COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic: Pfizer & AstraZeneca

We are a Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 GP Vaccination Clinic for eligible Medicare card holders.
Book your appointment online or call us on (03) 9629 1414.

Victoria Harbour Medical Centre is an approved COVID-19 general practice vaccination clinic for eligible Medicare card holders.  We are an inclusive medical service and proudly support the health care needs of the LGBTIQA+ community.

  • By appointment only
  • No walk-ins
  • Bulk Billed

DO NOT attend our vaccination clinic if:

If you have a booked appointment and you are unwell please advise us  and DO NOT attend the vaccination clinic. Even if you have mild symptoms you should get a COVID-19 test and isolate until you have a negative result.

Based on Department of Health advice we are now accepting appointments for the following Medicare eligible individuals:

  • Pfizer (Comirnaty) COVID-19 vaccine:
    • children 12-17 years old*
    • anyone now aged > 18 years old
    • pregnant women (any stage of pregnancy)
  • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine:
    • anyone > 18 years old (following appropriate suitability assessment)

*Note: Only one parent/guardian permitted to attend our vaccination clinic to accompany a young person aged 12-17 years old.

Individuals who have had one dose of AstraZeneca without any serious adverse effects should have the second dose of AstraZeneca to gain full protection. They should not attempt to receive an mRNA vaccine (eg: Pfizer) for their second dose.

Consent for vaccination:

New recommended dose intervals between first and second dose:

  • Pfizer (Comirnaty) COVID-19 vaccine: Dose 2 – between 3-6 weeks.
  • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine: Dose 2 – between 6-12 weeks.

Your vaccinator will exercise discretion in determining what second dose interval to use (in line with Department of Health and ATAGI guidelines).  No existing second dose bookings at our medical centres will be proactively changed.  People can elect to change their second dose AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine appointment by calling us on (03) 9629 1414.

Consumer Medicine Information (CMI):

How to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination:

Click here to find out how to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination and view your COVID-19 digital certificate.

Other information:

  • Click here for digital information from the Department of Health
  • Call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline on tel 1800 675 398

For Pfizer (Comirnaty) COVID-19 vaccine bookings (aged >12 years old):

For AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine bookings (aged >18 years old): 

Individuals who have had one dose of AstraZeneca without any serious adverse effects should have the second dose of AstraZeneca to gain full protection. They should not attempt to receive an mRNA vaccine (eg: Pfizer) for their second dose.

Note: Only one parent/guardian permitted to attend our vaccination clinic to accompany a young person aged 12-17 years old.

New recommended dose intervals between first and second dose:

  • Pfizer (Comirnaty) COVID-19 vaccine: Dose 2 – between 3-6 weeks.
  • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine: Dose 2 – between 6-12 weeks.

Your vaccinator may exercise their discretion in determining what dose interval to use (in line with Department of Health guidelines).

DO NOT attend our vaccination clinic if:

If you have a booked appointment and you are unwell please advise us  and DO NOT attend the vaccination clinic. Even if you have slight symptoms you should get a COVID-19 test and isolate until you have a negative result.

Click here to check your eligibility online.

The following people are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Everyone aged 12 years and over
  • Pregnant women (any stage of pregnancy)

Vaccines are administered following the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI):

Click here for the ATAGI statement regarding vaccination of children aged 12–15 years old.

Proof of eligibility may be required.

  • Bulk Billed
  • No walk-ins
  • Eligible Medicare card holders only
  • By appointment only based on vaccine stock availability

Please download and bring your COVID-19 vaccine Consent Form to your appointment.

If you are new to our medical centre and attend for a COVID-19 vaccination, you may need to provide evidence of your eligibility (eg: medical history, occupation, age) before you can receive your COVID-19 vaccine.  This evidence can be an identification card, proof of current employment, a letter from your usual doctor, or by ensuring your My Health Record contains a current Shared Health Summary which we can access during your consultation.

