Free medical consultations for over-50s
As the federal government battles a spike in vaccine hesitancy after the decision to give AstraZeneca only to Aussies aged 60-plus, the health minister has announced a new measure aimed at easing older Australians' fears.
Greg Hunt says Australia's over 50 can now discuss COVID vaccinations with a GP in a free consultation.
“To assist our GPs, to assist and support those who are coming forward for vaccinations, there will be a new Medicare item for over-50s to allow for a general practice consultation,” Mr Hunt said. “It will be done by GPs ... It will be bulk-billed.”
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) president Karen Price said the measure was welcome as "we deal with increasing vaccine hesitancy right across the country"
"I’m seeing it in my own practice in Melbourne - almost all my patients have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines."
AstraZeneca is no longer recommended to anyone under the age of 60 due to the risk of extremely rare but serious blood clots.