Important notice for patients who have received their 1st dose of the Astra Zeneca Vaccine.

We are bringing the due date for dose 2 of the Astra Zeneca vaccine forward to be 6 weeks from when dose 1 was given, due to the current COVID climate and our lock down. Patients who have a reserved dose should receive a sms text in the next few days inviting them to book an appointment.

Blackbutt is committed to providing our patients with the most up to date and comprehensive information available regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine and it’s rollout across Australia.  This page contains important information about how we will be rolling out the vaccine in our own surgery, how to book you vaccine appointment and more detailed information about the vaccine itself.

Updated Advice:

  • If you are 60 years and over and have not yet been vaccinated, please book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment with your doctor (GP) immediately.
  • You can now receive your second AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine dose 6 weeks after your first dose.
  • If you have had your first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine but your second dose appointment is not within the next six weeks, you will receive an SMS from Blackbutt inviting you to bring your appointment forward. This will give you protection sooner.
  • If you are aged 40-59 years, have not yet been vaccinated and are unable to obtain an appointment for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, please discuss your circumstances with your GP or book an appointment at a NSW Health vaccination clinic for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Anyone aged 18-39 wishing to get the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, is encouraged to talk to their GP or to book an appointment Blackbutt Doctors or a NSW Health vaccination clinic.

Information on this page includes:

  1. COVID Phase 1b Rollout Information
  2. Booking your COVID Vaccine Appointment
    2a. Existing Blackbutt Patients
    2b. Patients without access to SMS
    2c. Patients who don’t attend Blackbutt normally
    2d. Patients who should discuss the vaccine with their GP before booking
  3. Detailed COVID Vaccine Information
    3a. Two-dose Vaccine
    3b. Vaccine Side Effects
    3c. Vaccine Components
    3d. Additional Safety Information
  4. COVID Vaccine Resources & Downloads
  5. Influenza Vaccine Information

1. COVID Vaccine Phase 1b Rollout Announcement

Blackbutt Doctors Surgery has been approved to administer the COVID-19 Vaccine in Phase 1b of the roll out. Our Surgery will receive 100 vaccines per week starting the week of 22nd March and will be delivering vaccines in our usual working hours, Monday to Thursday.

We have identified over 2,000 of our existing Blackbutt patients who are eligible for vaccination in Phase 1b, anyone over the age of 50 years will now be able to book their COVID vaccination appointment online via our website or through the AMS App. Our reception staff will not be able to book you into the vaccine clinic so please do not call the surgery to book an appointment.

We are just inviting 100 patients per week for vaccination, as that is all the vaccines we have. We are starting with those identified as at highest medical risk. If you can not book an appointment in the first few weeks, please just wait – we will get to everyone eventually.

Phase 1b priority population groups include:

  • People aged 70 years of age or older;
  • Health care workers;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults over 55 years;
  • Younger people with an underlying medical condition, including people with a disability; and
  • Critical and high-risk workers, including Australian Government officials about to be deployed overseas on official government business.

Please check our Phase 1b rollout blog post for more information about the medical conditions included in phase 1b. You can check what phase of the vaccine rollout you are eligible for on the governments COVID Eligibility Checker by clicking here.

After you have received your first dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine you will receive an sms with a link to book your second dose. If you haven’t received an sms but think you should have please contact the surgery on 49509733 to discuss this further.

Please be patient –  I am sure you can understand that with over 2,000 existing patients to reach, and only 100 vaccines available each week, it will take us a while to get to you all! Please be assured that we will be getting the vaccines distributed to our patients as quickly as we are able to. Read on for more information about the vaccine, how to book and what to do if you have questions or concerns about receiving the vaccine.

2. Booking your Phase 1b Vaccine Appointment

Please click through the side menus below to access information regarding how each patient type can book their vaccine appointment at Blackbutt.

Existing Blackbutt patients:

Patients will no longer need to wait for an SMS link to book their COVID Vaccine appointments.

If you are eligible for vaccination in the current rollout phase 1b, can provide appropriate proof that you meet the eligibility criteria set by the Government and are over 50 years of age, then you will be able to book your appointment online via the normal process on our website or via the AMS App.