DO NOT attend our vaccination clinic if:

If you have a booked appointment and you are unwell please advise us  and DO NOT attend the vaccination clinic. Even if you have mild symptoms you should get a COVID-19 test and isolate until you have a negative result.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be free for all eligible people aged > 12 years olds (Pfizer) and > 18 years olds (AstraZeneca) living in Australia, including:

  • all Medicare-eligible Australians
  • people currently residing in detention facilities, including those whose visas have been cancelled
  • all visa-holders, including refugees, asylum seekers, temporary protection visa holders, and those on bridging visas

While the Australian Government strongly supports vaccination, the COVID-19 is not mandatory and individuals may choose not to vaccinate.

Victoria Harbour Medical Centre can only provide a COVID-19 vaccine to Medicare eligible individuals.

Click here to find out how to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination and view your COVID-19 digital certificate.

Due to the Australian Government current funding model, people who are not eligible for Medicare will be unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through community general practice clinics including Victoria Harbour Medical Centre.  This means vaccine access for non-Medicare card holders can only be delivered by:

For all enquires call the COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline on 1800 675 398.

There are some things you can do to get ready for your COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Click here to find out what you should do before you get vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • Click here to download a fact sheet about preparing for the COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Click here for information about side effects and after care following your COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Click here to subscribe for email updates about to the COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Book a Telehealth consultation with one of our GPs to discuss your concerns.
  • Call the Victorian COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline on tel 1800 675 398.

Information about the COVID-19 vaccine has been translated into multiple languages.  To find information in your language:

Australian Department of Health website click here.

Victorian Department of Health website click here.

On 02/06/2021 ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation) clinical guidance on COVID-19 vaccines in Australia includes the following:

  • A minimum 7-day interval is advised between administration of a COVID-19 vaccine and any other vaccine, including the Flu vaccine
  • This interval can be shortened (including same day administration) in special circumstances
  • Co-administration of COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines is not routinely recommended

Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria, changes in recommendation to the timing of influenza and COVID-19 vaccines for certain groups is required.  In order to ensure that all residents and staff in residential aged care and disability care settings are vaccinated as soon as possible, the previous minimum interval between the Flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine no longer applies for this group.

The Australian Department of Health has updated the COVID-19 vaccination decision-making guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning pregnancy.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) have provided updated advice from 18th August 2021 about the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant and breastfeeding Women and those planning pregnancy. 

Key points:

  • Pregnant women are a priority group for COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Pregnant women should be routinely offered the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Spikevax (Moderna) COVID-19 vaccine at any stage of pregnancy. 
  • Pfizer (Comirnaty) and Spikevax (Moderna) are mRNA vaccines
  • Women who are trying to become pregnant do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination. 
  • There is no evidence of increased risk of miscarriage or teratogenic risk with mRNA or viral vector vaccines.
  • Global evidence has shown that the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant women. 
  • Pregnant women have a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 
  • Their babies also have a higher risk of being born prematurely. 
  • COVID-19 vaccination may provide indirect protection to babies by transferring antibodies through the placenta (for pregnant women) or through breastmilk (for breastfeeding women).

Women who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and are pregnant can receive either Dose 2 of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine or the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, although the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is preferred.  Pregnant women should speak with their health care provider about the best choice for them. 

In summary:

  • Pregnant women are a priority group for COVID-19 vaccination, and should be routinely offered the Pfizer (Cominarty) or Spikevax (Moderna) COVID-19 vaccine at any stage of pregnancy.
  • COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for breastfeeding women –  either Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccine is considered safe during breastfeeding.

Medical advice for adults < 60 years old and the AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine:  On 17/06/2021 the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advised the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is preferred over the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for adults aged < 60 years old.  This revised age recommendation is because of a higher risk of an extremely rare but serious side effect involving thrombosis (blood clotting) with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count) called TTS following the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in those aged < 60 years old.  The individual benefit-to-risk balance of vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine varies with age.  The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine remains a safe and  highly effective at preventing death and severe illness among people who have contracted COVID-19. 

