Patients asked to check their vaccination records
19 Jul 2019
General practitioners are being reminded of their obligations to care for vaccines according to national guidelines after failings by a St Clair general practice.
Patients seeing a GP in St Clair have been notified that vaccinations they received may be less effective because the clinic may not have stored the vaccines correctly.
Patients vaccinated since 1996 by general practitioner, Dr Hong Kuan Chua, 31 Cook Parade, St Clair, may need to be revaccinated. NSW Health has been working with the GP to identify patients potentially affected.
Dr Chua has sent letters to over 500 of his patients encouraging them to seek advice and revaccination from a new GP. However, it’s possible some patients who received vaccinations at the clinic may have been missed or may not receive their letter because they have moved.
Anyone who attended this local GP practice for vaccinations is encouraged to seek advice from a new GP.
Vaccines covered by the National Immunisation Program will be available for revaccination at no cost, however, some general practitioners may charge consultation fees.
Storing vaccines correctly ensures they remain potent and effective when they are given to patients. Dr Chua was unable to provide evidence that their vaccines were consistently stored at the correct temperature.
While NSW Health does not have responsibility for GPs, it is working with GPs and assisting co-regulators to ensure patients are correctly and effectively vaccinated.
NSW Health is working with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, the Australian Medical Association, the Medical Council of NSW, and the Primary Health Networks to assist in reminding GPs of their vaccine care obligations.
GPs must have staff trained in cold-chain storage via the NSW Health on-line learning module; and random audits will continue to check their practice complies.
NSW Health has guides and other resources available to help GP clinics safely administer vaccinations and correctly care for vaccines, including a free vaccine cold chain management on-line learning module.
The NSW Government continues a strong investment on state-wide immunisation programs including $2.6 million for free flu shots to children up to five years of age and a $1.5 million immunisation and influenza awareness campaign.
The NSW Government will invest about $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.