Information for Queensland primary care providers
Note: You can also find a range COVID-19 resources and vaccination information in HealthPathways.
Vaccination referrals to Queensland Health vaccination locations
Queensland Health has developed a guideline for Hospital and Health Services to use when developing COVID-19 vaccination referral pathways from primary care (PDF 269 kB). This document may be of use to general practices when determining suitability of a referral.
The document states that individuals may be referred for vaccination in a hospital environment due to clinical risk and/or requirement for extended observation. Individual preference for a specific vaccine or vaccine administration setting is not a sufficient reason.
If you have a patient who is otherwise ineligible for Pfizer due to their age, but clearly meets a medical criteria listed in the guideline document above, please complete this Queensland Health Recommendation receive Pfizer (ComirnatyTM) Vaccine in Queensland Health Facilities form (PDF 630 kB) which needs to be signed by a medical practitioner and presented by the patient at a Queensland health vaccination clinic . This does not replace a referral to a local Hospital and health Service for consideration for in-hospital vaccination or seeking specialist advice, however will assist people aged over 60 receive a Pfizer vaccine if they have an approved medical condition. These individuals should present with booked appointments to avoid disappointment should there be no walk in capacity at their local clinic.”
Reporting a COVID-19 Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI)
Vaccinations for COVID-19 commenced 21 February 2021.
Adverse Events of Special Interest (AESI), as well as serious, unexpected or uncommon Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI), need to be reported to the COVID-19 Vaccination Program as they are notifiable conditions under the Public Health Regulation 2018 (Schedule 1).
In Queensland, health practitioners are required to report COVID-19 AEFI to Queensland Health, who will report them to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Medicines Regulation Division.
Depending on the type of health provider, there are multiple ways AEFI for COVID-19 vaccinations can be reported to Queensland Health.
General practitioners using the following practice software can complete an AEFI directly though their practice software and submit it to Queensland Health (via Medical Objects) and the TGA. Please click on the hyperlink to for instructions on how to install the relevant templates.
- Medical Director – Download the COVID 19 Adverse Event Following Immunisation Reporting template for Medical Director (RTF 43 kB)
- Best Practice - Download the COVID 19 Adverse Event Following Immunisation Reporting template for Best Practice (RTF 149 kB)
- Genie template for COVID-19 Adverse Event Following Immunisation reporting (4WT 21 kB)
If the program you are currently using isn’t in the above list, please use the below instructions in the interim.
All other COVID-19 vaccine providers in Queensland must report COVID-19 AEFIs using the COVID-19 AEFI PDF form. General practitioners, other healthcare workers and consumers can also report an AEFI using the PDF form.
To complete the COVID-19 AEFI form:
- Enter information into the PDF document online
- Once all of the information has been entered, click or tap the Email button. The Email button will automatically attach the PDF document to an email and populate the “To:” field with COVID_AEFI@health.qld.gov.au, making the email ready for sending.
Alternatively, the PDF can be printed or saved, completed, scanned and sent to COVID_AEFI@health.qld.gov.au.
Only one of the above approaches is required to submit an AEFI to Queensland Health. If one of these approaches are used, you do not need to complete a TGA AEFI form. Queensland Health will notify the TGA to enable national monitoring and reporting of AEFIs in Australia.
Vaccine details (batch number, serial number, dose, date of vaccine) can be found in the patient’s medical record, Australian Immunisation Register or on the vaccination card provided to the person when they received their vaccination.
Case Reporting Forms (CRFs) have been developed to assist Queensland Health and the TGA:
- Queensland Health Vaccine Control Centre Post COVID-19 vaccination Suspected Anaphylaxis follow-up form (PDF 763 kB)
This form has been developed to capture details on anaphylaxis following COVID-19 vaccine administration that are aligned to the Brighton Collaboration’s Anaphylaxis case definition. It should be used in addition to normal AEFI reporting requirements.
- Queensland Health Vaccine Command Centre Thrombosis – thrombocytopenia Form (PDF 749 kB)
This form has been developed to capture details on suspected Vaccine Induced Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia (VITT) also known as Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) following COVID-19 vaccine administration. It should be used in addition to normal AEFI reporting requirements.
- Therapeutic Goods Administration Adverse Events of Special Interest (PDF 166 kB)
To help confirm the safety profile of COVID-19 vaccines, particularly with respect to possible side effects that rarely occur, the TGA closely monitors for specific adverse events known as ‘adverse events of special interest’ (AESI). A list of these adverse events of special interest can be found in the above.
If you have concerns regarding administering a second dose of a vaccine because your patient has previously experienced significant side effects, we recommend you contact your local Public Health Unit for advice or consider referring your patient to the statewide Queensland Specialist Immunisation Service (QASIS) located at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
Deaths reportable to the coroner
If a person dies as a direct result of having received the COVID-19 vaccine, for example, anaphylaxis, or an AEFI is considered to have significantly contributed to or hastened the person’s death, the death is reportable under the Coroners Act 2003 as a health care related death. The death is to be reported to the Coroners Court of Queensland by Form 1A Medical practitioner report of a death to a coroner in the first instance. If the person dies in hospital, the body is to remain in the hospital morgue pending further advice from the Coroners Court. If the person dies in the community, the body may be transferred to the family’s nominated funeral director pending further advice from the Coroners Court.
Queensland Health, in collaboration with general practitioners and the Coroner’s Office, has created a resource for health practitioners on determining vaccine relatedness in a death following COVID-19 vaccination: Attributing deaths to COVID-19 vaccines – a guide for medical practitioners (PDF 302 kB).
If it is unclear whether the COVID-19 vaccine has played a significant role in the person’s death, the death should be discussed with the coroner in the first instance on (07) 3738 7050 during business hours or (07) 3738 7166 after hours.
Doctors can also discuss their patient’s circumstances with a forensic physician from the Queensland Health Clinical Forensic Medicine Unit during business hours on (07) 3405 5755 or after hours on (07) 3722 1300.”
This does not replace the requirement for a death to be reported to Queensland Health using the AEFI reporting process under the Public Health Act 2005.
- A collection of communication tools for General Practice-Led Respiratory Clinics (GPRC) and General Practices administering COVID-19 vaccinations can be found on the Australian Government website.
- Information for your patients about the vaccines including translated and Easy Read resources can be found on the Queensland Government website and the Australian Government website.
- Additional patient resources can be downloaded and printed from Queensland Health’s asset library.
- Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
- Queensland Health - vaccine website for healthcare workers
- National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS)
- Advice for vaccine providers – Australian Department of Health