People who have already received the first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine with no major adverse reaction are strongly encouraged to receive the second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as planned, including if they are < 60 years old.

The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre has published this video that also helps to clearly explain TTS.

Medical advice for adults 18-59 years old and the AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine:  On 29/06/2021 the Australian Department of Health advised the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can now be requested by adults aged 18-59 years old if they are unable to access a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.  It is important consumers weigh up the potential benefits and risk of harm from the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to ensure that they make a fully informed decision about receiving the vaccine.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the new ATAGI advice?  ATAGI have reviewed their advice on the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. They recommended the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is the preferred vaccine for people aged under 60 years.  This doesn’t change who is currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, but it means if you are under 60 years old it is now preferred you get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Why has the advice changed?  ATAGI have made this recommendation because of new evidence that shows the risk of thrombosis (blood clotting) with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count) or TTS (which is a rare blood clotting syndrome) following the first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in those aged < 60 years old is higher than initially thought.

I’ve had my first dose of the AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine, should I get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for my second dose?  No, this isn’t necessary. If you have had your first AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine dose without any serious side effects, you can receive your second dose as planned.  To ensure maximum long term immunity, it is important you receive two doses of the same COVID-19 vaccine.

I’ve had my first dose of the AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine and have side effects that I am worried about. What should I do?  Discuss with your doctor or present to you local emergency department if you have recently had your first vaccine dose and are experiencing any side effects that you are worried about.  

I am 60 years or over, is the AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine still safe for me?  Yes, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is still safe for you.  The risk of thrombosis (blood clotting) with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count) or TTS (which is a rare blood clotting syndrome), is much lower in people aged 60 years and over.  Additionally, if you are aged 60 and over, you are much more likely to become seriously unwell if you catch COVID-19.  The individual benefit-to-risk balance of vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine varies with age. This balance is based on factors including the increased risk of complications from COVID-19 with increasing age and the potential lower risk of this very rare, but serious, adverse event with increasing age.   ATAGI has recommended the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine remains safe to be given to people aged > 60 years old.

I am under 60 years old and I am fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine, do I have to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine now?  If you have received both doses of the vaccine you do not need to get vaccinated with any other COVID-19 vaccine.

Name change: Why is the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine now called Vaxzevria?  The name is now consistent with that used overseas, including in the European Union and Canada.  This is expected to alleviate confusion and further clarify that the vaccine produced by CSL and Seqirus in Melbourne is the same as that produced internationally.  This name change will also help facilitate international recognition for Australians who have been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.  Importantly, this is the only change to the vaccine.  All other aspects, such as manufacturing and quality control, are unchanged and align with the way the vaccine is produced in other jurisdictions.

Change in AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine dose interval from 02/09/2021:

  • The recommended minimum interval between first and second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will change to 6 weeks. Previously the recommended minimum interval was 12 weeks.
  • This change is consistent with advice from ATAGI.
  • This change is being made because of the current epidemiological conditions including community transmission of COVID-19.
  • Reducing the interval between doses will mean more Victorians are fully vaccinated with two doses as soon as possible.  
  • People can elect to change their vaccine appointment for their second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
  • No existing second dose bookings at our medical centres will be proactively changed.
  • Your vaccinator may exercise their discretion in determining what dose interval to use (in line with ATAGI guidelines).

Click here for more information about the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Click here for more information on the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).

What is the ATAGI advice on COVID-19 vaccinations for children aged 12 to 15? The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for use in people aged 12-15 years.  The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has provided updated advice on eligibility criteria for vaccination with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 12-15.  The Australian Government has accepted this advice.

When can eligible children start getting vaccinated?  All other children aged 12-15 years old will be eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from 13th September 2021.

Can eligible children receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Victoria Harbour Medical Centre?  Yes.  Book your appointment with us online or call us on (03) 9629 1414.  Only one parent/guardian may attend our vaccination clinic with a young person aged 12-17 years old.

