+00:00

All people over 50 are recommended to have a winter booster (i.e. 2nd booster, 4th dose overall) with an mRNA vaccination such as Pfizer Comirnaty or Moderna SpikeVax to reduce the risk of covid complications this winter season. This booster vaccination can be given 3 months after the first booster, or 3 months after covid-19 infection.

People aged 16-50 with the following conditions are now also recommended to have a winter booster 4 months after their last booster:

  • Cancer (Diagnosed in the last 5 years or requiring ongoing treatment)
  • Chronic inflammatory conditions (eg. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, ankylosing spondylitis)
  • Chronic lung disease (eg. Severe asthma (frequent hospitalisations, or requiring multiple medications), COPD, interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis)
  • Chronic liver disease (eg. Cirrhosis, autoimmune hepatitis)
  • Severe chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic neurological disease (eg. Stroke, dementia, motor neurone disease, MS, epilepsy)
  • Diabetes requiring medications
  • Chronic cardiac disease (eg. Ischaemic heart disease, heart failure, valvular heart disease, congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathy)
  • People with disability with significant or complex health needs
  • BMI>40 or BMI<16.5

Otherwise healthy people aged 30-49 are now also able to have a 2nd booster vaccination. However, benefit of a 2nd booster is less clear in this age group.

Can I have a covid vaccine if I am pregnant?2022-07-04T08:56:47+00:00

Yes. The Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RANZCOG) have released a joint statement with ATAGI recommending that all pregnant women should consider Pfizer Comirnaty or Moderna SpikeVax vaccine at any stage in the pregnancy. “This is because the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby”.

Please read the statement and call us if you would like the vaccine.

Which vaccine am I eligible to have if I am breast-feeding?2022-07-04T08:55:59+00:00

Pregnant women and breast feeding women are both eligible for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

As outlined in this statement, vaccination of breast feeding women is safe.

How do I make an appointment?2022-05-03T02:40:40+00:00

Please call the practice and book for the vaccine of your choice. If you are attending the practice for any other reason, please ask your doctor for a booster.

What can I expect after the Covid Vaccine?2022-05-03T05:44:19+00:00

After receiving your AZ vaccine from us, you will be provided with this information sheet.

If you are given the Pfizer vaccine, you will receive this information sheet.

Most side effects, including local reaction at injection site, headaches, fever, tiredness, are very common but are often mild and should resolve within 3-4 days. The vaccine will not cause a sore throat, runny nose or cough- if you have these you should let us know (please book a Telehealth appointment for this). Like any other vaccines, anaphylaxis and other side effects are very rare, and unknown side effects will be monitored.

A sore throat, runny nose or a cough are NOT expected side effects and so please book a Telehealth appointment if these occur. We may recommend a COVID swab if this occurs.

Government information sheets on what to expect after the AstraZenica and Pfizer vaccines are also available.

How do I provide consent?2022-06-23T06:46:04+00:00

It is important that you understand the risk and benefits and side effects of any medical treatment or vaccine. We would like you to provide that consent to us by signing a specific information form.

This consent can be found and accessed:

  • on your mobile device if you book online; or

  • For 12 year old and over, by downloading it HERE saving and emailing it to us or bringing it to your appointment; or

  • For childhood vaccine 5-11 years of age, by downloading it HERE and emailing it to us or bringing it to your appointment; or

  • by completing it at the practice when you arrive

Information about when you should not have the vaccine is contained HERE.

How can I prepare for the vaccine?2022-05-03T05:58:42+00:00

There are a number of things that you can do to prepare whilst waiting for the vaccination process to begin. These things will help us register your vaccination in the Australian Immunisation Register as well as enabling you to access a record of your vaccination. Start preparing by:

  • making sure your Medicare number is valid and not expired

  • making sure your details are up to date with Medicare

  • set up a MyGov or Medicare online account

More information can be found HERE and HERE.

If you are not covered by Medicare and do not have a Medicare number, you are unable to receive the vaccine at our practice. You will need to contact the NSW Health vaccine centres for more information.

We may also ask you to complete an online form or questionnaire and consent form before you come. Please check this page for details later.

Are there any side effects from the vaccine?2022-07-07T12:53:15+00:00

Side effects are common, but are generally mild, and usually last 24-48 hours. For further information about each vaccine, refer to the following pages:

A rare side effect of mRNA vaccination (Pfizer Comirnaty or Moderna Spikevax) is myocarditis (67 cases per million doses).  This is most common in men under 30 within the first 2 weeks of vaccination, and can cause chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath and fainting.  If you are concerned you have developed this condition, please consult your doctor or attend the emergency department.   Most cases recover well with supportive therapy only.

In order to assist us in monitoring side effects, you will receive a text and questionnaire from SMARTVAX. Please respond to this so that you can tell us if you have any side effects like a sore arm, headache, fever, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pains, joint pain, or something else. You may use paracetamol for symptom relief.

Covid-19 Information

Covid-19 Vaccines

Vaccines available at Hills Family Practice Cominarty (Pfizer)- for 12 years and over Cominarty (Pfizer) - paediatric formulation for(5-11 years of age) Spikevax (Moderna)- for 6 years and over Spikevax bivalent orginal/Omicron BA.1 formulation (Moderna)-  booster for 18 years and over If you receive your vaccine elsewhere, please [...]

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