Simply select the appointment type ‘COVID Vaccine – Phase 1b [Dose 1]’ from the drop down options when booking your appointment. Please be aware that with more than 2000 patients already enrolled at Blackbutt who are eligible for phase 1b vaccinations, and just 100 vaccines per week to deliver, this will take a while to reach everyone, and you may not be able to book your appointment in your first attempt.

Our system will not allow you to book if all of our current stock is already allocated to appointments, so if this is the case, we will invite you again when we have received more stock.

If you have a lot of questions about the vaccine, or are on anticoagulant medication such as warfarin, then please book a separate appointment to discuss the vaccine with your doctor prior to booking a vaccination appointment as you will take up valuable time with our vaccination staff who could have spent this time providing the vaccine to others. Your Doctor will be more than happy to answer any of your questions in a normal appointment.

Reception cannot access the COVID vaccine booking system, so please do not ask them to book for you, as they cannot.

Patients without access to SMS:

If you cannot book your appointment online, please let your doctor know next time you are in the surgery. This will help us find you on your preferred contact method and follow you up to make sure you receive your COVID vaccination appointment.

Please be patient – we will get to you.

Patients who are house bound and usually receive a home visit from our service will be visited by their doctor in the coming months to receive their COVID vaccination at home. Our staff will notify you when this will take place.

Patients who do not currently attend Blackbutt Doctors Surgery:

If you are not a current patient of Blackbutt Doctors Surgery, and wish to receive COVID vaccination with us, then please contact us directly on the email address below:

Attn: Dr Wendy Bridges

Email: WendyB@blackbuttdoctors.com.au

I am personally reading every request and will be allocating some of our vaccine stock to meet the needs of patients outside of our surgery and in the wider community who fall under the Phase 1b eligibility criteria and are at a higher risk.

There is a very limited supply of vaccine presently, so I am selecting patients who are the most at risk of COVID and reside in our local area for priority vaccination. So please include any medical evidence that you have regarding your conditions (check our latest blog for the types of evidence that is acceptable to prove you are in the phase 1b category here, and also your residential address.

I will personally let everyone who has emailed me know if they are being allocated a vaccine at our clinic or not, so they can seek vaccination elsewhere if we are unable to accommodate them.

Who should discuss the vaccine with their Doctor BEFORE booking a vaccine appointment:

There are some people who we are recommending have an appointment with their Doctor before booking their Vaccine appointment, so they can discuss any questions or concerns they may have, as well as their own personal medical situation.

We encourage people who are on anticoagulation, such as warfarin, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, enoxaparin apixaban, to discuss vaccination with their own doctor prior to booking at the clinic.

People who have ever had an anaphylaxis to any vaccine, or to any of the ingredients of the COVID vaccine, should discuss with their own doctor whether they can have this vaccine.

You can review the full list of ingredients in the COVID vaccine below under 3c. Vaccine Components.

If you are pregnant, please see your doctor or obstetrician to see if vaccination is right for you. Your own doctor knows you best, and has time to discuss the vaccine with you, so if you have lots of questions or a complex medical situation it is best you discuss it with them prior to the day of vaccination. Our nurses can provide general and limited information only on the day of vaccination and will not be able to answer all of your questions or concerns on the day. Please make a separate appointment to discuss these with your own doctor ahead of receiving the vaccine.

3. Detailed Vaccine Information

Please click through the side menus below to view vaccine safety information including its ingredients and common side effects.

The COVID Vaccine is a two dose Vaccine

The Government funded COVID Vaccine is a two-dose vaccine. It provides some protection with one dose, but a more long-lasting protection can be provided if you have another dose 12 weeks or so later. Blackbutt Doctors are delivering 100 vaccines per week from our surgery from March 22nd. This is all that we have been supplied by the government at present and at this rate, it will take around 20 weeks to vaccinate just the patients we are aware of in our surgery who meet the phase 1b criteria, let alone others in our community who may need vaccination in this phase.

It is possible that some people will be getting their second dose before others have had their first dose, and it is possible that some people may get their second dose more than 12 weeks after receiving their 1st.