Where else can eligible children get their vaccination?  Parents/guardians can book a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for their child/children at:

  • state and territory-operated Pfizer clinics
  • participating general practices offering Pfizer
  • Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics offering Pfizer
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services offering Pfizer

You can make a booking by completing the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker.

Information about consent for vaccination:

  • Anyone who presents for vaccination must provide informed consent
  • Consent can be provided verbally or by completing this written consent form
  • Consent for young people aged 12-17 years may be established by:
    • A  parent/guardian attending the vaccine appointment with the young person and provide consent for them
    • An unaccompanied young person may provide their own consent (mature minor) if deemed to be ‘Gillick competent’

More information is available on the Department of Health website.

Refer also to NCIRS COVID-19 and children FAQs.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have now recommended a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for people who are severely immunocompromised.

These third doses are provided as part of the primary course, they are not boosters.  This third primary dose is not to be considered a booster dose for the general population. It is a third dose – to complete the regular course of vaccination – for a very specific cohort of vulnerable Australians to ensure they have the highest level of protection available against COVID-19.

ATAGI recommends that the interval for the third dose between 2 to 6 months after the second dose of the vaccine. A minimum interval of 4 weeks may be considered in exceptional circumstances (eg: outbreaks, anticipated intensification of immunosuppression).

ATAGI will provide further advice on booster doses (including for healthcare workers, older adults and the general population) separately.

If you are eligible for a third dose please discuss this with your treating doctor before booking a vaccine appointment.

Click here for more information.

Looking After Your Mental Health

It’s important to look after your mental health during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We recognise the feelings of anxiety and concerns many people may be experiencing during this time, especially for those in lockdown, self-isolation or quarantine.

There are a number of ways to support your mental health during this period:

  • Book a Telehealth phone consultation with your GP for a chat.
  • Seek professional support from a counsellor/psychologist early if you’re having difficulties*.
  • Remind yourself that this is a temporary period of isolation to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • Remember that your effort is helping others in the community avoid contracting COVID-19.
  • Routines sound dull, but they’re good for our mental health. Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time, eat at regular times, shower, and change your clothes. This will help you to manage your days and adjust when life starts to go back to normal.
  • Try to maintain physical activity.
  • Manage your stress levels, and if needed, increase your coping strategies (for example, listening to music, watching your favourite shows, meditation or exercise).
  • Keep taking your medication. Phone your GP or pharmacist to find out how to get any new prescriptions you may need. If you’re staying at home and that’s disrupting your routine, set reminders to take your medicine when you need to.
  • For those already managing mental health issues, continue to take any prescribed medication, continue with your treatment plan and monitor for any new symptoms.

* The Australian Government will now provide 10 additional Medicare subsidised psychological therapy sessions under a GP Mental Health Care Plan for people subjected to further restrictions in areas impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for more information.

There are plenty of ways to support other people, or be supported if you are feeling anxious or uncertain.

Where to go for help:

If you are experiencing an emergency always call 000.

HeadtoHelp 1800 595 212

  • Telephone support service for Victorians to help you find the best mental health support. This is not a crisis service.

Victorian Department of Health

  • COVID-19 related mental health support services. This is not a crisis service.

Lifeline Australia 13 11 14

  • 24/7 crisis support service for people who are having difficulty coping or staying safe.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

  • 24/7 mental health support crisis call back service.

Care in Mind 1300 096 269

  • 24/7 free online and phone counselling for people living, working, or studying in Melbourne’s northern, central and western suburbs. This is not a crisis service.

Beyond Blue 1800 512 348

  • Coronavirus mental wellbeing support service. This is not a crisis service.

SANE 1800 18 7263

  • Services to help support those affected by complex mental health issues. This is not a crisis service.

Eheadspace 1800 650 893

  • Online and webchat support and counselling for 12-25 year olds, their family and friends. This is not a crisis service.

Mindspot 1800 61 44 34

  • Free telephone and online service for people with stress, worry, anxiety, low mood or depression. This is not a crisis service.

