Hello. My name is Dr Lucas De Toca and I am leading the deployment of the vaccine to GPs, pharmacies and other primary care sites. Today we’ll answer some of your most frequently asked questions on our social media about Covid and vaccines. As usual, I am joined by Linda who will interpret Auslan. Thanks, Linda. We are in the land of the Ngunnawal people here in Canberra. Dhawra nhuna, dhawra Ngunawal. Yanggu gulanyin ngalawiri, dhunayi, Ngunawal dhawra. Wanggarralijinyin mariny balan bugarabang. I also recognize the traditional owners of the land from where you may be looking. Our cry today goes out to the families who come forward to be vaccinated together. As of yesterday September 13, anyone aged 12 and over is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, including children aged 12 to 15 across Australia. And we are seeing more and more cases of families coming together to get vaccinated as one. With mom and dad, or mom and mom, dad and dad, getting vaccinated at the same time as the kids and it’s really exciting because more and more people are getting vaccinated across the country. Thank you for coming together and getting vaccinated. There will be more and more appointments available over the coming weeks for you and your loved ones to get vaccinated. We are going to talk about vitamins and minerals and Covid. We’re going to talk about how Covid might affect menstrual cycles, and we’re also going to talk about pharmacies and where you can get the shot. Let’s move on.
A surprisingly regular number of times we are asked how mineral or vitamin deficiencies can impact your risk of getting or having serious illness from COVID-19.
Minerals and vitamins are really important micronutrients, things in our diet that we don’t consume as much as big chunks like sugar or protein, but which are really relevant to making sure our bodies can function properly: can heal wounds, can regulate hormones, can repair cells properly. So of course, any vitamin or mineral deficiency, like any nutritional deficiency, can make you more prone to infections or serious infections because your immune system may not be as strong and able to fight them off. It is not known if there are links between specific mineral and vitamin deficiencies and the risks of Covid. In general, having a healthy diet, a balanced intake of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, carbohydrates, whole grains, bread, etc., is important to ensure that the balance of nutrients in our body is correct, which will help be stronger to fight infections. And that’s just a general rule, not for Covid, but for everything. It is important that we stay up to date with our health. It often happens that our regular checkups and screening tests or that we usually go to the doctor for reasons other than respiratory illnesses and Covid have been delayed due to the pandemic. It is really important that we stay on top of all this, that we always go to our regular medical appointments, and if we are not feeling well we go to a healthcare professional or other healthcare professional for make sure that if there is something underlying, can be treated, Covid or not. Of course, as usual, I think I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this in every video, if you have cold and flu symptoms no matter how mild, please self-isolate, get tested and stay isolated until you get the result.
Another question we ask ourselves is whether Covid, and the pandemic in general, has an impact on menstrual cycles or women’s periods.
Of course, I am not talking about lived experience. I agree that it’s always best to have a woman talk about these things, but as a general rule it’s important to note that times of stress can have a very real impact on menstrual cycles and period regularity and the nature of the rules. This happens for a variety of reasons and it can happen with any number of stresses. It is not uncommon for viral diseases or other infections, especially those that make people very sick, can impact the regularity of menstrual cycles and can potentially affect them or affect them for longer than the disease it is. – not even been. This is for a variety of reasons, but in this general sense, situations of chronic stress to the body and not just a COVID-19 infection, but the overall impact on stress levels that the pandemic is having on all of us may contribute. to this can alter menstrual cycles. A significant amount of our body’s regulatory activity is affected by the so-called HPA axis, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which is the system that controls the release of a number of hormones, including adrenaline. , which is a short term effect. type of fight or flight response when we have acute stress and helps our body react quickly to a situation of danger or stress. If the stress is chronic, our body releases cortisol, a long-term chronic stress hormone that impacts a number of systems in our body. Chronic release of cortisol with chronically high levels of stress, as an infection can cause, can permanently alter the menstrual cycle. As always, if you have any concerns about your own health, if you notice things that worry you or that are different for you, consult your healthcare professional so that you can get personalized advice in your context and circumstances. specific.
The other question we get is that we hear more and more about pharmacies and pharmacies joining the vaccine rollout, how does that work? What do pharmacies do in the context of vaccines and how do you know where to get vaccinated in a pharmacy?
We are truly delighted that more and more pharmacies are joining the vaccine rollout every week. There are now over 3,000 nationwide to date offering vaccines to everyone. Currently, pharmacies offer the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is approved for people 18 years of age and older and recommended as the preferred vaccine for people 60 years and older. Over the next two weeks, we’ll see a rapid expansion of options in pharmacies with the Moderna vaccine, or Spikevax, arriving in Australia. The Moderna vaccine has been approved for people 12 years of age and older and will be available at community pharmacies starting the week of September 20. That week, around 1,800 pharmacies across the country throughout that week will begin receiving shipments for the Moderna vaccine, and the following week another 1,800 will also receive shipments. By the end of the month, we will have 3,600 pharmacies offering the Moderna vaccine, which is an incredibly effective mRNA vaccine with the same indications, the same use, the same age ranges as Pfizer available in drugstores. Some pharmacies have online reservations, some pharmacies have walk-in options, and in this context it is sometimes very helpful for whole families to go to the community pharmacy and get vaccinated while they go. their essential purchases at the grocery store or other. contexts. All vaccine points of presence, whether pharmacies, GP surgeries, Indigenous community-controlled health services, Commonwealth vaccination clinics, or state and territory clinics, are found on health.gov.au in the Vaccine Clinic Finder. If you would like to see a consolidated list of all available points of presence, including pharmacies, please visit health.gov.au. This information can also be reached on 1 800 020 080, which is the National Coronavirus Helpline, and a translation and interpretation service is available if you need to speak to someone in a language other than English when you call. National Coronavirus Helpline.
That’s all we have for today. Hope this has been helpful. Thank you very much for watching, thank you Linda for your interpretation and stay COVIDSafe. See you next time.