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COVID Fast Facts

1 December 2021

CONTENT 
Quick Links to Auckland Regional Healthpathways; COVID-19 Information and Guidance
COVID-19 Case Management in Adults
 
COVID-19 Testing
 
COVID-19 Resources
 
COVID-19 Funding and Supplies
 
COVID-19 Vaccination Resources
 
COVID-19 Vaccination
COVID-19 Important Information for Practices
A Message from the MoH
We know that you will be looking forward to a break over the Christmas and New Year period. Please note the Ministry is closed from 23 December 2021 and reopening on 10 January 2022; however, a skeleton team will be monitoring the phones and email over the break.
 
We are very aware of a continued need to support you all if there is a change within your regions with respect to COVID-19 community outbreaks or changes to traffic light settings.
 
To that end, please make sure that you have ordered 2 weeks of additional stock by 8 December 2021, so that we can ship this out to you before 20 December 2021.
  • Please place your order as your normally would.
  • Please order this additional stock by increasing the volumes on your normal order rather than placing a separate order and comment that this is a “combined Christmas and normal order”.
  • Please remember to note the Unit of Measure (UOM) in the product description when calculating your requirements, i.e. PK10, CTN200.
If you have any questions, please contact the Ministry Supply Chain team at: COVID.HealthSupplyChain@health.govt.nz
Ordering of Day 9 tests for returnees who left managed isolation facilities (MIF) on Day 7, and are undertaking a period of self-isolation at home for 3 days
The correct SURV code for returnees having a COVID-19 test on Day 9 of their isolation period is:
SURV-EXMIF

The use of this SURV code ensures that tests and results for this group can be monitored, and reminder notices can be automatically emailed where required. Please use this code to order tests for returnees undergoing a Day 9 isolation test.

If you have any other questions, please refer to http://www.health.govt.nz/post-miq-self-isolation for more information.

 
COVID-19 Vaccination Updates

Message from MoH: AstraZeneca Vaccines

The Government’s COVID-9 Vaccine Implementation Programme will continue to use the Pfizer vaccine as its primary vaccine, and as such will only make the AstraZeneca vaccine available at a limited number of sites.   

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be provided as an alternative to the Pfizer vaccine for people who are:
  • unable to be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, especially those who are required to be vaccinated by the Vaccination Order or their employer; or
  • those hesitant to take an mRNA vaccine.
Consumers may seek consultation services from General Practitioners or Nurse Practitioners to gain advice regarding the suitability of the AstraZeneca vaccine for them. Should they wish to receive the vaccine, they will book themselves into a clinic offering this vaccination option using Book My Vaccine, or ringing Healthline.

AstraZeneca is approved by Medsafe as a two-dose course, and as such does not require a prescription.  
If, however a consumer has become hesitant to receive a second primary dose of the Pfizer vaccine or a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, and wishes to receive a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a substitute, this will require a prescription to reflect its “off-label” use as well as a written consent form.

All consultations regarding the suitability of AstraZeneca will be subsidised at $60.  It is believed that this level of remuneration is commensurate with the effort required to deliver the services.   
The claiming conditions for this service requires there is:
  • no charge/patient co-payment for this service, including issuing a prescription if required
  • no claim for a GMS clawback
  • no simultaneous claim against any other funding stream for this service.
All guidance issued by the Ministry of Health must be followed, including where required obtaining a signed consent form.   

Potential side effects of AstraZeneca
TTS is a rare but serious condition causing blood clots and bleeding that has been seen overseas in a small number of people who have had the AstraZeneca or Janssen vaccines. There is currently no evidence of an increased risk of thrombosis or TTS with the Pfizer vaccine. The information in these brochures explains the differences between thrombosis (blood clots) and TTS. These educational pieces also contain information on how to identify TTS and when to seek medical attention. Both brochures have been published on the Medsafe website. The consumer-facing brochure is published on the Ministry of Health website, alongside information about the AstraZeneca vaccine: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-vaccine-health-advice/covid-19-getting-other-vaccines/covid-19-astrazeneca-vaccines
 

Medinz: AstraZeneca vaccine
Published by Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitematā DHBs on 29/11/2021 11:33 AM

The AstraZeneca vaccine is now available for those aged 18 and older who cannot receive the Pfizer vaccine and for people who wish to have a different option to the Pfizer vaccine. A new leaflet ‘Things you need to know about the AstraZeneca vaccine’ is attached for you to share with patients who are interested in receiving the vaccine.

The leaflet will be sent out to all primary care sites shortly and is expected to reach you by the end of the week.

Please note, a consultation and prescription for the AstraZeneca vaccine is only required if there is any mixing of vaccines (i.e. non-AstraZeneca vaccine dose 1 and AstraZeneca as dose 2) or if AstraZeneca is being given as a third primary or a booster dose after the previous administration of the Pfizer vaccine. In these instances, a consenting conversation, consent form signed by both the patient and medical practitioner, and a prescription is required, as these situations are off-label use. Written consent is required for all patients receiving a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This can be completed at a vaccination site if no prescription is required. Please see the update consent form attached.

Prior to having an “consenting” conversations for Astra Zeneca please ensure you have reviewed relevant resources via the following link: IMAC - Astrazeneca vaccine.

Attachments

HP7565 Covid-19 Vaccine consent form general V27.pdf 217.4 KB

HP7950 AstraZeneca - Everything you need to know DL V7 - Web.pdf 1 MB

MOH Prioritising Booster Vaccines

As you know boosters are now available. While the priority is still getting people fully vaccinated, healthcare, border workers and kaumātua who have been fully vaccinated for six months or more can now get their boosters. You may have seen the Director General’s message confirming that “we’re particularly keen to make sure our healthcare and border workers – who are most at risk of coming in contact with COVID-19, and older people including kaumātua and those in residential care are aware that boosters are available … and that they’re eligible if they completed their course of Pfizer more than six months ago.” 

