COVID-19 Primary Care Update 19/1/2022

19 January 2022

Good afternoon. A big thank you to everyone in primary care helping your patients and community to navigate the COVID-19 pathway.

The COVID Response Care Team is expanding to work more closely with Virtual Care, with a new doctor email address now established Health.COVIDDoctorsInfo@sa.gov.au.

The email address will help better direct clinical enquiries away from the GP Liaison email.

We now have a team of three GP Liaisons working in the Department in the COVID-19 and Vaccinations teams and are looking to expand with the Virtual Care Service and across the COVID-19 portfolio, if you are interested in joining our team please see further information below.

COVID-19 update webinar

Tonight’s COVID-19 update webinar SA PHNs in conjunction with SA Health, Australian Medical Association (AMA) and SA Pathology is providing a COVID-19 update for Primary Care Providers. 

The webinar will be held at 6.00pm on Wednesday 19 January.

The update will include GP referrals into access Monoclonal Antibody (MBA) infusions for patients and an update from the AMA and SA Pathology.

Speakers will include:

  • Dr Emily Kirkpatrick, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, SA Health
  • Dr Jackie Yeoh, CALHN GP Liaison Officer, Medical Lead COVID Care Centre CALHN*
  • Dr Caroline Phegan, Executive Director of Medical Services, Riverland Mallee Coorong LHN
  • Dr Renjy Nelson, Infection Disease Consultant, Royal Adelaide Hospital
  • Caitlin Wallace, Pharmacist, Central Adelaide Local Health Network
  • Dr Chris Moy, Vice-President, Australian Medical Association
  • A/Prof Tom Dodd, Clinical Service Director, SA Pathology

Register in advance for this webinar here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

GP COVID-19 Response: SA Health Recruitment Drive – Medical Practitioner

SA Health are seeking medical practitioners, with general and specialist AHPRA registration to register their interest to work in the South Australian COVID-19 response within the Department for Health and Wellbeing and across the various metropolitan and regional Local Health Networks. Duties may include: 

  • Consenting, administering and supervising COVID-19 vaccinations
  • Contact tracing - Within the COVID-19 Response Care Team SA, providing support to COVID-19 positive patients in the community, including those in supervised quarantine at dedicated medi-hotels and the virtual care service.
  • Primary Care Advisory - GP Liaison.

For more information and to apply on the SA Health website.

Boosters interval shortened from four to three months

As of today, Wednesday 19 January, the booster interval has changed from four to three months in South Australia.

People aged 18 years and over are eligible to receive the booster dose three months after receiving their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

More information will be available on the SA Health website in coming days.

Monoclonal Antibody Infusion Referral

You can refer your high-risk patients with mild COVID-19 for a monoclonal antibody infusion.

To be eligible a patient must: 

  • Be confirmed as being COVID-19 positive either by a PCR test or a positive Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) with mild COVID-19 symptoms and
  • Have been symptomatic for < 7 days and
  • Not have an oxygen requirement and
  • Be immunosuppressed as per criteria in referral form

or

  • Be unvaccinated or partially vaccinated and have a risk factor or risk factors for developing severe illness

For more information and to complete the online referral form, visit COVID-19 Mild illness: Treatments and Referrals

A prescriber number is required to verify the requesting practitioner.

TGA recognises the Gamaleya Institute vaccine for international travel to Australia

On Monday 17 January, the TGA determined that an additional COVID-19 vaccine, the two does course of the Gamaleya Institute vaccine (Sputnik V, Russian Federation), would be recognised for the purpose of establishing a traveller’s vaccination status.

This follows on from recognition in late 2021 by the TGA of two major Chinese-manufactured vaccines - BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm, for those under 60 years old) and Coronavac (Sinovac) and two major Indian-manufactured vaccines - Covaxin (Bharat Biotech) and Covishield (Serum Institute of India / AstraZeneca).

The recognition of Sputnik will expand options for the return of international students, travel of skilled and unskilled workers to Australia, and travel by business people and elite sports people to our country.

For more information, visit vaccinated travellers.

Mental Health, Capacity and COVID-19 Fact Sheet

The Mental Health, Capacity and COVID-19 Fact Sheet has been updated. The fact sheet provides guidance to mental health clinicians and staff about relevant legislation and delivery of mental health services in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The update focuses on testing requirements amongst those with a mental illness or impaired capacity. For more information and other mental health COVID-19 resources for the community, visit www.chiefpsychiatrist.sa.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19.

COVID-19 Positive Interim Clozapine Management Guideline

The COVID-19 Positive Interim Clozapine Management Guideline has been updated. As COVID-19 positive cases in South Australia continues to surpass modelling, the update provides a consistent management approach of COVID-19 positive people taking clozapine. For more information and other mental health COVID-19 resources for the community, visit www.chiefpsychiatrist.sa.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19.

Recommended reading: A meta-analysis of early results to predict Vaccine efficacy against Omicron

Please forward this update to any colleagues who may not have received it and contact us at Health.COVID-19GPLiaison@sa.gov.au to be added to our mailing list or with any other enquiries.