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UPDATED: Which health conditions does vaccine phase 1b prioritise?

Up to 14.8 million doses will be shared by over six million people considered a top priority in “phase 1b” of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy, and GPs across the ACT are preparing to get involved in the rollout this Monday, 22 March.

The general categories in phase 1b are: people aged 70 years and over; Indigenous people 55 and over; adults with underlying medical conditions or disabilities; critical and high-risk workers; and other health care workers.

According to Department of Health documents, phase 1b will include two million people with health concerns or disabilities.

Below is the Department’s list of prioritised health conditions and disabilities.

Underlying medical conditions or disabilities

People with immunocompromising conditions and a range of other underlying conditions will be prioritised in vaccine phase 1b.

Immunocompromising conditions include:
  • Solid organ transplant recipients who are on immune suppressive therapy
  • Adult survivors of childhood cancers
  • Bone marrow transplant recipients, or those on chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy, or those on immune suppressive therapy for graft versus host disease
  • Haematological diseases or cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma:
    Diagnosed within the past five years or on recently completed active treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted anti-cancer therapy or with advanced disease regardless of treatment 
  • Non-haematological cancer:
    Diagnosed within the past five years or on recently completed active treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted anti-cancer therapy or with advanced disease regardless of treatment 
  • Chronic inflammatory conditions on medical treatments
    Including: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and similar who are being treated with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or immune-suppressive or immunomodulatory therapies.
    Generally not inclusive of people living with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome or similar non-immunocompromising inflammatory conditions
  • Primary or acquired immunodeficiency
    Including congenital causes of immunodeficiency and HIV/AIDS
  • Those with severe mental health conditions
    Including schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder
Other underlying conditions include:
  • Chronic renal (kidney) failure with an eGFR of <44mL/min
    Does not include mild-moderate chronic kidney disease
  • Heart disease:
    Including Ischaemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathies and pulmonary hypertension
  • Chronic lung disease:
    Including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease
    Does not include mild or moderate asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Severe obesity with a BMI ≥ 40kg/m2
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Some neurological conditions
    Including Stroke, dementia, Multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy
    Generally not inclusive of migraine or cluster headaches
  • Poorly controlled blood pressure:
    Defined as two or more pharmacologic agents for blood pressure control, regardless of recent readings
  • Those with Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury

The Australian Government has released a Vaccines Eligibility Checker for public use. The online tool allows Australians to check whether they can book a COVID-19 vaccination yet.

If eligible, Vaccine Eligibility Checker users will be directed to a list of local clinics to make a booking.

Which GPs will offer COVD-19 vaccines in Canberra?

Below is a list of practices accepting appointments for phase 1b vaccinations; they are set to offer vaccines to those eligible from next week.

Phone bookings only:

  • Ochre Health Medical Centre Casey
  • My Medical Practice – Charnwood
  • Isabella Plains Medical Centre
  • Kambah Medical Centre
  • Ochre Health Medical Centre Bruce
  • Ochre Health Medical Centre Calwell
  • Ochre Health Medical Centre Garran
  • Ainslie Family Practice
  • Gungahlin General Practice
  • Erindale Healthcare, Wanniassa
  • Fisher Family Practice
  • Conder Surgery
  • Weston Creek Medical Practice
  • [email protected]
  • National Health Co-op Chisholm
  • National Health Co-op Evatt
  • National Health Co-op Macquarie
  • Brindabella Family Practice, Queanbeyan
  • Queanbeyan GP Super Clinic

Online bookings available:

  • Riverside Medical Centre, Queanbeyan
  • Waramanga Medical Centre

How to prove eligibility

For individuals who meet the requirements to be vaccinated during phase 1b, GP clinic records may be relied on as evidence of eligibility.

Other acceptable evidence includes MyHealth Record, a referral from GP or treating specialist, alternative medical records such as a valid script or medication prescribed to treat one or more of the relevant medical conditions.

Where no appropriate evidence is available, patients may fill out a Phase 1B Declaration Form.

Immunisers must ensure each patient’s proof of eligibility meets one of the accepted types of evidence.

This article is based on information available at health.gov.au and covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au. Contact your GP if you require assistance determining your vaccine eligibility.

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines in the ACT visit covid19.act.gov.au.

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