As COVID-19 cases continue to surge and spread, Lithgow community members are reminded to consider getting vaccinated for the virus.
Lithgow Medical Clinic director Frank Laoulach and practice manager and head nurse Jan Collins have answered some questions in relation to some concerns you may have about getting the jab.
"The very basic human element is to make a positive difference to the lives of people we come into contact with and here at Lithgow Medical Clinic we are very fortunate to be in the business of doing just that," Mr Laoulach said.
"We call on all people in the Lithgow community to get their COVID vaccination and make a positive difference to the lives of their loved ones and fellow Australians."
Who is eligible?
Eligible residents have been able to receive their AstraZeneca doses since March and July for Pfizer.
As recommended by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), the Pfizer vaccine is preferred for those aged 16 to 59 years, while the AstraZeneca vaccine can be provided to those 18 years and older.
Ms Collins said NSW Health had been changing the guidelines but as she could see it, AstraZeneca was recommended for over 60s.
"Regardless every patient should see their doctor for advice on what vaccine is best suited," she said.
If you are unsure if you are eligible to receive a vaccination you can also visit https://covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility.
How many doses are there?
For the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccination, there are two doses.
After booking in for your first vaccine, you will be prompted to book for the second dose in 4 to 12 weeks time.
"We will have a good supply available of both vaccines here," Ms Collins said.
Doctors and registered nurses will be on site to administrate the vaccine.
Where is the vaccination site?
Lithgow Medical Clinic is located at 11 Bridge Street, Lithgow and is open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
How do I book?
Appointments can be made online through HealthEngine or by calling 6352 5588.
"Patients can visit our website and it'll direct them to our online booking system which is efficient and time-saving," Mr Laoulach said.
What do I bring to my appointment?
Patients should bring their Medicare card, Medicare number or Veterans Card to their appointment.
What are the side effects of the vaccines?
One or two days after receiving the vaccination, you may experience the following side effects:
- Redness at the site of injection
- General muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Pain in the arm
"People may experience side effects but every one is different you need to speak to your GP who will go through everything with you before they administer a vaccine," Ms Collins said.
Mr Laoulach also advised those who see specialists to seek further advice on receiving the vaccine.
"Prior to the vaccine being given there will be a form of consent as well," he said.
Can I receive the vaccination if I am pregnant?
Ms Collins has encouraged women who are pregnant to discuss receiving the vaccination with their obstetrician and GP before booking an appointment.
Can I still get my flu shot if I have had the COVID vaccination?
Ms Collins said you may still get your flu shot after having the COVID jab.
I'm concerned about getting the vaccine. Any advice?
Ms Collins and Mr Laoulach advised again that speaking to your doctor is the best way to understand what works for you in terms of getting the COVID jab.
"Everyone is different and a young person might have pre-existing health conditions so what applies to one doesn't necessarily apply to the other," Mr Laoulach said.
"It's best you actually speak to your GP who understands your overall health first and go from there.
"It is a little bit daunting for a lot of people but I think what we need to do is be guided by the health professionals and not so much social media.
"We need to be guided by what the World Health Organisation and experts around the world and in Australia are actually advising us to do."
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