Brother to Brother 1800 435 799

  • 24/7 new crisis line for Aboriginal men has been set up to provide extra support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The line is staffed by Aboriginal men, including elders, to promote a culturally-safe service.

For youth focused mental health and support services:

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

Headspace 1800 650 890

ReachOut

Orygen Digital – Moderated Online Social Therapy (MOST)

For specialist areas:

Safe Steps 1800 015 188

  • 24/7 Victorian family violence support service.

1800Respect 1800 737 732

  • 24/7 confidential counselling, information and support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse via phone or online chat. 

Directline 1800 888 236

  • 24/7 confidential alcohol and drug counselling and referral service. This is not a crisis service.

Gambler’s Help 1800 858 858

  • 24/7 free confidential online, telephone and face-to-face counselling, advice and information about gambling harm. This is not a crisis service.

MensLine 1300 78 99 78

  • 24/7 professional telephone and online support and information service for men. This is not a crisis service.

Switchboard Victoria 1800 184 527

  • Phone and web counselling, information and referral service for LGBTQI people. Web counselling through QLife Webchat. This is not a crisis service.

Head to Health

  • Digital mental health resource to support you through COVID-19. This is not a crisis service.

THIS WAY UP

  • Free online tools, practical tips and strategies to support your emotional well-being. This is not a crisis service.

Phoenix Australia

  • Useful resources to support health practitioners and community members during COVID-19. This is not a crisis service.

For multilingual mental health resources:

Beyond Blue

  • Coronavirus translated mental wellbeing support service. This is not a crisis service.

Transcultural Mental Health Centre Resources

  • Several resources in multiple languages about wellbeing, stress and coping with disaster. This is not a crisis service.

Translating or interpreting:

For translating or interpreting call 131 450 first and tell them your language.  Click here for COVID-19 translated resources.  SBS Radio is also broadcasting COVID-19 news and information in your language.

COVID-19 Update

Click here for the latest clinic news about COVID-19 on our website.

COVID-19 Vaccines:

Click here for information about the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine to Australian communities in 2021.

Outbreak Alerts:

If YOU or a CLOSE CONTACT have been in, visited or travelled through a current outbreak, hot-spot or public exposure site you are NOT PERMITTED ENTRY into our medical centre.  FIRST call reception on tel (03) 9629 1414 to organise a Telehealth consultation with one of our GPs.  

Click here for current Victorian COVID-19 public exposure site and outbreak information.

Click here to view an interactive map with current national venue exposure sites.

Click here to find out about the Victorian Travel Permit System.

Testing:

Click here for a list of COVID-19 assessment and testing centres in Victoria.

Click here to find out more about The Call-to-Test service for vulnerable Victorians.  This service will enable some of our most vulnerable to get tested for COVID-19 at home with a qualified health clinician. The service will provide access for people who cannot leave home due to injury, mobility or other eligible reasons.  Call the Coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398 and select option 4 and then option 5 to find out if you are eligible for this service.

Clink here for information about the Coronavirus worker support payment to assist Victorian workers to get tested and stay home.

Face Masks:

Click here for information about face masks.

Victoria’s Restriction Levels:

Click here for information about current restricted activity directions issued by the Victorian Department of Health.

What to do if you think you have COVID-19:

If you think you have COVID-19 or you have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 first make a Telehealth appointment with one of our GPs to find out how to get tested.

COVID-19 testing is now recommended if you feel unwell with the following symptoms:

  • fever / chills / sweats

OR

  • new onset respiratory symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell or loss of taste)

If you have any of the symptoms, however mild, STAY HOME and seek advice from your GP by a Telehealth phone consultation first to find out how to get tested

If you need a COVID-19 test, you must GO HOME immediately after the test and remain in self-isolation until you receive your test result.

