23/03/2021 - 16:01

HealthEngine plays down early vaccine bookings

23/03/2021 - 16:01

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HealthEngine has pushed back on reports its booking system has allowed patients to prematurely book the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.

HealthEngine plays down early vaccine bookings
Marcus Tan is the founder of HealthEngine. Photo: Attila Csaszar

HealthEngine has pushed back on reports its booking system has allowed patients to prematurely book the second dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.

Reports have emerged in the past day that HealthEngine has allowed patients to book their second dose four weeks after receiving the first, despite patients generally being recommended to wait three months between shots.

Nevertheless, the Therapeutic Goods Administration has allowed for patients to book their second shot after four weeks provided they meet certain requirements.

A spokesperson for HealthEngine has told Business News that it is possible for someone to book a second appointment independently from the first, and that, in that case, patients should choose a date four to 12 weeks from their first appointment.

The spokesperson said clinics will confirm the identity of patients as per their usual process and should confirm the eligibility of patients to receive the vaccine with pre-screening questions, as is suggested by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.

“The online booking system is designed to support people with booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments, including booking first and second appointments in the same booking session, if the clinic enables that feature and publishes appointments well into the future,” they said.

“For the AstraZeneca vaccine, the booking system guides the patient toward booking the second appointment in the four-to-12-week timeframe in accordance with TGA guidelines.”

HealthEngine was chosen to facilitate aspects of the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout earlier this month.

Australia is now in Phase 1B of the process, wherein adults who are either immunocompromised or above the age of 70 can receive their immunisation.

Close to 35,000 people in Western Australia have now been vaccinated against COVID-19.

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