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Joint statement on COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines from nation’s regulators

The following is a joint statement from the TGA, Ahpra, Office of the Health Ombudsman and the Health Care Complaints Commission.

30 August 2021

office of the health ombudsman logo  ahpra logo  Health Care Complaints Commission logo  Therapeutic Goods Administration logo

Get the best advice for you and your family

You need reliable, evidence-based information to be able to make good choices about your healthcare. But in a climate thick with commentary about COVID-19 and vaccines, how do you sort fact from fiction?

1. Get advice from the experts

Make sure you access the best, most accurate advice when making decisions about your own or your loved ones’ health.

For general information about COVID-19 and vaccines, the Commonwealth and state and territory Department of Health websites (see below), are the most accurate and up to date sources of information.

You can also talk to your GP about the COVID-19 vaccines and what would be best for you in your circumstances.

Other people who can provide quality and evidence-based advice include appropriately trained registered health practitioners (such as registered pharmacists and nurse practitioners). There are also regular updates from epidemiologists or experts such as your state or territory’s chief medical officer or chief health officer.

You can trust that they have the qualifications and expertise to provide the best advice.

You can also check the qualifications and registration status of any registered health practitioner in Australia on the public register of practitioners on the Ahpra website.

2. Be safe in the knowledge that registered health practitioners must meet national standards

Registered health practitioners are trusted sources of information for most Australians and have played a critical role in Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When providing care in person or sharing information online, health practitioners have a professional obligation to only share information that is evidence-based, in line with the best available health advice, and is consistent with public health campaigns such as the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.

They also must meet their profession’s code of conduct, which you can find on Ahpra’s and the National Boards’ websites. Action can be taken against a practitioner that doesn’t meet those standards.

3. Don’t get swayed by opinions

Don’t put your health or your loved ones’ health at risk. Incorrect information or sensationalised commentary can be dangerous.

Only people with relevant training, qualifications and expertise are a reliable source of advice on COVID-19 or vaccines.

People may have strong opinions on COVID-19 and vaccines but celebrities and influencers may not have the training or experience to give quality advice that you can rely on.

4. Reach out

Talk to someone you can trust, like your GP. Community leaders are also working with GPs and other registered health practitioners to share reliable sources of information about COVID-19 and vaccines.

You can also look up the COVID-19 section on the Department of Health websites or call the Coronavirus helpline on 1800 020 080 which is open 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Make sure you have the best, most accurate and evidence-based information for your specific needs when making decisions about your or your loved ones’ health.

Reliable sources of information on COVID-19 and vaccines in Australia

National info: https://www.health.gov.au/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19
ACT: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/
NSW: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
NT: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/
Qld: https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/
SA: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/
Tas: https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/
Vic: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/
WA: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/covid-19-coronavirus

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