What if I am a patient at Victoria Harbour Medical Centre?:

Victoria Harbour Medical Centre is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all patients and staff.  We are here to help and have temporarily changed our service model to better manage your healthcare needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Whether you are worried about symptoms of COVID-19 or any other type of health problem, our GPs are still on hand to help.  We encourage you to continue consulting your regular GP for any health matter.

Safe in-person face-to-face consultations or Telehealth appointments are available.  You can make an appointment with us online or by calling the medical centre on (03) 9629 1414.  Screening questions will be asked when you book or attend an appointment.  You will always be informed of your options when you make an appointment.

We remain open for your health needs but as conditions of entry, all patients and visitors must:

  • wear a face mask
  • scan our location specific QR code to assist with contact tracing if required

If you need urgent medical care always call emergency 000 (triple zero).

If you are seeking information on COVID-19 call the Coronavirus Hotline:

Both hotlines operate 24/7 and will connect you to a registered nurse if needed.

For digital resources and daily health alerts about COVID-19 refer to:

Click here for RACGP guidelines, actions plans and a symptom diary for how to manage mild COVID-19 infection at home with the assistance from your GP.

Click here for the DHHS COVID-19 Home Safety Plan – this guide will help keep you, your family and friends safe and well.

For translating or interpreting call 131 450 first and tell them your language.  Click here for translated resources.  SBS Radio is also broadcasting COVID-19 news and information in your language.

Face Masks Update

You are required to wear a face mask when attending the medical centre

Click here for updated Department of Health information about wearing face masks in Victoria.

A face mask must be a cloth mask or a single-use (surgical) mask. 

Face shields, bandanas, scarves or loose snoods, loose buffs or loose gaiters on their own are not considered a sufficient face covering.  A face covering must be a fitted face mask that covers the nose and mouth.

For children under 12 years of age:

  • Children aged 2 years and younger: must never wear a face mask due to choking/suffocation risk
  • Children aged 3 to 11 years: families should make their own decisions about whether their children should wear a face mask in the required settings

If you are feeling unwell or have any symptoms of COVID-19 you should get tested then stay home until you receive your result.

For digital resources about COVID-19 and the use of face masks refer to:

For 24/7 telephone support about COVID-19 call the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

For translating or interpreting call 131 450 first and tell them your language.  Click here for translated resources.  SBS Radio is also broadcasting COVID-19 news and information in your language.

Click here for the latest clinic news about COVID-19 on our website.

Changes to Telehealth Fees

Telemedicine free icon

This service is not for emergency care.  For urgent medical care call emergency 000 (Triple Zero) or go to an emergency department at a hospital.

Telehealth phone appointments with our GPs are still available.

We currently do not offer Telehealth video appointments.

You can book a Telehealth phone consultation online or by calling our reception team on (03) 9629 1414.

Telehealth was introduced in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  Restricted Telehealth phone services have now been extended to the 31st December 2021

Telehealth consultations will continue to help regular patients of this medical centre access non-urgent but essential healthcare from their home.  This will support public health policies to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread.

Telehealth at Victoria Harbour Medical Centre:

  • 15-minute phone consultations with your GP by appointment
  • Phone calls from your GP may come from a Private Number (No Caller ID)
  • Your GP will call you as close as possible to your Telehealth appointment time
  • Your consent and identity will be confirmed by your GP before your consultation begins
  • Ensure your phone is charged and that you’re available to take the call in a quiet and private place
  • Your GP will discuss with you the most appropriate course of care and if a clinical in-person face-to-face appointment at the medical centre is needed

Common conditions appropriate for a Telehealth phone consultation include:

  • COVID-19 related health questions
  • COVID-19 vaccine suitability assessments
  • Non-life threatening respiratory illness
  • Referral letters
  • Medical certificates
  • Discussing test results
  • Repeat prescription medication*
  • Repeat pathology investigation requests
  • Minor illness which can be managed at home
  • Routine PrEP and asymptomatic STI screening
  • Blood borne viruses, sexual or reproductive health consultations
  • Pregnancy Support Counselling
  • Mental health consultations and review of Mental Health Care Plans**
  • Management of chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, COPD, blood pressure and heart disease

* This does not include restricted Schedule 4 and Schedule 8 (Controlled Drug) prescription medications and other Drugs of Dependence.  If you are a Medicare card holder Electronic Prescriptions are now available.

