What is currently known about myocarditis and the Comirnaty vaccine?
A statement from the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety on 9th July 2021 noted that clinicians need to be aware of the risks of myocarditis and pericarditis following mRNA vaccination and those most likely to be affected. Presentation includes acute chest pain, shortness of breath and palpitations, especially in young males. Read the full update on the Immunisation Advisory Centre website.
People with compromised immune systems or receiving treatment for cancer and the vaccine
Many people take medication that suppresses their immune system, especially for the treatment of cancer, severe asthma, autoimmune diseases, or following organ transplantation. Others have medical conditions that can affect the immune system, such as HIV infection or kidney failure.
These conditions put you at increased risk from COVID-19, and although you may not respond as strongly to the vaccine as someone with a fully functioning immune system, it is safe for you to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and it will provide some protection against COVID-19, particularly against severe, life-threatening disease.
It is important and safe for those receiving active treatment with immunosuppressive medications to have the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are severely immunocompromised, it is recommended to talk to your GP or specialist to discuss the optimal timing for vaccination before the vaccine appointment. Ideally, vaccination should be conducted prior to any planned immunosuppression.
It is also important for the people around you, in your household, to have the vaccine when it is offered to them to widen your protection.
For information about Cancer care and COVID-19 vaccine see Te Aho o Te Kahu (Cancer Control Agency) information here.
COVID-19 vaccination training
The immunisation Advisory Centre (IMAC) has developed an online COVID-19 vaccine course for GPs. By the end of this course, you will be confident in your knowledge of the mRNA-CV, be able to answer the common concerns and questions raised by patients, and be able to supervise or administer the vaccine in your practice.
Access training (member login required)
Medical Director updates
- Dr Betty's Medical Director update of 18 February covered N95 masks, vaccine information for border workers, and new communications channels. Read the update.
- Dr Bryan Betty's Medical Director update of 4 February contained the latest update from the Ministry of Health about the COVID-19 vaccine and immunisation. Read the update.
- Dr Bryan Betty's Medical Director update of 21 January was sent to all members and contains the latest information about the COVID-19 vaccine. Read the update.
Tools, forms, and checklists
On Wednesday, 3 February 2021 the College hosted Dr Nikki Turner, College Fellow and Director of the Immunisation Advisory Centre for a COVID-19 vaccine webinar. She was joined by President Dr Samantha Murton and Medical Director Dr Bryan Betty. View the webinar recording
(member login required).
Ministry of Health links
The College has a repository of expert opinions about COVID-19 on this page.