With members of the community reminded to consider getting their COVID-19 vaccines, we have put together answers to some of the questions you may have, as guided by Dr Alex Ghanem.
Eligible Mid-Western residents have been able to receive their AstraZeneca doses since March 29 and July 5 for Pfizer.
However, if you are yet to receive a vaccine and are eligible, here's some answers that may help you.
Who is eligible?
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.
If you are unsure if you are eligible to receive a vaccination, 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 12 weeks time.
- READ MORE: Book to get your Pfizer shot in Mudgee
Where is the vaccination site?
The Mudgee vaccination clinic is located at the Mudgee Showground Pavilion, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) from 1pm to 5pm.
Entrance to the facility will be via Douro Street before those being vaccinated will head to the pavilion, opposite the Respiratory Clinic.
How do I book?
Appointments can be made online through hotdoc.com.au or by calling 6362 4031.
"We are really keen for people to book online. The reason we would like this to happen is that it will save a considerable amount of time, it will streamline the process and allow us to vaccinate more people," Dr Ghanem told the Mudgee Guardian in an earlier interview.
If you're having trouble booking, phone (02) 6362 4031.
What do I bring to my appointment?
You must take your Medicare card, Medicare number or Veterans Card to your appointment.
Who can I expect to be at the site?
At the site, there will be between three and four nurses who will be administering the vaccines.
A doctor from either South Mudgee Surgery or Mudgee Medical Centre will be on site should anyone require assistance or have questions.
What are the side effects of the vaccines?
One or two days after receiving the vaccination, the following side effects may present:
- Redness at the site of injection
- General muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Pain in the arm
"These local reactions are actually reasonably common and similar to those of other vaccinations. But, if you are unsure, please speak to your doctor. If you're really unwell, you may need to present to hospital," Dr Ghanem said.
After each vaccination, patients will be asked to remain inside the pavilion for 15 minutes to be monitored should any serious reactions present. For those with severe allergies, they are to stay for 30 minutes.
"The risk of a serious reaction is very, very low but the government would like us to monitor everyone," Dr Ghanem said.
Can I receive the vaccination if I am pregnant?
Dr Alex Ghanem has encouraged women who are pregnant to discuss receiving the vaccination with their obstetrician before booking an appointment.
Can I still get my flu shot if I have had the COVID vaccination?
Yes. However, following your COVID injection (either the first or second dose), you can book in for a flu shot two weeks later.
I'm not from the Mid-Western area, can I still get vaccinated in Mudgee?
Yes, you will just have to book an appointment online.
- READ MORE: One death, 89 new COVID cases in NSW
I'm concerned about getting the vaccine. Any advice?
Dr Ghanem is urging those eligible to seriously consider where they stand with the vaccine.
"It's time. One day our borders will be open, our current quarantine system is not perfect, we've seen COVID leaks," he said.
Dr Ghanem acknowledged the reports of serious side effects that have occurred in patients after receiving their dose, but said there are risks in everything we do each day.
"Not only is there a risk of serious illness and death with COVID, it's emerging that some people end up with chronic long term health problems following COVID infection.
"We need to weigh up the risks of the vaccine versus what if we had an outbreak?"
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