** Mental Health Care Plans (new) require a face-to-face appointment with your GP.

Fees:

Our medical centre charges a co-payment (out of pocket) fee for all Telehealth services.  This fee will change from the 1st July 2021.  Refer to our Patient Information section on our website for a list of our Telehealth fee schedule.  Telehealth attracts a Medicare rebate only if you’ve had a face-to-face consultation with any of our GPs at our medical centre within the last 12-months.  If you don’t fit this Medicare criteria, a private non-refundable fee will apply.  This means there is no Medicare rebate.  This Medicare rule does not apply to:

  • Infants < 12 months old
  • People who are homeless
  • People who:
    • live in a COVID-19 impacted area, or
    • currently have COVID-19 or are in quarantine, or
    • are self-isolating as a close contact of someone who may have COVID-19

For more information:

Refer to this Department of Health Telehealth Fact Sheet or the RACGP Fact Sheet about Telehealth.

For 24/7 telephone support about COVID-19 call the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

For translating or interpreting call 131 450 first and tell them your language.  Click here for translated resources.  SBS Radio is also broadcasting COVID-19 news and information in your language.

Click here for the latest information about COVID-19 on our website.

Local Practice Receives The Mark of Quality As An Accredited Practice

Docklands increased its community health credentials today when Victoria Harbour Medical Centre received a national award of accreditation, demonstrating its commitment to quality and safety within its practice.

Victoria Harbour Medical Centre received this important recognition from Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited (AGPAL), the leading not-for-profit provider of general practice accreditation services within Australia.

AGPAL Chair, Dr Richard Choong, said accreditation shows that the practice makes a significant investment and commitment to quality on a day-to-day basis, across all levels of the practice team.

“Achieving accreditation is a major achievement for any practice and a clear demonstration that Victoria Harbour Medical Centre is striving to improve their level of care to both patients and the community,” he said.

“Practices seek accreditation because they want to do their best and view this as another step towards excellence in patient care.”

To achieve accreditation, a practice team works over a 12-month period to implement the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for general practices. The RACGP Standards provide a recognised national benchmark for general practices and services, and a template for quality care and risk management.

The AGPAL accreditation program supports general practices across the primary healthcare sector to provide a range of minimum expectations for patients surrounding safety and care. The accreditation process involves an independent on-site assessment of the practice’s environment and their processes. Accreditation was developed jointly by AGPAL and primary health organisations and peak bodies, including the Australian Medical Association (AMA).

Areas of focus during an on-site assessment for accreditation include: ensuring vaccines are within their use-by-date and stored at the correct temperatures, that the practice’s equipment is clean and sterile, practice staff are up-to-date with their training, and the practice has emergency care available.

Dr Choong said accreditation is attainable only through cooperation and communication between staff members.

“Everyone at the practice plays a valuable role in working to meet the RACGP Standards. It gives staff a real sense of pride to work in an AGPAL accredited practice,” added Dr Choong.

Victoria Harbour Medical Centre proudly displays the AGPAL accredited symbol for all their patients to see.

“We want community members, nationwide to know that their wellbeing is our priority. By choosing to attend an AGPAL accredited practice, patients know they will get quality and safe care that meets the RACGP Standards.”

Practice Contact:
Edita Mance
03 9629 1414
EditaM@vhmc.com.au

AGPAL is the leading not-for-profit provider in general practice accreditation services; for further information on AGPAL please visit www.agpal.com.au or free call 1300 362 111.

