Communications and Advocacy update: 28 October

28 October 2021

Here’s an update on a few of the issues AMA Victoria is working on for members, including:

•    COVID-19 booster vaccine
•    Telehealth for hepatitis C treatment during COVID-19 forum
•    Experiences of GPs in providing essential clinical services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 booster vaccine

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have approved a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine for individuals 18 years and older.

Individuals aged 18 years and older will be able to receive a booster (third dose), at least six months after the completion of a COVID-19 vaccine primary series. The TGA says that this primary series can be of any of the COVID-19 vaccines registered for use in Australia but acknowledges that data on the use of Pfizer as a booster with other COVID-19 vaccines is more limited.

The commencement of a booster dose program was approved by the ATAGI on 28 October. Click here for more information. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has said that the booster program for the general population is intended to commence on or before November 8, with those in aged care and disability a priority.

AMA Victoria had advocated for ATAGI to bring forward its timeline for considering and recommending a third/booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine for 1A high-risk workers, including healthcare workers, in Victoria.

Invitation to forum and report launch on telehealth for hepatitis C treatment during COVID-19

The Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University will launch a report and host a forum on the use of telehealth for hepatitis C treatment on 11 November from 1:30-3pm.

This qualitative interview-based project aimed to understand the benefits, limitations, and effects of the use of telehealth for hepatitis C treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The forum, held via Zoom, will involve a panel discussion on the implications of the research findings and recommendations and will invite thoughts from panel participants on how these recommendations might inform sector development and the uptake of telehealth. 

La Trobe University invite all relevant healthcare practitioners, service providers, researchers and other professionals working in hepatitis C healthcare, policy, advocacy and research to attend. 

Please register here on the event page.

Survey: Experiences of GPs in providing essential clinical services during the COVID-19 pandemic

Monash University's Department of General Practice is currently recruiting GPs who worked in metropolitan Melbourne during the past 18 months to participate in a short online survey as part of a RACGP Foundation/HCF funded study exploring the experiences of GPs in providing essential clinical services (ECS) during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Monash University also aims to evaluate the adaptability of the UK Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) guidelines to the Australian context, regarding providing ECS during the pandemic.

The survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete, and you will be compensated with a $30 gift card for your time.  

Please click here to participate in the survey. 

If you require further information about the study please contact Monash University Research Assistant, Jennie Raymond at

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