Top 3 COVID-19 vaccine questions – Long weekend safety, vaccine side effects and who to talk to
In this video Professor Alison McMillan, Australia’s Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, answers the top 3 questions you’ve been asking on our social accounts.
Hello, I am here again, with James to do our Top 3.
Firstly, a shout out to everyone who has been waiting patiently for that COVID test. We have seen a significant increase in the number of tests done in recent weeks, in recent days, that is really encouraging.
Thank you in particular to those in Queensland, or who have travelled to Queensland, and have been getting those tests done. We know that this is an important part of preventing any spread and has been able to identify any further outbreaks.
First question, how can people best practice themselves on COVID 19 this long weekend?
Great question, this weekend, we know for many of us particularly on the eastern seaboard, this is going to be a great weekend to get out and about. So get out in the fresh air and make the most of the great weather. But those things that we have been doing all year now, since the outbreak of this pandemic, we need to keep doing.
Hand hygiene, physical social distancing where you can, cough into your elbow, use a tissue and throw it away if you blow your nose and that 1.5 physical distancing.
Really importantly, if you are unwell or have any flu like symptoms, do stay home and arrange to get tested. That’s such an important part of preventing the spread of COVID 19.
Second question, are COVID 19 vaccine side effects continuing to be monitored and recorded in Australia?
Yes they are. So the Therapeutic Goods Administration, or the TGA, continuously monitor any side effects from the vaccines. Some side effects are very mild, as they are often with other vaccines.
TGA work with a whole range of stakeholders to monitor those side effects and continue to look at what advice we give to you, the community about these side effects. If you’ve got any concerns about side effects, there are lots of places where you can get information, including our website, health.gov.au. You can talk to a health professional, your GP, a nurse, doctor, a whole range of people, or when you go to get your vaccine, do ask about the sorts of side effects you can expect to see. Usually you will be given written information that will explain what you can expect after your vaccine.
Finally, who can I talk to if I am feeling unsure about getting the COVID 19 vaccine?
I think it is important, that being hesitant, or being a little nervous about being vaccinated is normal. None of us really want to get an injection, but we all know how important this is.
So firstly, it really is OK to ask questions. You need to get the best information you can so that you are well informed. So again, you might choose to go to health.gov.au. and that will give you comprehensive information about the vaccine, and that includes in multiple languages, if English is not your first language. Also again, you might talk to a health professional about your concerns, so that you can talk through with them your fear and they will help you feel comfortable about making that choice.
So I encourage you, it is really important that we all know that this vaccine is an important part of our armoury to getting back to normal and preventing further transmission of COVID 19 into the community. I encourage you to do it, but it is OK to be hesitant. Together, we can stop the spread.