  • AGPAL accreditation evaluates the quality and safety of the practice environment, systems and processes and patient care for more than 75 per cent of general practices who choose to undergo accreditation.
  • General practice accreditation within Australia is a voluntary process.
  • To earn accreditation, practices must have an extensive on-site review by a team of AGPAL GP Surveyors and Co-surveyors.
  • The purpose of the review is to evaluate the practice against standards set by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). To be awarded accreditation the practice must demonstrate how they meet all the standards and criteria set by the RACGP.
  • Achieving accreditation covers:
    • The safe and lawful use of practice equipment;
    • Accessibility and availability of medical care including after-hours and emergency care;
    • Staff training;
    • Information technology and information security;
    • The security and availability of your records and information.
  • AGPAL is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, governed by a board that includes general practitioners, practice managers and consumer representatives from around Australia. AGPAL assesses practices against Standards set by the RACGP.

Media Contact:
AGPAL
Emily Geering, General Manager – Marketing and Communications
(07) 3876 6370
egeering@agpal.com.au

s100 HIV prescribers now available @ VHMC

GPs Dr Christopher Kearney and Dr Damien Polioudakis are accredited s100 HIV community prescribers.

This means they are able to prescribe highly specialised HIV medication called antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Both have advanced training and experience in providing care to people at risk of HIV or people living with HIV (PLHIV).

HIV is now considered a manageable chronic condition requiring lifelong treatment.  HIV treatments have changed dramatically over the years and can now offer PLHIV a long and healthy life.  s100 GPs play a vital role in primary and preventative health care for PLHIV.

Victoria Harbour Medical Centre is an inclusive health service and our GPs are committed to providing a comprehensive and confidential medical service.

We also provide PrEP and PEP consultations on an appointment system.  PrEP can be prescribed by any GP.  PEP consultations can only be provided by s100 GPs.  Do not book an online appointment for a PEP consultation.  If you think you need PEP please call and let us know you need a PEP appointment and we will always try and prioritise you or recommend referral to another PEP service.

As we a private billing medical centre, standard consultation fees apply for all services.

If you would like to transfer your HIV care to one of our s100 GPs please book a long (30 minute) appointment.

For further information about this service click here.

Electronic Prescriptions

Victoria Harbour Medical Centre is now electronic prescription enabled.

Click here to read the RACGP fact sheet about electronic prescriptions.

An electronic prescription is an alternative to a paper prescription. If you are registered with Medicare or DVA, your GP will now be able to deliver an electronic prescription to your mobile phone via SMS or to your email.  You will receive a unique QR barcode known as a token.  A token is not a legal prescription, but it can be used by an authorised dispensing pharmacy to unlock the legal prescription. All you need to do is show your token to be scanned at your pharmacy. The pharmacy will then access your electronic prescription and dispense your medicine.  Electronic prescriptions are not mandatory.  You still have choice to receive either an electronic or a paper prescription from your GP (but not both).  Electronic prescriptions comply with all relevant Commonwealth and State and Territory privacy, digital security and legislation requirements.

Your GP can send you the electronic prescription token via SMS or email. You can also ask your GP to print out your token for you.  You will receive one token for each medicine you’re prescribed.

Yes. If your GP has prescribed any repeats for your prescription, you’ll receive a new token from the pharmacy when the medicine is dispensed. Use that new token to get your repeat prescription.

Yes. Paper prescriptions will continue to be an option if that’s your preference. However, you can’t have both a paper prescription and an electronic prescription for the same medicine. The prescription will stay in the same form until it expires. Repeats for a paper prescriptions cannot be converted to tokens.

Yes. You will always be able to choose which pharmacy you prefer to fill your prescription. Not all pharmacies accept electronic prescriptions at this time, so make sure you check with your pharmacy if they’re ready to accept electronic prescriptions.

Yes. Just like a paper prescription, you can give your token to a family member or other person to take to the pharmacy and pick up your medicines for you. You’ll need to forward the token to their mobile or email. You can also forward your token direct to your pharmacy, and the pharmacy may be able to home deliver your medicines. Contact your pharmacy to see if they offer this service.

Contact your GP if you lose your token. Your GP will need to issue you a new token.

If you lose your repeat token, contact your pharmacy to have your token reissued.