Although Pfizer will be the primary booster vaccine, AstraZeneca boosters are also available.  The Price Per Dose (PPD) for boosters will be the same for the primary doses.  Further information on boosters is on the Ministry of Health’s website.
 

MoH Medical Exemptions

In some situations, health and disability, education and corrections workers may be able to get an exemption from being vaccinated against COVID-19. However, there are very few situations where vaccination is contraindicated and, as such, a medical exemption is expected to be rarely required.

Exemptions will be limited to situations where a suitable alternative to the COVID-19 vaccine is not readily available for the individual.

Exemptions will be for a specified time, reflecting, for example, recovery from clinical conditions or the availability of alternate vaccines.

It is likely that most people who are not medically exempt can be safely vaccinated, with some requiring extra precautions.

If a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) believes that its service will be significantly disrupted if the affected worker/s are unable to provide part, or all the service, the employer can apply for a temporary significant service disruption exemption. This is for a specific health or disability worker who is not vaccinated and where removing them from the role would result in a significant disruption to the service. An exemption should only be sought after all other business continuity options have been considered by the PCBU.

A member of the public cannot apply for an exemption for themselves. If the Order applies to the person and they are not vaccinated and think they might be eligible for a temporary medical exemption, their usual medical practitioner or nurse practitioner can apply on their behalf.

The application may only be on the grounds that the person meets the specified exemption criteria. The application is submitted to the temporary medical exemptions panel run by the Ministry of Health.  The Temporary Medical Exemptions panel includes medical and nurse practitioners and a Māori health leader. The panel will consult with external experts if required.

More information on medical exemptions can be found on the Ministry of Health’s website.

The Ministry and DHBs acknowledge that more paperwork will be required for medical exemptions, in comparison with other COVID-19 consultations.   Medinz will publish payment schedule in the next few days.

Text vaccination service launched
The deaf and hard of hearing community can now text 8988 for access to vaccine information, for help booking a vaccination appointment, or to arrange transport to get vaccinated. The service, run by Whakarongorau Aotearoa on behalf of the Ministry of Health, is an addition to the COVID Vaccination Healthline dedicated phone and email support for disabled people and people living with impairments to get their COVID-19 vaccination. Please promote this service amongst your networks. A NZSL explanation is available on the Deaf Aotearoa website here or via Vimeo here. Key messages are below:

To contact Whakarongau Healthline:
  • call the COVID Vaccination Healthline Team on 0800 28 29 26 and ‘push 2.’ 
  • use the new free text option - text 8988
  • email the team at accessiblecovidvaccinations@whakarongorau.nz 
  • The Disability COVID Vaccination Healthline team is available between 8 am and 8 pm Monday to Friday.
  • Healthline can book transport and other accommodations via Healthline.
  • Alternatively, disabled people can use the NZ Relay Service to contact Health Line, which offers services for Deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired and deafblind people via:
My Vaccine pass poster 
HP7951_My_Vaccine_Pass_A4_Poster_Web.pdf  

Facebook Live for disability community
Next Tuesday evening (7.30pm, 7 Dec) there is a Facebook Live session aimed at helping people with disabilities make vaccination decision. this session will be joined by Dr Anthony Jordan,  Dr Huhana Hickey, Dr Hina Lutui, and Jackie Marriott. The session will be moderated by Disability Rights Commissioner, Paula Tesoriero. Keep a look out for the event on the Ministry’ Facebook page, and please promote amongst your networks.
 
 
International vaccines updated in the Mandatory Vaccinations Order
The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order (No 5) 2021 has now been notified in the Gazette and published to the legislation website. It includes an update to Schedule 3 re: which vaccines are covered under the Order – the full list can be seen here. This will address health and disability workforce staff vaccinated overseas with a vaccine other than those that were listed in the previous version of the Order.

Misinformation
Published by Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitematā DHBs on 30/11/2021 9:10:56 AM.

A new animated resource A Brief History of Misinformation is now available. This offers advice and guidance for talking with those affected by misinformation. This resource is available to download from the COVID-19 Resource Toolkit

Further details on misinformation, scams and online harm is available at Covid19.govt.nz/misinformation.

Please send feedback to Sarah.Hartnall@waitematadhb.govt.nz
 

Providing medical treatment for all patients
Published by Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitematā DHBs on 29/11/2021 11:33 AM

The Northern Region Health Coordination Centre support RNZCGP’s position outlined in the ‘Principles of Care: Unvaccinated patients’ article in the RNZCGP Medical Director Update - 12 November and the Ministry of Health’s position statement (updated 25 November) on treating unvaccinated patients: Ministry of Health's position statement

Webinars

Acne: Impact on quality of life and best practice management

WEBINAR 7 December: Peggy Chan shares the best practices to manage patients with acne. She demonstrates how acne impacts patients' quality of life and overviews available treatment options using case studies. Register now


Urological issues in men

John Tuckey and Giovanni Losco overviewed the GP role in managing ED and incontinence following prostate cancer treatment. View here

Follow that up in 2022 and hear Andrew Williams and Simon Van Rij overview how to manage common urological presentations and what red flags to watch out for. Symposium programme


Assisted dying and end of life choice

PODCAST: Palliative care doctor Kate Grundy discusses assisted dying and what it means for primary care and families. Podcast and resources here


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