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COVID-19 vaccinations

Rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has begun in Australia, raising questions for people receiving immunosuppressive or biologic treatment. Some information for people on immunosuppressive or biological treatment has been developed: In Australia, available COVID-19 vaccines have passed the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) assessment and approval processes that assess vaccine safety, quality and effectiveness. In people 60 years and over, ATAGI continue to recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine as the benefits of the vaccination outweigh the associated risks. The Pfizer vaccine is the preferred vaccine for people aged 16 to 59. People aged 18 to 59 can have the AstraZeneca vaccine if they have weighed up the benefits and the risks (including any COVID-19 outbreaks) and provided informed consent. Talk to your doctor or immunisation provider to help inform your decision. For the latest information and to check your eligibility, visit the Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccination website or relevant State/Territory website.o

Useful COVID-19 resources

State / Territory Government Links

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 for people with skin conditions and receiving dermatology care

Early diagnosis and treatment is critical and it is extremely important that we do not let COVID-19 provide an opportunity for melanoma to take yet more lives.

If you have a concerning spot or lesion on your skin, make an appointment with your GP who may refer you to a dermatologist. 

If you have a regular follow up appointment booked with your dermatologist, please contact their practice or clinic to see if this can be carried out using a telephone or video consultation, or if you need to see your dermatologist for a face-to-face consultation.

Prolonged use of masks and goggles can cause adverse skin reactions such as acne, contact dermatitis and pressure effects as well as exacerbating any underlying skin conditions.

The College, in partnership with other organisations have developed some tips to help you avoid skin problems.

People who are on immunosuppressants or biologics may be at higher risk of developing COVID-19 and may feel concerned about COVID-19. The College has developed information to help you:

It is important that you continue to take your usual medicines to stay as healthy as possible during COVID-19.

NPS MedicineWise has developed some information for you about medicines and COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving situation, and like everyone, dermatologists are having to adapt their models of care rapidly in an effort to minimise the risks of infection to their patients and staff.

To minimise community spread, dermatologists in some locations have been advised to postpone any non-urgent consultations to minimise the number of people coming through their consulting and waiting rooms.

Some dermatologists may have chosen to close their clinic, particularly those identified at high risk of a serious infection should they contract COVID-19 or in quarantine themselves.

Where feasible and clinically appropriate, your dermatologist may offer to conduct consultations by video or phone. In some cases, it may not be possible to offer this service.

As part of the health system response to the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be offered a consultation with your dermatologist or clinical nurse by phone or video – known as telehealth – instead of face to face.

For more information on what to expect see:

Telehealth may not be appropriate for the management of all dermatological conditions and a face-to-face consultation may still be needed. Your dermatologist will discuss this with you and whether a face-to-face consultation needs to take place or can be postponed to a later date.

Thorough hygiene practices have been intensified, and people with potential COVID-19 symptoms are being directed to not attend practices and phone instead. If you do need to attend for a face-to-face consultation, your clinic or practice will advise what you will need to do and what precautions they are putting in place to minimise any risk of infection. If you have concerns, please discuss these with your clinic or practice. It is important that you continue to receive a timely and accurate diagnosis and ongoing management for your skin cancer or skin condition.