COVID-19 and this practice

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 Ngati Ruanui Healthcare (now the Hub has 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 a much 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 when attending our practice....
    Mask wearing is still a requirement if you have a cough, cold or fever.

    If you don't have one, we will provide it and you must use the ventillated Room 3.
  • 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].

COVID management.
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 a household contact), please stay home for 7 days and...
    • 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.

  • 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

      Recent evidence points to clotting triggered during the acute stages of COVID infection could lead to lingering symptoms such as brain fog seen in the "Long COVID" syndrome. See Note 1. Markers of clotting like D-Dimer and Fibrinogen have been shown to be higher in those with symptoms consistent with Long COVID. The theories of what causes Long COVID had included persisting virus, a confused or over-active immune system producing brain inflammation and now a possible preventable cause or contributor process has been identified. See Note 2 and Note 3

      Time will tell if powerful anti-coagulation medication is helpful (studies are underway) but unless you are a child or have a reason not to take aspirin (like allergy, a bleeding history or already on anti-cagulants) along with paracetamol to not only improve control of symptoms of pain and fever but potentially reduce the risk of and/or the severity of Post-COVID symptoms. Unlike using low dose aspirin (75-100mg/day) to reduce platelet adhesion and thus protect from heart attacks or thrombotic strokes, high dose aspirin helps fibrinolysis (breaking down clots) (See Note 4). I find the best way to do this is using Aspro Clear (gargled before swallowing if there is a sore throat) along with the paracetamol.



Latest official info on booster and where to get one


  1. OFFORD, Catherine "Clotting proteins linked to Long Covid’s brain fog Study of unvaccinated people hospitalized with COVID-19 bolsters theory that blood clots may contribute to cognitive problems months later" Science, NEWS 31 August 2023 Citing the below study in Nature Medicine
  2. Taquet, M., Skorniewska, Z., Hampshire, A. et al. Acute blood biomarker profiles predict cognitive deficits 6 and 12 months after COVID-19 hospitalization. Nature Medicine (2023).
  3. COUZIN-FRANKEL, Jennifer "CLUES TO LONG COVID - Scientists strive to unravel what is driving disabling symptoms" Science, Vol 376, Issue 6599, 17 June 2022
  4. Undas A, Brummel-Ziedins KE, Mann KG. Antithrombotic properties of aspirin and resistance to aspirin: beyond strictly antiplatelet actions. Blood. 2007 Mar 15;109(6):2285-92. doi: 10.1182/blood-2006-01-010645. Epub 2006 Dec 5. PMID: 17148593; PMCID: PMC1852201.
    Antithrombotic properties of aspirin and resistance to aspirin: beyond strictly antiplatelet actions


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