Isn’t it great to be able to go out and reconnect with family and friends over a coffee or a meal? Haircuts are looking amazing too!

Like all healthcare facilities, we continue to do our best to keep services available with appropriate safety processes in place. Thank you for your patience as we manage appointments and the waiting room to keep our community safe. According to guidelines, we are still offering telehealth consultations, but face-to-face care is important too, especially for our more senior population!

Our Covid-safe protocols have become part of the new norm and we will be continuing with these over the coming weeks and probably months. Triage and screening questions will remain an important part of managing bookings so please be patient with our reception team, they are required to go through these with all bookings. We are still providing telehealth (phone or video) consultations whenever possible in accordance with public health guidance. However, we are very pleased to offer onsite appointments for much needed check-ups such as blood pressure and heart checks, skin checks, smears and breast exams. Other matters may need doctor approval or a telehealth consultation first. We haven’t seen some of you for quite some time now so over the coming months we may be asking you to come in for a check-up when your next prescription is due. Telehealth appointments can be booked on-line but you still must phone for any onsite appointments.

Please continue to book your routine vaccinations. Childhood vaccination remains a priority and administering these will continue as usual. It’s also a good time to start planning ahead to next year. The meningococcal vaccine Menactra is recommended and funded for young people aged 13 to 25 years who are entering their 1st year of living in close quarters (University halls of residence, boarding schools).

We are unable to see anyone onsite who has respiratory symptoms, no matter how mild and regardless of vaccination status, unless this is deemed necessary by your doctor. In such cases this will be done in a separate area to keep everyone safe. This will continue into the foreseeable future.

Repeat Prescriptions

With the holiday season fast approaching we suggest that you check that you have enough prescription medication to see you through. Please order any repeat prescriptions as soon as possible, via the patient portal or by phoning in, to avoid pre-Christmas congestion. 

COVID 19 Vaccinations

We are thrilled to say that well over 90% of our practice population are now fully vaccinated.

For primary or booster doses please go to book BookMyVaccine.co.nz to find a local vaccination clinic. For enrolled patients to book with us use the Access Code enrolled patients  will have been sent in e-mailed version of this newsletter  or phone 095215128 to make a time for this.

Booster doses

Booster doses are now available to anyone over the age of 18 years who has had two primary doses of a COVID 19 vaccine and 6 months has passed since your second vaccine.

Third primary dose

Some people who are immunocompromised due to a health condition or have been on immunosuppressant medication at the time of their two primary doses may need a third primary dose of the COVID 19 vaccination. This is because their immune system may not be strong enough to respond adequately to the vaccine and it might need another little nudge. This is different from the booster dose and these people will still need a booster 6 months after their third primary dose. We have tried to contact those who are eligible for a third dose. However, if you feel you might be eligible, please contact us and we can discuss this with you. A consultation for this is funded by your DHB. 

AstraZeneca vaccine

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is now available for those aged 18 and older who cannot receive the Pfizer vaccine, and for people who would like a different option. People aged 18 years and older can book an appointment to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at Book My Vaccine, which will show a list of vaccination centres where AstraZeneca can be given. AstraZeneca is only available at selected vaccination clinics. AstraZeneca vaccination after the person has had a Pfizer vaccine (mixed schedule) may require a prescription.

COVID 19 Vaccine for children aged 5-11 years

The Pfizer vaccine for this age group is still going through the process to be approved by Medsafe and Cabinet. Depending on this and the arrival of stocks, we have been informed that vaccination rollout might start sometime in late January. The child doses of the Pfizer vaccine are smaller than the ones used for people over age 12 – a child dose is one third of the adult dose.

Vaccine Passes

With the recent change to the traffic light system Vaccine Passes will become part of our daily lives.

Help with accessing your My Vaccine Pass: We are now able to print your pass or email it to you if you are having difficulty doing this yourself. Pharmacies are also able to provide this service for you.

Help with other matters: If you need help with other matters related to My Covid Record or if you have a query about your COVID-19 records, such as correcting the name on your pass, contact the Ministry of Health team, 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Email: help@mycovidrecord.min.health.nz   Phone: 0800 222 478  Website: My COVID Record

Grace period for expired driver licences extended into 2022

The Transport Minister has announced that all New Zealand driver licences and licence endorsements that expired on or after 21 July 2021 will now be valid until 31 May 2022. We have a limited number of appointments for Drivers Licence Medicals, but don’t panic if you aren’t able to get in before Christmas, you’ll still be able to join the queues out of Auckland once the boundary opens.

This does not apply to the extension to the expiry date of Warrants of Fitness (WoFs), Certificates of Fitness (CoFs) and vehicle licences (‘regos’). Any of these that expired on or after 21 July 2021, will no longer be valid and you will need to renew these in the usual way.

Meadowbank General Practice Holiday Opening Hours:

With all this going on it’s been another exhausting year for our practice team so we will be taking a break over the Christmas New Year period

The Practice will close from Friday 24th December 2021 @ 2pm

A reduced service by a duty doctor will be available 5th – 7th January 2022 9am-3:00pm

Normal business hours will resume on Monday 10th January 2022 8.30am – 5.00pm

Please note that some of our doctors and nurses will still be on leave at this date.

If you are an enrolled patient with this practice and need healthcare when we are closed, please call our usual practice phone number (09) 521 5128 to speak to a registered nurse.  

If you need a virtual consultation, we recommend CareHQ.  CareHQ provides urgent and booked appointments with a real GP from 7am-7pm, 7 days per week.  For more information, or to book, visit www.carehq.co.nz

If you have a medical emergency, please dial 111.

The closest accident and medical centre (A&M) to this practice is: White Cross Urgent Care, 110 Lunn Ave, Mt Wellington

We wish you a happy, safe and restful holiday season. Take care on the roads.

From the team at Meadowbank General Practice.