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  • Writer's pictureDr Billie

Have you noticed that we haven’t seen one of our old enemies this year, so far anyway.

And we are not the only ones who have noticed.

What am I talking about? – the FLU. It isn’t just because everyone is being diligent and getting vaccinated – because we still have a fridge full of flu vaccine – but there doesn’t seem to be any about.

There are different viruses which cause the common cold and the flu even though colloquial Aussie English seems to confuse the two. Laboratories monitor the incidence of positive swabs taken from flu cases, respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus, the latter two cause the common cold, and now of course COVID. There is still RSV and rhinovirus circulating but virtually NO flu virus. This is odd. Some of this can be explained by social distancing, lock downs, mask wearing, hand sanitiser use and lack of overseas travellers bringing unwanted guests home with them. But some of this cannot.

I don’t have reason but could COVID have something to do with this? Does flu virus not like it and when competing for a human host COVID wins out and flu doesn’t get a look in???? I’ve really no idea but it’s an interesting thought. We know that a viral infection induces production of interferon. This is part of our response to the infection by aiding in the process that kills the viral invader. Could COVID induce higher levels of interferon which then aids us in killing the next infective agent such as FLU virus? Do COVID viruses suppress FLU viral particle division not allowing it to take a hold in the human host????

We are lucky because having a peak of COVID cases coinciding with a bad FLU season would have been devastating for us all. It would overwhelm our hospitals cause more deaths not just because more of us would be sick, but having two infections either simultaneously or one close on the heels of another would have been terrible.

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  • Writer's pictureDr Billie

(adpated from information provided by CESPHN Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Healthcare Network)

NSW COVID-19 outbreak UPDATE There are now 864 locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in NSW reported since 16 June 2021.

Vaccination rollout progress in our region Central Eastern and South Sydney. In the last week:

  • an additional 46,100 doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered - 27 per cent were AstraZeneca vaccines and 73 per cent were Pfizer vaccines and

  • the total doses of vaccines administered to people living in the region was 413,267 doses as at 11 July 2021.

To be fully vaccinated, the total number of doses required to completely vaccinate those aged over 15 years is estimated to be 2,826,464 doses. As at 11 July 2021, an estimated 14.3 per cent of total doses required have been administered to people living in the region (1.5% increase from last week). Premier Medicine has been offered an increase in allocation of Pfizer vaccine to 300 doses per week, which we have accepted


On 13 July, ATAGI released a statement which recommends that in outbreak situations, a shorter interval of 4 to 8 weeks is preferred between the first and second doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. Shortening the gap between first and second doses will bring forward short term protection, which is expected to be beneficial in outbreak situations.

Given the heightened risk of people becoming infected, ATAGI’s advice in responding to such an outbreak of the COVID-19 delta strain is that anyone who has received an AstraZeneca vaccine more than 4 weeks ago should arrange their second dose as soon as possible.

ATAGI has also reinforced its earlier advice that the benefits to people aged 60 or over of being vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine strongly outweigh the risks – and that vaccination is essential for this group in the context of an outbreak.

Noting the current constrained supply of the Pfizer vaccine, ATAGI also recommends adults under the age of 60 who do not have immediate access to the Pfizer vaccine should consider the benefits and risks of earlier protection through the AstraZeneca vaccine. This recommendation is in the context of an outbreak increasing the risk of people contracting COVID-19 – and hence the increased benefit vaccination provides. Click here for more information.


You can do this by booking online via the our website. You can cancel the previously booked later appointment online only if you booked it that way, alternatively cancel it when you attend the surgery. NB AstraZeneca vaccines are available on Tuesday and Thursdays ONLY


All adults aged 40-59 

People aged 16-39 years who are: 

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 

  • NDIS participants and carers of NDIS participants  

  • People diagnosed with a disability attending centre-based services such as day programs or supported employment

  • Carers of a person with a disability or an elderly person

  • Living with an underlying medical condition that increases their risk of severe COVID-19 (see ATAGI clinical guidance)

  • Residents and staff of disability group homes

  • Critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing

  • Health, aged or disability care workers including administrative staff in health care settings

  • Quarantine and border workers and their household contacts

  • Pregnant women although they are not yet picked up by  the eligibility checker, current ATAGI advice  is that pregnant women are an at risk group and should be vaccinated  is that pregnant women are an at risk group and should be vaccinated 

  • People aged 16 and above (with no upper age limit) who are: ​

    • resident or staff of an aged care home

  • People aged 60 and above with a contraindication to the AZ vaccine including a past history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), idiopathic splanchnic (mesenteric, portal, splenic) vein thrombosis or antiphospholipid syndrome with thrombosis, severe adverse reaction to a previous dose of AstraZeneca COVID19 vaccine

If you meet the eligibility criteria you can book online via

But ONLY on Monday, Wednesday or Friday as these are the days we vaccinate with Pfizer.

If you book an appointment and you are not eligible we will offer you an AstraZeneca vaccine instead.

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  • Writer's pictureDr Billie

So we're in strict lock down again.

Please stick to the rules - boring BUT...

If we don't and more of us get sick and then our families get sick we risk some of them getting seriously ill and being hospitalised or worse. We overwhelm the contact tracers ability to trace others who may have inadvertently been in contact with us or our infected loved ones. That might sound like I'm catastrophising but it could happen so fast. Tomorrow the predictition is 100 new cases - I hope not.

Work from home - if you can.

Shop alone.

Exercise with one other only.

Don't see your kids if they don't live with you.

Don't visit the grandkids.

It will be a short lived separation if we stick to the rules, they are for the benefit of us all.

We have had a really good run for a long time, don't be complacent and we can all get out of this situation in the next few weeks. If we go shopping unnecessarily, surruptiously invite friends over or baby sit the grand kids we might be choosing to lose the COVID battle and allow IT to take over us. Something none of us want.

On the FLIP side we have two effective vaccines.



Book the new vaccination appointment on online. If you had initially booked online the you can cancel online as well. If not then we will cancel the old booking when you come in.

The AstraZeneca is a great vaccine, safe with a very low side effect profile.

ALL of my patients over the age of 60 could have had at least one AZ vaccine dose by now.

WHY do I have 670 doses of the vaccine in my fridge and people refusing to use it????

Book online and get your shot.

To reiterate clot risk with the first dose is 1:200000 for all ages, the older you are the safer it is. The clot risk with the second dose is 1:1600000!

Each day, as the numbers of infected individuals climb, the risk of you catching the virus increases. Those vaccinated individuals are generally not needing hospitalisation. If you are not vaccinated your risk increases - a lot! Even young people are currently in hospital.

The Pfizer vaccine is still only available for those aged 40-59 with a few, very few, medical exceptions. Please do not complain to me or my staff that we won't allow you to have the Pfizer even though that's what you want. If you do not qualify we cannot vaccinate you with Pfizer. We do not make the rules and cannot bend them either. We have had some very upsetting incidents over the last week with my staff being threatened because we are towing the 'party line'. We want to continue to vaccinate as many of you as we can.

Please help us, don't hinder us, and don't hate us, we're trying to do the right thing by you all.


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