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RACGP urges younger people to consult with their GP on COVID-19 vaccine options


The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is urging people aged 16 to 39 to consult with their GP on their COVID-19 vaccine options.

 

It follows the federal Government’s announcement late today that the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine will be made available to all Australians aged 16 to 39 on 30 August this year. Bookings are not yet available and are expected to come online next week.

RACGP President Dr Karen Price welcomed the announcement.


“The Royal Australian College of GPs welcomes this positive step forward in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout,” she said.


“I want to remind everyone aged 18 to 39 that a vaccine is currently available to them and I would encourage anyone in this cohort to consult with their GP and consider getting the AstraZeneca vaccine now rather than waiting for a Pfizer vaccine.


“This is particularly so for people living in areas with high COVID-19 case numbers including Greater Sydney, the ACT and Melbourne.


“I recommend they book a consultation with their GP and discuss what option is best for them based on where they live, their life circumstances and medical history. They may well make the informed decision that receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine now is suitable for them.


“There is no guarantee that younger people will be able to receive a Pfizer vaccine as soon as 30 August arrives, and Greater Sydney in particular is experiencing a rising number of COVID-19 cases.


“If you have already booked an appointment to receive an AstraZeneca vaccine, I congratulate you and implore you to keep your appointment.”


The RACGP President also urged younger people to hold off on calling general practices.


“Please don’t contact your GP to book a Pfizer vaccine just yet,” she said.


“Our hard-working general practice staff are responding to this change and will no doubt be getting their systems in place for the August 30 expansion. I want to avoid a repeat of previous occasions this year when practices were inundated with calls and receptionists bore the brunt of frustrated patients. We want this to be an easy process for both them and you.


“So, sit tight for now, the Government will advise soon when the time will come to book a jab.


“Finally, I would just like to thank younger people for their patience and understanding because this must have been a tremendously frustrating year for you.


“What you have been through isn’t fair. Many younger people have wanted to be vaccinated for many months but have been put at the back at the queue again and again. They have also had to endure conflicting messaging on vaccine eligibility and the question of if and when they should be vaccinated.


“The RACGP looks forward to a decision on vaccinating all 12 to 15 year olds and not just those who are already eligible because they live in a remote area, identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or have an underlying health condition.


“The Delta variant is hitting younger people, including children. We must do everything possible to keep them safe from harm and bring their parents along on the journey so that they feel comfortable and confident having their child vaccinated.”



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