Many of you will be concerned about COVID19 vaccines – especially the mRNA vaccines (because they are new!). Let’s reclaim copium and hopium and give some more reassuring information.



The TGA has said there is ‘no specific risk’ associated with vaccinating older people, following reports of deaths in Norway.



While the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine had already been approved for use on 25 January, reports of around 30 deaths among more than 40,000 older Norwegian people who received the vaccine prompted the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to further investigate its suitability for that cohort. But the regulator has determined that older patients can receive the mRNA vaccine, with no cap on the upper age limit.



‘The TGA therefore has concluded that there is no specific risk of vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in elderly patients.’ Broader discussions with regulators in North America, the UK and Europe reportedly reached a similar conclusion, while the EMA’s COVID-19 vaccine safety update contains further information that helped the TGA form its decision.



In summary, version 1.0



Australia’s plan is to immunise our vulnerable and valuable elders in aged care first, along with those who care for them. This will be co-ordinated through special teams, and through hospitals, and will use the Pfizer vaccine (an mRNA vaccine with an amazing story I will write about soon).







In the second phase of vaccine rollout, with the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine (a more traditional vaccine), Australian General Practice and PartridgeGP will do our bit to get those who want to be vaccinated protected ASAP, at scale, as safely as we can. Our plans are well advanced. It is super important to us to play our part – and important that people are informed, and not coerced. We can see that countries and areas overseas – the UK, Europe, the US – are being more affected by COVID, and they are having to take more risks than us. We will learn from them. We will have their data and experiences to look upon before we take the plunge ourselves.



Remember, I’ve also written about risk, here, and here. Bayesian thinking is probabilistic thinking – rather than this will or won’t happen, we consider what is more or less likely to happen. This applies to risk. As Jim O’Shaughnessy has said, ‘we are deterministic creatures living in a probabilistic world’. We want certainty. We get probabilities. Vaccines are not 100% effective or 100% safe (NOTHING IS). Neither are masks, nor social distancing, nor even simple hand sanitiser. Yet all of these, little by little, piece by piece, will lower our risk so we can get back to the new normal of life. Better probabilities, not 100% certainty.



Let’s act.



PartridgeGP works with you to help you make your best health decisions, and we won’t back away from being your companion, guide, advisor, and sounding board through your health journey. We pride ourselves on great communication and we’re ready to share our professional skills and knowledge with you. This is only MORE important now, in the time of a global pandemic with a new vaccine on the horizon. The way forward is clear: make your appointment with us conveniently online right here – or call our friendly reception team on 82953200.



Better, for you.



Want more?

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For everyone, we believe that having a usual GP or General Practice is central to each person’s care and recommend that people with any health issues that come to the attention of other health professionals should be advised to attend their usual GP or General Practice rather than a specialised service (ie a place not providing the holistic care a specialist GP would).   If  they say that they don’t have a usual GP or general practice, they should be helped to find one and to actually attend it. Call PartridgeGP on 82953200 or make an appointment online here.

(Hat tip: Dr Oliver Frank)



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If you’re employed, get a side hustle and get into business. If you’ve already got a business, get a network. Want to get started? Find your tribe here!

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If you are a great GP or a great Allied Health Professional, and you want to serve your clients or patients to the best of your ability, without worrying about all the non clinical things that get in your way, lets talk. Call Mrs Hayley Roberts on 8295 3200 and have a coffee and chat with us as to how PartridgeGP can help you to help others.