After you have received your first dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine you will receive an sms with a link to book your second dose. If you haven’t received an sms but think you should have please contact the surgery on 49509733 to discuss this further.

The vaccine will start working about 12 days after your first vaccination injection.

Please be patient. We are doing our absolute best to get our patients and community vaccinated and protected from COVID as quickly and efficiently as possible with the vaccine stock we are provided.

Vaccine Side Effects

While the COVID-19 vaccine is not compulsory, receiving it is the best way to prevent symptomatic COVID disease and is very likely to protect you against getting very sick with COVID and potentially dying from the disease.

However, receiving the COVID Vaccine won’t prevent you from getting a mild illness, and potentially passing it to others. This means that even after we have all received the COVID vaccine, we will still need to stay at home if we are ill and observe all of the other hygiene measures we have learned in the last year, like social distancing, using hand sanitiser and wearing face masks when appropriate.

The COVID vaccine is very safe. Tens of millions of people around the world have received the vaccine already, and so we know a lot about it and are continuing to monitor its safety as it is rolled out nationally.  As with all vaccines, there are some mild side effects which some people may experience. For example, it is common after any vaccination to have a headache, muscle aches, tiredness, mild fever and a sore red or itchy place where you had the vaccine injected.

It is not normal for these things to last more than 48 hours though so if you experience these symptoms, keep an eye on them and see a Doctor if they last beyond this timeframe. It is not usual to have a cough, runny nose, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea, or prolonged, high fever. These things would probably be from another sickness, not COVID vaccination, so if they occur, seek medical attention.

You can use the COVID-19 vaccine side effects symptom checker if you have concerns about any symptoms after your vaccine: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/covid-19-vaccine-side-effect-checker

The checker is also available through the National Coronavirus Helpline, 1800 020 080, 24 hours a day.

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-after-your-astrazeneca-vaccine

Vaccine Components

The active ingredient in the COVID Vaccine is the modified adenovirus (ChAdOx1) containing spike protein genetic code, a genetically modified organism (GMO) (AstraZeneca, 2021). Other non-active ingredients are included to stabilise the vaccine (listed below). No preservatives are used:

  • L-Histidine (an amino acid).
  • L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate (an amino acid).
  • Magnesium chloride hexahydrate (supports many activities inside cells).
  • Polysorbate 80 (a stabiliser).
  • Ethanol.
  • Sucrose.
  • Sodium chloride.
  • Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA, a binding agent)
  • Water for injection.

(AstraZeneca, 2021)

None of the vaccine ingredients are of human or animal origin and there are no food, latex or gelatin in the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available. If individuals have had an allergic reaction to other vaccines in the past, it does not mean that they will also be allergic to the COVID-19 vaccines (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy [ASCIA], 2021).

Further Safety Information

The medical advice for the COVID Vaccine Dose 1 has changed as at June 17th 2021:
  • AstraZeneca is recommended for all patients over the age of 60.
  • Pfizer is recommended for all patients under the age of 60.
  • Second dose of AstraZeneca is recommended for all patients who have received dose one of AstraZeneca.
  • These changes are effective immediately due to the advice from Australian Government.

At present it is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women. If you have other medication, food or immunisation allergies, you can have the vaccine, but may need to be observed for 30 instead of 15 mins after vaccination. Please discuss with the nurse on the day of vaccination to book an appointment with your own doctor before your vaccination to discuss your personal medical situation and any questions you may have.

The only people who definitely can’t have the vaccine are those who suffered an anaphylaxis after the first dose, or those who are allergic to a component of the vaccine – see our website for details on the vaccine’s components.

That being said, the rate of anaphylaxis to the vaccine is about 5 in every million doses given. Which is similar to other vaccines we give. Most people who are able to have the yearly flu vaccine, will be able to have the COVID vaccine without experiencing severe reactions.

If you have concerns or questions about the vaccine please book an appointment with you doctors to discuss what is right for you and your health before booking a vaccine appointment.

4. COVID Vaccine Resources & Downloads

Click on the links below to download any of the PDF resources available.

5. Influenza Vaccine Information

Both the Influenza and COVID vaccination programs are getting underway at Blackbutt Doctors Surgery. It’s a busy time!