21 May, 2021
GPs best placed to manage vaccine hesitancy
AMA Queensland is urging everyone to go to a GP for a COVID vaccination, as doctors fully understand a patient’s medical history and are best placed to deal with possible side effects.
AMA Queensland President Professor Chris Perry said patient safety must take priority over convenience when it comes to delivering the vaccines.
“The State Government has announced that COVID vaccines will be available in pharmacies in parts of rural and regional Queensland in the coming weeks,” Professor Perry said.
“We want everyone immunised but it’s a poor reflection on the Queensland health system that patients in these regional areas do not have access to a GP.
“We need state and federal collaboration to ensure we support GPs to be able to practice in all regions and care for Queenslanders.”
AMA Queensland Council of General Practice Chair Dr Maria Boulton said the pandemic showed just how important it was to have a family GP that people could rely upon.
“We want everyone to have the safest access to the vaccine,” Dr Boulton said.
“Ideally that means patients can receive the vaccine from a GP who is experienced, trained and skilled in not just giving the vaccine but can also deal with any possible side effects.
“Your GP will make sure you have the best individual advice for your specific health needs and risk profile.”
She said doctors followed the latest advice from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) which constantly monitored national and international data on COVID vaccines.
Professor Perry advised Queenslanders to be vaccinated as soon as eligible.
“I want to emphasise, the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe for people over 50, with the benefits vastly outweighing any risks,” he said.
“Blood clot risks remain very rare but talk with your GP about your individual health needs if you have concerns.
“COVID is coming to when our borders open. It’s just a matter of when and the only way to protect yourself and your family is to be vaccinated.”
AMA Queensland would also like GPs to be able to administer the Pfizer vaccine to give better access for people under 50.