2 November 2022                                                                                   View this email in your browser

This update provides information to help primary care providers tackle current challenges, including COVID-19. Submissions can be sent to

Flood recovery
Here are some quick links to help you navigate recovery. If you require additional support, email or visit our website for helpful advice and information for community and health services.

  • The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has collated resources for pharmacies affected by disaster, including supplying PBS medicines at alternative premises, managing missing prescriptions and emergency medicine supply.
  • The General Practice Management During a Disaster HealthPathway includes ways to provide general assistance to your patients as well as those in recovery centres, tips on medication safety, and disaster contacts. The updated Rural Community Support During Adversity page provides links to support services.
  • Flood and storm information and support is available from the Department of Health and Aged Care. This factsheet also outlines health support available for flood-affected people, including for pharmaceuticals and mental health.
  • The Victorian Government's Flood Recovery Hotline (1800 560 760) is available daily between 7.30am and 7.30pm for help with services and support.
  • Emergency Relief Centres are listed here.
Important considerations after floods:
  • Contaminated floodwater can increase the risk of infections, see advice from Loddon Mallee PHUNSW HealthHealthdirect and WorkSafe QLD.
  • A growth in mosquitos may increase the risk of mosquito-borne diseases. Share 'Beat the Bite' messaging.
  • Look out for signs that you or those around you might be struggling with trauma. The Victorian Department of Families, Fairness and Housing has a short video on preventative measures
Extensions for practice accreditation
If your practice’s accreditation is due to expire in the next six months and you are in a flood-affected area, you can apply for an extension from the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care via your accrediting agency. For further information, contact your accrediting agency or or the RACGP Standards team at

Emergency health care professional volunteer register
If you can support affected primary care providers and relief centres, register as an emergency volunteer here.

Flood preparation
Many flood warnings are still current. Key things to consider:

  • Off-site access to data/records
  • Location of nearest generator
  • Sufficient supplies of medications and consumables
  • The needs of at-risk patient groups e.g. those requiring methadone
  • Patients have physical prescriptions
  • Cold-chain requirements.
Victorian general practices get free access to the Emergency Response Planning Tool (ERPT), to help prepare for, respond to and recover from the impacts of emergencies. 

If you require emergency response preparation assistance, call 03 4408 5600 or email

Support for general practice staff and pharmacists
General practice staff, pharmacists and their immediate family members can access Murray PHN's confidential Employee Assistance Program for free support. Call 1300 361 008 (24/7) and quote Murray PHN General Practice.

COVID vaccination provider bulletin 24 October

Booster dose change for some children
ATAGI recommends that a booster dose of Pfizer 5-11 may be given to children aged 5-11 years who are severely immunocompromised, have a disability with complex needs, or have complex/multiple health conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19. The recommended interval between a primary course or a COVID-19 infection and a booster dose remains at three months. 

Click here to read the full bulletin.

Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV)
NSW Health has authorised Nurse/Midwife Immunisers to administer JEV vaccines. Completion of this training is mandatory prior to administration - Japanese encephalitis: A resource for registered nurses and midwives.

Not everyone in flood affected areas is eligible for the JEV vaccine. Access is limited to specific priority groups as outlined in the Victorian Department of Health's Immunisation news bulletin. The Department states that, “Any changes to eligibility will be based on mosquito surveillance, modelling/mapping and JE virus serosurvey results.” Bite prevention remains the most important message.

The vaccine is free for eligible people and general practices are encouraged to bulk bill for the service whenever possible.

Due to JEV supply, providers cannot stockpile or use public stock for travel vaccinations. Orders will be limited and potentially delayed - when ordering, delays will be listed. If you wish to order more stock than allocated due to a high number of requests from eligible people, contact

Providers of the vaccine in the Murray PHN region can be found here and local public health units are also providing JEV vaccines. Please call ahead to ensure stock is on hand and note some sites will be closed due to floods. 

Local outreach vaccination and testing clinics
Upcoming clinics in the Murray PHN catchment:    Local primary care vaccination providers are available here

Note: some local clinics are closed due to floodsClick here to download a list of providers who are closed or offering limited services (current as of 26/10).

Support for homebound individuals
Murray PHN can help to engage a primary care vaccine provider for homebound patients. Click here for eligibility criteria and referral. For more:

Change to COVID antivirals eligibility 
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) has recommended reducing the number of risk factors required to access antivirals from two to one for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to help increase access to antivirals.

Supporting the disability sector

Murray PHN is helping disability providers and liaison officers to engage primary care providers for in-reach vaccinations. If your practice can assist, email:

Practices can also access support and resources from disability liaison officers in: 

Education and training

Upcoming events

Online learning

Recorded webinars

New and updated resources

Copyright © 2022 Murray PHN, All rights reserved.

Murray PHN acknowledges its catchment crosses over many unceded First Nations Countries, following the Dhelkunya Yaluk (Healing River).
We pay our respects and give thanks to the Ancestors, Elders and Young people for their nurturing, protection and caregiving of these sacred lands and waterways, acknowledging their continuing cultural, spiritual and educational practices.
We are grateful for the sharing of Country and the renewal that Country gives us. We acknowledge and express our sorrow that this sharing has come at a personal, spiritual and cultural cost to the wellbeing of First Nations peoples. We commit to addressing the injustices of colonisation across our catchment, and to listening to the wisdom of First Nations communities who hold the knowledge to enable healing.
We extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Murray PHN (ABN 92 156 423 755) acknowledges the financial and other support from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

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Murray PHN · 3-5 View Point · Bendigo, Vic 3550 · Australia