COVID-19 remains our number one infectious killer and is likely to
kill 1,000 New Zealanders this year and cause 10,000 hospitalisations
[Prof M Baker, epidemiologist]
1,000 annual deaths is twice the expected deaths from influenza and three times the road death toll!
March 2023: Taranaki recorded the 100th COVID death so we strongly advise getting the latest COVID-19 booster.
This bivalent vaccine covers the more recent COVID strains and reduces deaths, particularly for over 65 year olds.
Our practice cannot provide this but you can get it from at least two providers (now the Hub seems to have been closed.)
Check Book my Vaccine or the link below.
However, while the COVID-19 booster does not necessarily prevent getting COVID,
it does reduce the severity and chances of dying as well as developing Long COVID.
Therefore, we also advise:
- Having your 'flu vaccination as well (we can provide this) as there are 500 deaths from influenza alone
each year, while getting both illnesses together is an even higher risk.
- Avoiding enclosed non-ventillated areas where there are other people eg bus, aeroplanes. Weddings and
funerals/tangi are also high risk so don't feel ashamed for wearing a mask or decling a hongi.
- Wearing a mask remains a requirement for visiting our practice.
If you don't have one, we will provide it. Please don't be selfish by thinking you have an exemption.
- If you have any respiratory symptoms and want an appointment you will be required to have
a RAT test and also go directly to our ventillated "red stream" room [Room 3].
If you develope COVID-19 you are required to self-isolate (7 days) and if possible self-manage.
Normal advice on rest, fluids and Paracetamol apply and there is an excellent on-line
"Support for rehabilitation: self-management for COVID-19-related illness" booklet.
If you need a remote consultation, please note:
- Funding for GP COVID care has been reduced and was never available outside PHOs,
so all medical consultations attract a fee.
- If you have COVID (RAT test +ve) or are a household contact, please stay home for 7 days.
If you have asthma or COPD please increase your preventor dose (use after your reliever).
We can prescribe funded anti-viral medications remotely if you meet the criteria.
[See Anti-viral Criteria below].
- Currently Nirmatrelvir with ritonavir (Paxlovid) is the better of the pre-hospital treatments to
prevent death and reduce hospitalisation but it has many interactions and contraindications
which means you might be prescribed the less effective Molnupiravir (Lagevrio).
For the latest criteria for qualifying for antivral therapy see either:
- The Pharmac COVID-19 antivirals access Criteria Covid-19-Antivirals-access or;
- A simple flowchart Covid-19-Antivirals-access-criteria-flowchart-Sep-2022.pdf
Latest official info on booster and where to get one
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