Inner banner_COVID

What you need to know

COVID-19

With cases of COVID-19 in Australia growing rapidly, you may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious. There are measures you can put in place to protect yourself and your loved ones to live as well as possible during this time. We have summarised the latest key points from the federal government below.

Latest news and information

Antiviral treatment

11 July 2022: Antiviral treatment for COVID-19 is now available on the PBS for people at higher risk of severe illness. These treatments can be prescribed by a GP and should be commenced within 5 days of symptoms starting for treatment to be effective.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may be eligible for antiviral treatment if you are:

  • 70 years and older
  • 50 years or older with two additional risk factors
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, 30 years or older and with two additional risk factors

Additional risk factors include living in residential aged care, pre-existing health conditions such as chronic respiratory conditions or living remotely with reduced access to higher level healthcare. For a full list, visit the Department of Health website.

If you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, it can help to have a conversation with your GP before contracting COVID-19 about your individual circumstances. Together, you can develop a plan to ensure you can access antiviral treatment quickly if you need it.

Vaccines and boosters

COVID-19 vaccination available for high risk children aged 6 months to under 5 years 

August 4 2022: From 5 September the COVID-19 vaccine will become available to children aged 6 months to 5 years in certain at-risk population groups. The Australian Government accepted a recommendation from the Australian Technical Advisory Group to make the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine available to around 70,000 children who are more likely to experience severe COVID-19 illness will be able to get vaccinated. This includes: 

  • Structural airway anomalies or chronic lung disease 
  • Severe primary or secondary immunodeficiency 

The recommendation is for two primary doses, however those with severe immunocompromise may require three. The interval between each dose is recommended to be eight weeks.

In the coming weeks, the government will provide information about how to make a vaccination booking for a child aged 6 months to 5 years.

For more information, visit the Department of Health website here.

For ATAGI recommendations on COVID-19 vaccine use in children aged 6 months to <5 years, visit here.

A fourth COVID-19 vaccination is now available to anyone aged over 30

11 July 2022: The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) specifically recommend the shot for people over 50, while people aged 30 to 49 may choose to have a fourth dose. Those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should receive the winter booster as soon as possible.

It’s important to ensure you’re protected against the COVID-19 virus this winter, particularly if you’re at risk of severe illness from the virus. The additional winter booster can be given 3 months or longer after receiving the first booster dose, or 3 months after contracting COVID-19 if you became infected after receiving the first COVID-19 booster dose. If you haven’t yet received the first booster dose, now is the time to speak to your vaccination provider. Influenza vaccinations can be given at the same time as COVID-19 vaccines and should not be delayed so speak to your healthcare team about protecting yourself this winter.

For more information, visit the Department of Health website here. We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about vaccines, staying well and what to do if you get COVID-19. Read more, here.

Home Medicines Service

The Home Medicines Service has been extended to 30 June 2022 for eligible Australians. This service is available for people in home isolation and other groups who wish to limit their potential exposure to COVID-19 including people with chronic health conditions or who are immunocompromised. To qualify for the Home Medicines Service, each delivery to an eligible person must include a Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medicine and/or a Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medicine. You can order other items to be delivered to you from the pharmacy, including symptom relief, if it is part of the same order. Eligible people can receive the service no more than once per month.

For more information on eligibility and how to access the service, visit the Department of Health website here.

Being prepared

If you or your loved one is living with a lung condition, it is important to be prepared in the event of receiving a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.  A plan may be developed with your treating healthcare team or GP and could include:

  • Instruction (action plan) on the actions to take if your usual symptoms change or worsen
  • Up-to-date prescriptions for both regular medications and emergency medications (if they are part of your plan)
  • When to seek further medical care or call an ambulance.

Have you had COVID-19?

We understand experiencing ongoing symptoms after contracting COVID-19 can be frightening. Our online COVID-19 Survivor and Support Group aims to connect people from right across the country to share their experiences to ensure no one feels alone on this journey. To find out more about the group, submit an expression of interest below and our team will be in touch.
Submit an enquiry